UK - After 800 Years, An Apology to Jews

Arno Froese

British Jewish leaders say an anticipated apology from the Church of England for antisemitic laws enacted in 1222 is “better late than never.”

The church is planning a formal “act of repentance” for next year, the 800th anniversary of the Synod of Oxford, a set of laws that restricted Jews’ rights to engage with Christians in England, according to a report in the Telegraph.

“The phrase ‘better late than never’ is truly appropriate here. The historic trauma of medieval English anti-Semitism can never be erased and its legacy survives today—for example, through the persistence of the ‘blood libel’ allegation that was invented in this country,” Dave Rich, the policy director of a British antisemitism watchdog group, told the Telegraph.

In planning the formal apology, the Church of England is taking responsibility for Christian antisemitism that predates its founding in 1534.

“Among the many perplexing things about this perplexing news story is that the Church of England didn’t exist back in 1290 when the Jews were expelled from England,” tweeted Jeffrey Shoulson, a professor of Judaic studies at the University of Connecticut., 14 July 2021

Arno's Commentary

While this Church of England apology is relatively insignificant, for Jews, it is “better late than never.” Jews have suffered discrimination and severe persecution throughout the last two millennia; that cannot be denied, as it is carefully documented in many historic reports.

But we think there is more to it; being presented with indisputable facts, resulting in the Church of England’s recognition of such and subsequent apology, leads us to a specific event recorded in the last book of the Bible. Revelation 11 speaks of two witnesses that will appear in the city of Jerusalem. They will be testimonies to God’s truth. We read in verse 10b: “because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” One question arises: how did these two prophets torment the people on earth? We believe it’s simply that they told the truth, and by doing so they will be killed. Yet, after three and a half days, they will arise from the dead and ascend to heaven in a cloud. This miracle will have a positive impact, for verse 13b reads: “and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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