Bishop Eddie Long Apologizes to Jewish Group
Bishop Eddie Long has apologized for last Sunday’s service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church that drew the ire of Jewish groups and religious scholars.
“The ceremony was not my suggestion, nor was it my intent, to participate in any ritual that is offensive in any manner to the Jewish community,” Long wrote in a letter sent Saturday to Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League.
Footage of the service, viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube, showed Long being wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and carried upon a throne.
“He’s a king. God has blessed him,” said Colorado Rabbi Ralph Messer before covering Long in a scroll “[that] may still have the dust of Auschwitz and Birkenau.” Messer referred to the Nazi extermination camps in Poland where millions of Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
In his letter to the Anti-Defamation League, Long “[denounced] any action that depicts me as a king, for I am merely just a servant of the Lord.”
Nigut, who said he was “horrified” by the service, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday he appreciated the bishop’s apology.