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This Week in AG History -- August 16, 1941

This Week in AG History -- August 16, 1941

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In June 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union in what became one of the bloodiest periods of modern European history. German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, as part of this new onslaught, announced the "Final Solution," instructing commando units to go from town to town, rounding up Jewish people, stripping them, lining them up, and shooting them with automatic weapons.

In stark contrast to the anti-Semitism exhibited in Europe and elsewhere, the Assemblies of God during the 1930s and 1940s defended the rights of Jewish people. Shortly after the implementation of the "Final Solution," an article by Alexander Marks in the August 16, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel condemned Hitler's "diabolical work." Marks wrote, "When we find Hitler appointing men for the sole purpose of persecuting a helpless minority, we can see hell's gates have been opened wide."

Marks stated that Christians owe a great debt to the Jewish people. He noted, "We as Christians ought to give them the hand of fellowship. Let us treat them as friends and not as strangers. They are passing through a dark night of sorrow and it is for us to bring to them the Gospel of salvation and comfort as revealed in our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Assemblies of God, on many levels, opposed anti-Semitism and sought to give honor to the Jewish people as Abraham's descendants and "God's chosen people." Significantly, the most prominent Assemblies of God systematic theologian during this period, Myer Pearlman, was raised in a Jewish household. Pearlman helped to shape the practical and theological response of the Assemblies of God to the tragedy of the Jewish Holocaust.

Numerous European Pentecostals who opposed the Nazis lost their lives. Some American Assemblies of God missionaries, such as Gustav Herbert Schmidt (the founder of a Pentecostal Bible school in Danzig, now Gdansk), became German prisoners of war.

Read the article, "Our Debt to Israel" by Alexander Marks, on page 3 of the August 16, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• "The Power of the Word," by Kenyon Alexander Palmer

• "God's Blood Bank in Heaven," by J. Narver Gortner

• "Spiritual Conflicts in French West Africa," by Virginia Weidman

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

 

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