The two largest Christian denominations in the Netherlands, the Roman Catholic Church (RKK) and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), have issued a joint statement against increasing antisemitism in the country.
In the statement, both churches express great concern about increasing antisemitism. It is unacceptable that an unsafe environment for the Jewish community can take root in the Netherlands. The churches call on Dutch the government and society to do everything in their power to combat antisemitism. The joint statement is in line with a perceived sense of urgency on this subject in the political agenda in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Jewish community (NIK), the country’s EJC affiliate welcomed the statement. According to Ruben Vis, General Secretary of the NIK, by declaring themselves open to “further consultations and cooperation in the fight against antisemitism”, both churches are signaling their intention to be partners in the Dutch government’s plans to combat antisemitism.
This comes after the government had declared earlier that it would make more resources available to fighting antisemitism.
The statement also declares that “the continuing conversation with the Jewish community in the Netherlands is of great importance for the churches”, which carries theological connotations. For the Protestant PKN, the point of reference is an article in the Church’s Order which establishes an “inseparable bond with Israel”. For the Catholic RKK in turn, the Nostra Aetate declaration of the Second Vatican Council, which describes the relationship with Jews is the relevant theological basis.
It is rare for the two religious denominations to issue joint statements.