September 15, 1999
Jews upset over prayer for conversion
___NEW YORK (RNS)--Jewish leaders have called Southern Baptists arrogant and offensive for praying that Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah during Judaism's High Holy Days.
___The High Holy Days began Sept. 10 at sundown. The Southern Baptist International Mission Board published a prayer booklet intended to guide Baptists "as they intercede with God on behalf of his chosen people."
___The High Holy Days, a 10-day period during which traditional Jews believe God seals their fate for the coming year, is Judaism's holiest period. Randy Sprinkle, who directs the IMB's prayer office, said the period is an appropriate time for Christians to pray for Jews to accept Jesus as an act of love.
___"Intercessory prayer is an act of love. Christian intercessors are people of love. They love the Jewish people, even scattered across the Earth as they are, because God first loved the Jewish people," said Sprinkle.
___But what Southern Baptists view as love and obligation, Jews regard as disrespect.
___"We are shocked and deeply offended by the call ... to pray that Jews will convert to Christianity during the High Holy Days," said Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director. "It is pure arrogance for any one religion to assume that they hold 'the truth,' especially on the eve of the holiest days for the Jewish faith."
Contents/ Masthead / Why We're Here / Links / Archive / E-mail us/ SUBSCRIBE!