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Press Release Christian-Jewish Relations
ADL to Southern Baptist Convention: Stop Efforts To Convert Jews

New York, NY, September 21, 2005…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned as "insulting, disgraceful and dangerous" plans by leaders of Southern Baptist Convention – the nation's largest Protestant group - to consider forming a partnership with a Messianic Jewish group in order to missionize Jews in the United States and around the world. The League called on the Southern Baptist Convention to stop their efforts to convert Jews.

On September 20, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention approved a proposal to study whether the SBC's North American and international mission boards should formally recognize the Southern Baptists Messianic Fellowship – a Messianic Jewish group – as "an evangelistic mission to Jewish people in the United States and throughout the world."

The executive committee's vote to recommend that the proposal be put on the agenda at next year's SBC annual convention follows the launching last year by the SBC of the Pasche Institute of Jewish Studies at Criswell College in Dallas, whose purpose is to teach Baptists leaders how to minister to Jews.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement: 

The idea of the Southern Baptist Convention using a so-called Jewish messianic group – which misrepresents two faiths – to target Jews for conversion is disgraceful, insulting and dangerous.   

We are outraged over the continuing efforts by the Southern Baptist Convention to target Jews for conversion, especially by considering 'deputizing' a Jewish Messianic group, part of a deceptive movement that falsely claims they are interested in Jewish practices when the real goal is to convert Jews to Christianity. These efforts should be stopped once and for all.

Together with the establishment last year of an institute aimed at teaching Baptist leaders how to minister to Jews, the Southern Baptist leadership continues to show its disrespect and disregard for the validity of Judaism and the Jewish people.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.