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McMinn County church to host Maus book discussion, after educators remove it from curriculum

St. Paul's Episcopal Church will host the event on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. and people will take part in a conversation about the Holocaust and contemporary antisemitism.

ATHENS, Tenn. — A McMinn County church will host a book discussion about Maus, an award-winning book that discusses the violence and terror Jewish people faced during the Holocaust.

The McMinn County Board of Education recently voted to ban the book from its curriculum, saying that it had inappropriate language and graphic depictions. They voted 10-0 to remove it after a conversation about censoring parts of the book.

Organizers at St. Paul's Episcopal Church said it is important for parishes to discuss the book. They said that too many Christian churches in Europe and the U.S. did not protest the events under the Nazi regime as they unfolded in the 1930s and early 1940s, leading to Nazi Germany killing around 6 million Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Organizers said many churches chose to turn away from the suffering out of a sense that "those events were not their concern." However, they said anti-semitic is still prevalent today and affects communities across the world, and in Tennessee.

"We are committed to standing against hatred and harm," they said. "Together, let's dive into this story so that we might better live out that call in our time and community."

The book discussion starts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 and organizers encourage participants to read Maus ahead of time so they can fully engage with the story.

They also warned people that the book contains some profanity and depictions of genocide.'

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