During August 2015 the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ – the oldest interfaith body in England) wanted to stand together and pray for the welfare of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
The campaign was headed ‘If not now when?’ – a quote from Pirkei Avot, Ethics Of The Fathers which in full reads “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”. The initiative aimed to encourage the Jewish community in Britain to engage in prayer and spiritual reflection on the persecution of Christians with a particular focus on Syria and Iraq, extending the circle of spiritual engagement from the Christian community into the Jewish community and beyond.
‘If not now when?’ was designed to run in conjunction with CCJs ‘Still An Issue’ initiative, raising awareness of antisemitism and encouraging a response within the Christian community. These campaigns were designed to unite the two faith communities closer together through profound engagement with one another’s key issues.
CCJ wanted Jewish Synagogues, youth movements, and community centres to make a particular effort during August 2015 to take part in an act of prayer or spiritual reflection on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
The CCJ resource resource – containing background information on the history of Christianity in the Middle East, the current situation in Syria and Iraq, as well as North Africa, and springboard points to engender reflection and discussion, rooted particularly in the Jewish tradition is available online here: