Letter: Evangelism by Jewish Christians

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The Independent Online
Sir: Thank you for making the point that it is legitimate for Christians, and indeed members of all faiths, to seek to communicate their beliefs to those who don't yet share them ('An offensive campaign', 10 August). In other respects, your commentary is less robust.

It is not true that attempts to convert Jews have gone hand in hand with persecution throughout European history. In the 20th century the persecution of Jews has been, in almost all countries, entirely separate from attempts to present the Good News of Jesus' love. It is also not the case that Christians still run the 'company store in the marketplace of ideas'. Most of Europe is post-Christian and relativism rules the ideological roost, as both secular and Christian commentators have noted.

Nor do we as Jews for Jesus intend to offend our Jewish brothers and sisters. What benefit would that be to anyone? We simply want to invite Jewish people to think about Jesus afresh, even though history and culture can make this difficult. Indeed, as Jewish people ourselves we share the ghastly sufferings of our people. We do not, however, believe that the history of anti-Semitism should stop either Jewish or Gentile Christians suggesting that Jesus is the messiah of all people, including Jews.

Fortunately, many Jewish people today are interested in finding out about Jesus. In contemporary culture this requires the kind of 'independent' thinking for which your newspaper is justly famous. Like you, it is that kind of thinking we are seeking to foster.

It's just a tougher job.

Yours faithfully,


Chairman, Jews for Jesus

London, W1