20:21 GMT20 June 2021
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    The Military Religious Freedom Foundation group was outraged to find out that one Washington agency working with the US military shared a controversial sermon on its website blaming the death of God’s son on Jews.

    “Jesus lived. You killed him. God raised him. We saw him. Say sorry,” US Navy Chaplain Lt. Aristotle Rivera reportedly preached to servicemen at a North Carolina military base ahead of the Easter celebration on 4 April.

    The chaplain is believed to have relayed a wild interpreted a passage from the New Testament's Acts of the Apostles, describing how Peter was preaching to “men of Israeli” about Jesus Christ’s death and spiritual redemption. In Lt. Aristotle Rivera’s words, Jews were to blame and they should be bitterly apologetic about this.

    What has surprised many and caused outrage was that the sermon was apparently posted online on 30 March on the website of The Washington Headquarters Services the government agency providing administrative services to US military departments.

    According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which first reported the news, the post has since been taken down after remaining online for a month, but only after it received an avalanche of “peddling bigotry” complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The anti-discrimination group said that the appeal was made on behalf of 32 outraged military and civilian personnel from the Washington’s defence community. The majority of them were Jews.

    ​The anger was shared by another organisation, the Jewish War Veterans, who urged an investigation of the situation and Lt. Rivera personally, insisting he should apologise for his controversial sermon. Moreover, they're demanding that the Department of Defense acknowledge that the article, which has since been removed, was “anti-Semitic” in nature.

    Jesus Christ, Jews, Israel, United States
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