Alert: Missionaries Step Up Activities to Convert Jews in Israel
ALERT: MISSIONARIES STEP UP ACTIVITIES TO CONVERT JEWS IN ISRAEL
In recent years, there has been a phenomenal growth in the number of Israelis converting to Christianity through the efforts of Evangelical missionaries who use “Messianic Judaism” to deceptively describe their form of “Christianity for Jews”. These Israeli converts claim they are more Jewish than ever and proudly refer to themselves as “Messianic Jews.”
The media has lately published numerous reports of violence and purported “terrorist acts,” supposedly conducted by extremist Jews, against “Hebrew-Christian” and “Messianic Jewish” missionaries in the State of Israel.
Jews for Judaism is the leading international counter-missionary organization that monitors these actives and educates the Jewish community about the threat posed by deceptive and aggressive missionary groups targeting Jews for conversion. While raising awareness about the agenda of such groups is critical to Jewish survival, we are extremely concerned by these reports.
Although Jews for Judaism, along with all segments of the Jewish community, remains united against missionary attempts to convert us to Christianity, we strongly condemn any act of violence against “Messianic Jewish” and “Jews for Jesus” groups or individuals. Disagreement with deceptive tactics and differences in belief can never justify actions that are an anathema to our Jewish tradition. Such actions can only strengthen the hand of those who seek to destroy the spiritual foundations of the Jewish community and separate us from our faith.
However, our condemnation of violence, must not blind us to the frightening reality of what is happening today in our beloved Jewish State:
● Most missionaries have deceptively convinced many Israelis that “Messianic Judaism” is a legitimate expression of our Jewish faith and totally avoid mention of their belief that Jesus is G-d. There are between 15,000 and 20,000 self-identified “Messianic Jews” currently living in Israel. Using Hebrew terminology, misappropriated Jewish symbols and distortions of traditional Jewish texts, many are active in missionary efforts across the country.
● There are more than 130 identified “Messianic Jewish” churches and groups in Israel. These missionary centers are largely funded and supported by evangelical Christian groups based outside of Israel. These organizations publicly boast of their desire to convert Jews to Christianity and, at the same time, contribute financially to Israeli society.
● Through a campaign of subtle infiltration, we are witnessing a substantial increase in targeted proselytizing activities in the Israeli Army, summer camps and among such vulnerable populations as terrorist victims, the elderly, Holocaust survivors, secular and disillusioned youth, and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.
● Aliyah to Israel by “Messianic Jewish” missionaries is encouraged and supported by a host of Christian groups and has grown exponentially in the past two years. Through litigation and lobbying, these missionaries are working to change Israel’s “Law of Return” so as to make it easier for “Messianic Jewish” missionaries to become Israeli citizens.
● In a desire to obtain Christian friendship and funding, many Israeli politicians publicly endorse and associate with these missionary leaders, and assist them in attaining a stronger foothold in Israel. In so doing, they ignore their deceptive conversionary activities and theological teachings, namely that all unconverted Jews will burn in hell for eternity and that the extermination of most Israeli Jews will be a necessary prelude to their eagerly anticipated “Second Coming” of Jesus.
These challenges are serious, but not insurmountable. Winning back Jews, ensnared by messianic missionaries cannot be accomplished neither by violence nor a purposeful ignorance of today’s missionary menace. However, it can be accomplished through time-tested programs of compassion, dialogue, integrity, outreach, and setting examples of authentic Jewish living that embody the highest principles of our faith.
Jews for Judaism continues to successfully respond to the serious challenges ahead. We welcome your support and involvement.
“He who saves a single soul…is as if he saved an entire world.” Talmud Sanhedrin 37a
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