VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians and Jews must work together to fight all forms of discrimination and persecution, Pope Francis told a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“Where any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnicity, the good of the entire society is in danger,” the pope said Oct. 24. “Sadly I am thinking of the suffering, marginalization and real persecution that some Christians are experiencing in different parts of the world.”

“Let us join forces to promote a culture of encounter, respect, understanding and mutual forgiveness,” Pope Francis said.


Reaffirming the church’s “condemnation of every form of anti-Semitism,” the pope recognized the center’s work to fight racism and intolerance, to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and to promote mutual understanding.

Collaborative efforts are needed especially in educating Christians and Jews for a future of even greater understanding and cooperation, the pope said. New generations need to acquire “passion for encountering and learning about the other” and that can only happen if those who have had personal experiences of dialogue share them.

“Continue to transmit to the young the value of a common effort to resist building walls and instead build bridges between our cultures and faith traditions,” the pope asked of the group.