Official figures on hate crimes in England and Wales show that a Jewish person is four times more likely to be the victim of a hate crime in the UK than a member of any other faith group.

The Home Office released its data for Hate Crime for 2018/2019 and revealed that hate crimes against Jewish people more than doubled, with 1,326 religious hate crime offences targeting Jewish people, compared with 672 in the previous year.

Anti-Semitism makes up 18% of all religious hate crimes. Just under half (47%) of religious hate crime offences were targeted against Muslim people (3,530 offences), a similar proportion to last year, with an increase of Islamophobic hate crimes of around 19% since last year’s statistics.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAAS) has crunched the numbers and say these figures mean there is an average of over three hate crimes directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales. And when the small size of the Jewish population is put into consideration, these figures show that Jews are statistically almost four times more likely to be the targets of hate crimes than any other religious group.

Some 255 hate crimes per 100,000 of the Jewish population in 2017/18 rising to 503 hate crimes in 2018/19. What makes these figures more shocking is that it is widely believed that anti-Semitic hate crimes are under-reported. And these figures do not reflect the extent of anti-Semitic material and abuse on social media, where an online hate monitor says “anti-Semitism is most common form of bigotry on the internet”.

It is no wonder that Jewish communities across the UK are being told to “keep doors closed and locked” at their synagogues in the wake of recent security threats against Jewish places of worship in Europe.

The Community Security Trust, which overseas security for synagogues and Jewish centres in the UK, made the recommendation in a statement backed by six synagogue movements and the Office of the Chief Rabbi.

We must continue to pray for the Jewish community in the UK and around the world as this ungodly hatred continues to rise. As Christians who love Israel, let’s stand up and speak out on their behalf.

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