Daily Israel Report

Missionary Event for Teenagers in Ashdod

A missionary seminar was held for teenagers in Ashdod ten days ago, teaching them how to “witness” to their friends – in violation of Israeli law.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 11/4/2009, 1:04 PM

Israel news photo

A missionary seminar was held for teenagers in Ashdod ten days ago, teaching them how to “witness” to their friends – in violation of Israeli law.

“If you want to change the world for Jesus, this meeting is for you,” states the invitation to the seminar, which reached the Yad L’Achim missionary organization.

At the seminar itself, close to 200 teenagers received instruction on how to approach and persuade youngsters their age to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. The event was held on Thursday, Oct. 22, and included various musical performances. It was organized by the local Beth Hillel congregation; Yad L'Achim said it is not known if this Beth Hillel is affiliated with other Messianic congregations of the same name around the world.

“Thanks to public apathy,” says Yad L’Achim Chairman Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifshitz, “the missionaries continue to act as they please, including breaking the law with abandon.”

Israeli law forbids missionary activity amidst minors. It also forbids offering money or other benefits as an enticement to change one’s religion, but permits all other missionary activity.

The invitation further states, “There will be study sessions in which you will be able to discover how to ‘witness’ in a creative manner to those of your own age in school.”

Complaint Filed With Police
Yad L’Achim says it has filed police complaints against the organizers for violating the law against missionary activity with minors. “Not all of those who participated in the seminar are already Jesus-believers,” a Yad L’Achim staffer told Israel National News, “and attempting to convince them is certainly illegal. In addition, having youths ‘witness’ to other youths in this manner is also illegal.”

“The missionaries continue to do whatever they can to reach their destructive objective of converting as many Jews as possible,” Rabbi Lifshitz said, “even if it involves breaking the law that forbids just such activities.”