Pope Francis has condemned the “barbaric resurgence” of anti-Semitism around the world, linking it to the rise of populism.
Next week’s 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp should serve as a reminder not to become indifferent, Francis said to a delegation from the human rights and research group, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
“It is troubling to see, in many parts of the world, an increase in selfishness and indifference, lack of concern for others and the attitude that says life is good as long as it is good for me, and when things go wrong, anger and malice are unleashed,” Francis said.
“This creates a fertile ground for the forms of factionalism and populism we see around us, where hatred quickly springs up … where hatred is seminated,” he said.
“Even recently, we have witnessed a barbaric resurgence of cases of anti-Semitism.”
He did not specifically mention any countries or populist movements.
Last month in eastern France, scores of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a cemetery, hours before lawmakers adopted a resolution equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
France has Europe’s biggest Jewish community – around 550,000 – and anti-Semitic attacks are common, with more than 500 alone in 2018.
“Once more, I firmly condemn every form of anti-Semitism,” Francis told the delegation.