The International Council of Christians and Jews
(ICCJ) is an umbrella organization of 38 national groups in 32 countries world-wide engaged in the Christian
Founded as a reaction to the Holocaust, many groups of theologians, historians and educators dedicated their efforts to seek Christian-Jewish reconciliation.
According to the Mission Statement of the ICCJ, the group:
- promotes understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews based on respect for each other's identity and integrity
- addresses issues of human rights and human dignity deeply enshrined in the traditions of Judaism and Christianity
- counters all forms of prejudice, intolerance, discrimination, racism and the misuse of religion for national and political domination
- affirms that in honest dialogue each person remains loyal to his or her own essential faith commitment, recognizing in the other person his or her integrity and otherness
- coordinates worldwide activities through conferences held regularly in different countries
- encourages research and education to promote interreligious understanding among students, teachers, religious leaders, and scholars
- performs outreach in regions that so far have little or no structured Jewish-Christian dialogue
- provides a platform for theological debate
The international headquarters of the ICCJ are located in the house where Martin Buber lived until Nazi persecution forced him to flee Germany.
The 10 Points of Seelisberg
In 1947 the ICCJ published a document containing the following 10 points:
- Remember that One God speaks to us all through the Old and the New Testaments.
- Remember that Jesus was born of a Jewish mother of the seed of David and the people of Israel, and that His everlasting love and forgiveness embraces His own people and the whole world.
- Remember that the first disciples, the apostles and the first martyrs were Jews.
- Remember that the fundamental commandment of Christianity, to love God and one's neighbour, proclaimed already in the Old Testament and confirmed by Jesus, is binding upon both Christians and Jews in all human relationship, without any exception.
- Avoid distorting or misrepresenting biblical or post-biblical Judaism with the object of extolling Christianity.
- Avoid using the words Jews in the exclusive sense of the enemies of Jesus, and the words The Enemies of Jesus to designate the whole Jewish people.
- Avoid presenting the Passion in such a way as to bring the odium of the killing of Jesus upon all Jews or upon Jews alone. It was only a section of the Jews in Jerusalem who demanded the death of Jesus, and the Christian message has always been that it was the sins of mankind which were exemplified by those Jews and the sins in which all men share that brought Christ to the Cross.
- Avoid referring to the scriptural curses, or the cry of a raging mob: His Blood be Upon Us and Our Children, without remembering that this cry should not count against the infinitely more weighty words of our Lord: Father Forgive Them, for They Know no What They Do.
- Avoid promoting the superstitious notion that the Jewish people are reprobate, accursed, reserved for a destiny of suffering.
- Avoid speaking of the Jews as if the first members of the Church had not been Jews.
In 1993 ICCJ published "Jews and Christians in Search of a Common Religious Basis for Contributing Towards a Better World." This document "contains both separate Jewish perspectives and Christian perspectives concerning mutual communication and cooperation as well as a joint view of a common religious basis for Jews and Christians to work together for a better world..."
The ICCJ runs a website, Jewish-Christian Relations, "which is devoted to fostering mutual respect and understanding between Christians and Jews around the world."
In more recent years the ICCJ and its members increasingly engaged in the Abrahamic dialogue: the encounter between Jews, Christians and Muslims.