Pope Francis, Jewish leaders mark Rosh Hashanah and discuss Mideast Christians

Pope Francis. Credit: Casa Rosada via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Pope Francis on Wednesday hosted a delegation of 40 Jewish leaders to mark the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday and to discuss pressing issues for the Jewish and Christian communities.

“We want to share with the pope our message of peace and prosperity for the New Year,” said Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress (WJC) official in charge of relations with the Vatican, according to Vatican Radio

During the meeting, the pontiff brought up the persecution and mass slaughter of Christians in the Middle East. 

“Christians are being expelled from the region. They are persecuted, not liked, discriminated against. You (the Jews) suffered from that in the past, and we (the Christians) are suffering from it today in parts of the world,” Pope Francis said.

In a press conference following the meeting, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said the Islamic State terror group’s tagging of Christian houses in Iraq and Syria with the letter N for “Nassarah”—a term used for Christians in the Koran—is “no different from the yellow star of David which the Nazis obliged Jews to wear to separate them from the others.”

Posted on September 18, 2014 .