During the week covered by this review, we received 3 articles on the following subjects:
Christians in Israel
HaMevasser, August 14, 2019; Kehala Kadisha, August 14, 2019
The first article reported that over one thousand Haredi Jews gathered in Jerusalem for a conference aimed at bemoaning the rise of missionary work in the city, educate those in attendance about missionary work, and recruit volunteers to confront missionaries. The event was hosted by Yad L’Achim, and featured many speakers, including a former missionary. This former missionary told the audience that during his missionary days he had been informed that one converted Jew is more valuable than one thousand converted gentiles. At the end of the event, those in attendance stood up and cited the “Shema” prayer as a sign of solidarity with the anti-missionary cause.
The second article reported the same event that appeared in last week’s review, about a group from Yad L’Achim who prevented a “mass baptism” of Jews in the Sea of Galilee. The event had been organized by a church from Tel Aviv, which Yad L’Achim promised to watch closely. A Yad L’Achim spokesperson further said: “We will continue to stand on guard against this church and against other missionary churches. We will reach those Jews who were supposed to be baptized, and we will show them the missionary lie as well as expose them to the Judaism that is being robbed of them through force and lies, through the exploitation of their ignorance and neediness.”
Christians in Israel
The Jerusalem Post, August 15, 2019
This article was written by Joel C. Rosenberg, who was invited by Mike Pompeo to give one of the keynote addresses at a conference on religious freedom in Washington DC. The conference included over 1,000 religious and civic leaders representing over 100 countries. Rosenberg’s talk was entitled, “Advancing Religious Freedom in the Middle East: An Israeli Evangelical Perspective”. Rosenberg talked about Israel as a model of religious freedom, and said that even though Christians only make up 2% of the population, they are free to worship. He did note that Christians face challenges from the Haredi community, who are in disproportionate control of rules regarding marriage, divorce, and immigration. Rosenberg also discussed his travels across North Africa and the Middle East, where he said there are positive signs of progress in relations between Arab leaders and Christians. Rosenberg has been taking Christian delegations to places such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan, to meet with such leaders as President Sisi, King Abdullah II, and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.