According to the vice president of the Central Council of Jews, Abraham Lehrer, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia can only be reduced through personal contact. These are especially needed among young people in Germany, she said.
In Cologne and other cities, good experience has been gained with a project in which Jewish schoolchildren present their faith and everyday life to school classes with predominantly Muslim students, Abraham Lehrer said on Friday at the Catholic Day in Munster.
Invitations to the public to visit Jewish institutions also quickly led to a reduction in prejudices, Lehrer explained. Most of the time, the visitors quickly realized that Jewish daycare centers, retirement homes or educational institutions do not look or act any different than anywhere else. However, the approximately 110.The fact that the Jewish communities in Germany, which have around 80 million members, quickly reach their logistical limits. That's why education has a major role to play.
No increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia?
According to historian Wolfgang Benz, there is no scientific evidence of a current increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Rather, there is a growing awareness of the phenomenon, he said. Hatred of Jews is also based on "ancient resentments that are unfortunately passed on from generation to generation.". Hatred of Jews had never been due to alleged characteristics of this group. "It's up to the majority, which needs enemies to feel good," Benz said. This could also be applied today to Muslims and other minorities such as homosexuals.
Relationship between Catholic Church and Judaism excellent
On the official level, the relationship of the Catholic Church to Judaism in Germany is excellent, emphasized the Bishop of Erfurt, Ulrich Neymeyr. In particular, the Council Declaration "Nostra aetate" (1965) had brought about great changes. The recognition of the people of Israel as God's people and the renunciation of missionary work on the part of the church have decisively improved the relationship.
The relationship with Muslims in Germany is still somewhat more difficult, Neymeyr said, because Islam is very diverse and there is a lack of legitimate contacts. Nor can the church overlook the persecution of Christians in some Islamic states, according to the chairman of the Sub-Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism of the German Bishops' Conference.