A delegation of dozens of South Koreans visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in Poland say they are there to ask for forgiveness for centuries of Christian anti-Semitism.

“We write this letter to say sorry and ask you to forgive us,” their open letter said. “We visited Yad Vashem and Auschwitz, all these sufferings experienced for 1,700 years in the Christian world are our fault. …We are truly sorry for what Christians have done to you.”

An open letter to the Jewish people by a group of South Korean Christians asking for forgiveness for Christian anti-Semitism. Credit: Alex Traiman.

The visit by the South Koreans coincides with Yom Hashoah and the March of the Living event. More than 10,000 Jewish and non-Jewish youth from 40 countries, together with dozens of Holocaust survivors and dignitaries from around the globe, will participate in the 31st annual event—the almost-2-mile march from Auschwitz to Birkenau—to pay tribute to all victims of the Holocaust and call for an end to anti-Semitism.

“We know the tragic history of Israel; we thought that is not God wants. We came here to bless the Jewish people to show our true love for Israel,” a member of the Korean delegation told JNS.

The Korean man said that his group recognizes this their faith stems from the Jewish people and as such, feels a kinship.

“We belong to special group of Christians in Korea; we know the faith we have is from Israel. The faith we have is from the patriarch Abraham. We believe we belong to the greater Israel,” he said.