Church of England apologizes for 800-year old anti-Jewish laws

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Church of England apologizes for anti-Jewish laws it enacted 800 years ago that led to the expulsion of the Jews from England.

The Church of England has issued an apology to the Jewish community for anti-Jewish laws it enacted 800 years ago that led to the expulsion of the Jews from England.

This year is the 800th anniversary of the Synod of Oxford, an assembly that brought in Vatican rules discriminating against Jews living in “Christian countries.”

The Church of England apologized during a service in Oxford remembering the 1222 Synod rulings, the UK Jewish News reported.

The persecution of Jews during that era was referred to as “painful and shameful” by a church bishop during the “penitence” service at the Church of England cathedral.

The laws brought it made it illegal for Jews to socially interact with Christians, forced them to wear identifying badges, restricted the professions they could practice and banned the building of new synagogues. The rules were followed by harsher antisemitic proclamations, including on the ownership of property and inheritance. In 1290, King Edward I expelled all the Jews from England.

The community at the time was estimated to be approximately 2000 to 3000 people, with the Jews mostly leaving for Scotland, France and Poland.

Jews were only allowed back into England in the 1650s.

After the service, UK Chief Rabbi Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who did not go into the cathedral for religious reasons but stayed outside the building, said: “Let us not forget that we are still on a journey. There is still so much that needs to be done.”

He added that the apology was “deeply appreciated by our Jewish community” and said that he was optimistic it would enable a “strengthening” of the relationship between Jews and Christians in the UK.

He also urged the dialogue between Jews and Christians to be “strengthened” to continue fighting “hatred, racism and bigotry.”

Board of Deputies chief executive Michael Wegier said on Twitter: ”I spoke about our positive work with the [Church of England] and I stressed the importance of Christians engaging with Jews in the UK, Israel and globally.”

Source: Arutz 7

 

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