Church leaders support Norwich synagogue hit by hate-attack
Church ministers have joined other community leaders in expressing support for the Norwich Messianic Jewish Synagogue, which suffered an anti-semitic hate attack last week. Keith Morris reports.
The Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Rev Alan Hopes, said: “I would like to express the sadness of the Catholic community in Norwich that one of the synagogues in the city has been targeted with anti-semitic graffiti. Please be assured that we stand in solidarity with you against such attacks and of our prayers for all the Jewish community at this time.”
Richard James, Rector of Holy Trinity, next-door neighbours of the synagogue, has signed a message of support from local faith leaders and councillors which says: “We deplore the recent hate attack on the Messianic synagogue. Christians worship a Jewish Saviour, and are opposed to hatred towards any faith, whether arising from religious or political motives. Our prayers are with the congregation affected, and for peace and justice in the Middle East at this time.”
Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake, from the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue on Essex Street in Norwich, discovered the graffiti on the door which referred to “Free Palestine” and included a swastika logo which is particularly offensive to Jews.
A shocked Rabbi Binyamin said: “This is the sad face of anti-semitism in the UK right now. As we came to the synagogue this morning this was the welcome we received. My heart is sad that anyone should feel so motivated by hate to attack us in this way.
“It is hate that causes all the problems in the world right now, including what is happening in the Middle East. Hate must stop. We pray for the people who did this and we refuse to respond with hate to them,” he said. “We would appreciate everyone’s prayers right now while we deal with this as a community.”
Norwich City Council said on Twitter: "This is sad and shocking to see and we will not tolerate this kind of hatred in our city. We stand in complete solidarity with our Jewish community in Norwich and with people from all backgrounds and religions. We have removed the graffiti this morning."
Norfolk Police are appealing for anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident, to come forward. Please contact PC James McAvoy at Earlham Police Station on 101 quoting crime reference 36/32537/21. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Read our previous story on this topic.
Pictured above, the graffiti on the Norwich synagogue door. Picture by Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue.