According to the tourists, a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum prompted them to go out and seek the forgiveness of the Jewish people. Yet a member of an organization protesting missionary activity says the group's real goal is to appease Jews and bring them closer to the Christian religion.
In the leaflets, the tourists expressed their apology for the acts of murder and plunder during the Crusades and for the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, which they said the Christian Church kept quiet about.
"All this torment you suffered for 1,700 years in the Christian world is our fault," the translated flyers read.
Tourists hand out leaflets to Jerusalem residents
One of the tourists explained that the group had recently toured Yad Vashem and was shocked by the terrible sights of what Jews experienced during the Holocaust, which made them go out on the streets and express regret.
He said they believed that Jesus would want them to apologize for the fact that many of his believers used God's name to persecute the Jewish people.
Some of the passersby who received the apology notes were moved by the odd gesture, and stayed to talk to the group members. Others see it as an initiative by Christian missionaries interested in propagating the Christian faith among Jews.
Binyamin Vulcan, field coordinator at the anti-missionary Yad L'Achim organization, said that he was familiar with such activities and that upon receiving information on the group of tourists he had sent activists to drive them away.