The Lord has recently been highlighting to me the influence of famous people/celebrities who voice concerns over the rise in antisemitism, or express support for Jewish heritage. It reminded me of the Lord leading the Egyptians to bless the Israelites getting ready for the Exodus, and giving favour to them (Exodus 12:36).

We are living in a ‘celebrity culture’ and one of those celebrities is Rachel Riley, a secular Jew famous for her TV appearances on Countdown and Strictly Come Dancing. She spoke at an award ceremony recently, where she received a US paper’s prestigious ‘Warrior for Truth’ award in recognition of her fight against antisemitism.

Rachel Riley on CountdownRachel Riley on Countdown

She was honoured for taking on anti-Semites in the wake of the Labour Antisemitism row by using her public profile to highlight hateful words and actions. Recently she has also helped set up a campaign against abuse online and another campaign against media organisations which either deny or downplay antisemitism.

She said: Others in this fight, saw me standing up. They told me their stories; the personal impact of antisemitism. The pain, the fear of being targeted by trolls for abuse … Their stories inspired me ... here’s what I concluded. In the face of hate, there is a moral duty to act. I have a voice and I am going to use it. But I also have a brain too. I’m going to use everything I have. We must speak out. If we’re quiet, the conversation is by default dominated by extremists. We have to speak with intelligence.”

Others, including Robert Rinder, have used both Jewish heritage and celebrity status to increase awareness of Holocaust education and intolerance; while the BBC’s TV programme ‘Who do you think you are?’ has revealed that many celebrities have Jewish ancestry.

I sense we need to pray that the various media platforms will be used for good – to increase understanding, tolerance and education.

  • Please pray for good coverage and a greater understanding for all generations of viewers who watch these programmes;
  • Pray for Bible-based believers to have good, deep conversations with friends and family and the wider community;
  • Pray that the UK Church will see that the ‘Israelites’ in their Bibles are the same people of Jewish faith and of the Land of Israel today;
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide these celebrities to a deep revelation of Jesus as Messiah, of their Jewish roots and an increased passion for speaking out for the Jewish community;
  • Pray that we all become Warriors for TruthGod’s Truth – and are led by the Lord into any action we need to take.
  • Pray for Social Media to be used for good and not harm on these issues.
  • Pray particularly for CFI staff as they run CFI’s social media platforms. Ask for wisdom, protection, greater interactions and more use of our CFI UK website too (where teaching is available).
  • Pray for the planning of many CFI events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in January, as we endeavour to stand with the Jewish communities in the UK. Pray too for our new ‘Helen’s Story’ Holocaust exhibition, based in the CFI Northern office, as it is available to groups and churches. For more information, watch this video or contact me at julia.soakell@cfi.org.uk
Julia Soakell

October 2019