MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, January 27th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. The scriptures teach that evil exists and that each of us must be ready to confront that truth. Here’s WORLD commentator Trillia Newbell.
TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: From the Warsaw ghetto where Jews were transported to concentration camps came the cries of “never again.” Never again would people suffer under the tyranny of anti-Semitism. Never again would there be a mass execution of innocent lives.
Today is the 75th commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp where an estimated 1.1 million people died. As someone who values life at all stages and in all forms, I join those who have ever proclaimed never again.
When I think about the holocaust, genocide of European Jews in World War II, it’s hard for me to imagine that anything could ever happen like this again. Of course we know that evil like this is not only possible but has indeed happened again.
Consider the Rwandan genocide of 1994. During 100 days, an entire ethic group in Rwanda was nearly wiped out. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed—men, women, children. No one was spared. This happened in our lifetime. And if we are honest, we must admit that not many of us blinked an eye. Not many of us were aware.
It’s important for us to remember tragedies such as these so that “never again” doesn’t become “that happened again.” It can be easy to become apathetic and forget. Evil like this seems so unimaginable. And it is because it has happened and yet seems unimaginable that we must stay aware.
At the end of 2019, at least three anti-Semitic incidents rocked the United States.
In Washington, D.C., vandals tagged a synagogue with swastikas; in Jersey City, gun-wielding terrorists killed a police officer and three other people inside a kosher supermarket; and in Beverly Hills, California, someone broke into a synagogue and desecrated symbols and property. These are only a few well-documented incidents of many others we may never hear about.
No, these aren’t necessarily the signs of an impending genocide. But they are evidence of hate that should not be ignored.
We don’t have the power in and of ourselves to stop mass killings but we can be diligent. We can speak for those who are vulnerable to such hate. We can proclaim a better way. And we can value every person walking on this earth regardless of his or her ethnicity or religion. This is non-negotiable for Christians. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves and our impartial Lord doesn’t give us qualifiers.
Today, as we remember the liberation of Auschwitz, let’s ask the Lord to give us the fortitude to stand up and speak up when we see injustice. And let us pray for our Jewish neighbors who likely feel threatened and fearful. May we be able to say and it be true: never again—never again.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.