Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Messianic Jews attacked in Israel

When a group of Messianic Jews went into the streets of the central Israeli city of Rehovot last Wednesday (May 13) and began handing out evangelistic pamphlets, some of the ultra-Orthodox residents of the area became so outraged that they began beating the evangelists and ripping up their literature. Passersby also joined in the fray and destroyed most of the literature.

Those who attack Messianic evangelists, as these did, often falsely claim that missionary activity is illegal in Israel (as if this justifies the violence).  In reality, there is no Israeli law against sharing one's faith with consenting adults. It is only illegal to offer monetary compensation for accepting a new faith or to proselytize minors.

Amazingly enough, when I shared this story with the editor of a Christian magazine here in Toronto this afternoon, he was not even aware that Messianic Jews suffered such abuse in Israel today.  I guess that’s not really surprising or unusual.  Most evangelicals who visit Israel have little idea that there are Christians there and most church leaders who go there are often more interested in meeting leading rabbis than Christian pastors.  In our July edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter, we will be publishing an article on the persecution faced by the followers of Jesus in Israel and the Palestinian Authority called “The Forgotten Church.”  Subscribe today to make sure that you receive it.


Anonymous said...

As a Jewish Christian living in Israel a number of years ago I was made aware of rabbinic hostility to evangelism,missionaries are denied visas; the government hypocritically encourages Christian tourism with ads; evangelical Christians could distribute tracts but prefer to coddle the establishment and ignore messianic Jews and Arab Christians who have fled Israel in thousands because of persecution by Jews on one side and moslems on the other. This hostility to the gospel needs to be understood and addressed by Christians-tom H

Pamela Schuffert said...

I have worked as a missionary among the Jews in the USA for many years periodically, and personally encountered the same hatred and persecution in NYC by militant Orthodox groups such as LUBAVITCH CHABAD and those they inflamed with antiChristian rhetoric.

Such persecution is traditional, dating back 2000 years ago, and will never end until Jesus the Messiah returns.

-Pamela Schuffert