Jews Offended at Southern Baptist Convention's Prayer for Jewish Conversion

September 10, 1999

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On September 10, 1999, The Tampa Tribune reported that Jews are offended at the Southern Baptist Convention's plan to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity during the High Holy Days. David Freidman, the congregation president at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, NC, stated: "To do this at this time of year is a little bit startling...I find it rather sad that they place their emphasis on converting Jews, rather than looking for common ground and discourse among all faiths." The Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board has published and distributed a "prayer guide" that attempts to explain the Jewish holidays and suggest how to pray for Jewish people. Mark Briskman, the Southwest regional director for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, stated: "It shows an element of arrogance because they are specifically targeting Jews during the holy season." Herb Hollinger, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, said that they have similar guides for other religious occasions, including the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.