Hundreds of Polish Christians and Jews march in solidarity with Israel in Warsaw. (Photo: Edward Ćwierz/ Facebook)
Last month, Breaking Israel News published a story about a pro-Israel rally in Warsaw, Poland. The ongoing story behind that rally is even more amazing, revealing a an inspirational story of how Polish Christians’ love for Israel grew out of the ashes of the Holocaust.
The story begins with Edward Ćwierz, who helped found the Cenacle Church of Kielce in south central Poland in 1992. He is also a senior pastor of their sister-church, the Cenacle Tent of David in Warsaw, which organized the “March of Support for Israel” on January 10th. The march, intended to show support in the face of rising European anti-Semitism, was well-attended, with hundreds of Christians coming from all over Poland to show their support for Israel.
Ćwierz told Breaking Israel News that such a gathering would have been unheard of ten years ago, making him optimistic about the changing relations between Jews and Christians in Poland.
“We have seen enormous positive changes over the last 25 years. We have a growing movement, especially in the communities of evangelical Christians, in the direction of a return to the Jewish roots of Christianity. It is a process, but its effects are visible,” he said.
Ćwierz became actively interested in Israel in 2003. He and some of his followers began to visit Israel on regular basis, not as tourists, but to pray for the Jewish Nation and to bless it. Ćwierz explained, “This was the time when we received a revelation that God still loves Israel and that His covenant with them is eternally alive. We also believe there are many promises to Israel that have yet to be fulfilled.”
Their church sees Israel as part of the Messianic process.”We are at a strategic moment in history,” Ćwierz said. “God is restoring Israel, gathering it back to its land, setting the stage for the coming of the Messiah to Israel.”
Their connection with the Jewish people was further strengthened in 2007 when they began meeting with Israeli youth delegations. The meetings were inspired by a desire to confront the city of Kielce’s tragic history with the Jews. Before World War II, almost one-third of the 23,000 residents were Jewish. During the Holocaust, almost all of the Jews from Kielce died in the Treblinka death camp.
After the war, about 200 Jews returned to Kielce to rebuild their lives. In July, 1946, a pogrom occurred in which 42 Jews were killed, sparking a migration of Jews from Poland. The March of the Living, a Holocaust educational program which brings Jewish people from all over the world to Poland, visits the city on its trips.
Meeting students on the March of the Living has had a profound effect on the pastor and his congregation. “Faced with young people at the cemetery, we feel the urge to say we are sorry for the pogroms and anti-Semitism, but we also feel a need to express our support and love for Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News.
In a strange twist of fate and a powerful fixing of an historic evil, the friends they visit when they go to Israel are Holocaust survivors and their children. “Meeting these people is always a big blessing for both sides,” Ćwierz said, “and our circle of friends is constantly growing.”
Much of Ćwierz’s connection to the Jews is driven and shaped by Poland’s history with the Jews. “God is giving our nation a second chance, a chance to stand with Israel better than we did in the past. We want to seize this historical opportunity to change ways of death into the ways of life,” he shared.
The miraculous coming together of Jews and Christians in Kielce is not without its detractors. Their pro-Israel rally, though successful, became a target for hatred. The church’s Facebook page and Youtube channel received so many anti-Semitic entries that they had to close down the comments.
This has not deterred them from moving forward. On 27th of February, the church will host a conference called “Israel and the Nations”. Ćwierz also regularly teaches in churches all over Poland on the subject of Israel. In 2014, he published a book entitled “Poland-Israel, a Second Chance from God”. July 3, 2016 is the 70th anniversary of the Kielce pogrom, and he is organizing a “March of Life for Israel” through the streets of the city, inviting his friends from Israel and Germany.
Ćwierz is quick to point out that guilt is not their primary motivation. Rather, the Bible is his group’s true source of love for Israel: “Our inspiration is not historical anti-Semitism. It is the love which God has for Israel, which we find in the Bible.
“We want to tell the truth about the past and express our support for Israel and to oppose all forms of contemporary anti-Semitism,” Ćwierz said. “My dream is to see thousands of Poles express public support for Israel.”
He added, “May God bless you and your country with peace!”
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
Dec 26, 2019 0by Algemeiner Staff The synagogue in Groningen, Holland. Photo: Tenar80 via Wikicommons. In what may be paradigmatic of Jewish life in Europe today, a synagogue in Holland essentially runs itself as...
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The verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) Shema Yisrael – “Hear Oh Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is One” – is understood to (in Wikipedia’s words) “encapsulate the monotheistic essence of Judaism.” It’s understood to be a declaration not only there is one and only one God, but also that God’s oneness is all-inclusive. God includes every particle of existence is within Him. God is not just ruling over the world. God encompasses the world. Time and space and all of us are within God. Nothing stands outside of God’s Oneness, and God encompasses all existence equally
Watching events unfold in Israel is an experience in split-screen living. On the right side of the screen is the chaos outside our gates, in neighboring lands. And on the left side of the screen is the chaos inside.
On the left side of the screen on Tuesday, 15,000 Israelis gathered Tuesday evening outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to demand legal justice for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of what they view as an anti-democratic usurpation of political power by Israel’s legal fraternity.
It hard to believe that two weeks ago, Israel was on the brink of war. With the Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing nearly 500 missiles from Gaza into Israel within a 48-hour period, even Tel Aviv was put on alert and certain train routes were canceled. My mind immediately raced to a Christian group I was going to host for Shabbat in Jerusalem Israel – Pastor Leroy Armstrong of Proclaiming the Word Ministries.
Turkey’s little remarked on but ongoing mistreatment of historic churches is increasingly reflective of that nation’s growing sense of Islamic supremacism.
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Sorek was the grandson of a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust, and was universally described as a kind, gentle soul. His funeral was interrupted by Palestinians shooting off fireworks celebrating his murder.
Two terrorists, including one affiliated with Hamas were arrested for the murder. And at the time, Hamas said in a statement, “We salute the hero fighters, sons of our people, who carried out the heroic operation which killed a soldier of the occupation army,” Hamas said in a statement. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad also hailed the killing as “heroic and bold.”