Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy of Rhode Island and major religious leaders led 600 Catholics, Protestants, and Jews last week in an "Expression of Christian-Jewish Solidarity" prompted by the television showing of the "Holocaust."
Called "Lest We Forget," the demonstration began with a march to the State House Rotunda where participants joined in prayers that "never again" will Jewish people stand alone in the face of persecution or discrimination.
Participants wore "as a badge of honor" the gold Star of David, which Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.
Garrahy said, "We stand here tonight to affirm what this nation of ours is all about. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another degrades all religions. Persecution in any form to any one of us is persecution to all of us."
Father Edward H. Flannery, chairman of the Inter-Religious Committee, Rhode Island Chapter, National Conference of Christians and Jews, said the Holocaust - and the problems of conscience and theology it posed - had been virtually ignored by the non-Jewish community for most of the period since World War II.
"Lately the atmosphere has changed," he said, "Christians have begun to confront the unconfrontable and have begun to probe the roots of anti-Semitism."
Episcopal Bishop Frederick H. Belden of Rhode Island said the fact that neo-Nazism is surfacing in Europe and the United States has become a "frightening thing."
Other participants included Rabbi Jerome S. Gurland, president of the Rhode Island Board of Rabbis, who offered the kaddish; the Rev. Cornelius Williams, president of the black Ministers Alliance of Providence and Vicinity; and Carol Bragg of the American Friends Service Committee.