Evangelical Christian prayers in Jerusalem (illustration)
Evangelical Christian prayers in Jerusalem (illustration)Flash 90

The cancellation of a baptism held by Jehovah's Witness missionaries converting Jews in Raanana has given hope to activists in Jerusalem seeking to stop a massive Christian missionary conference at the "Arena," a site belonging to the Jerusalem municipality.

In a letter distributed to members of the Jerusalem city council, Councilman Arieh King quoted from a letter written by Raanana Mayor Ze'ev Bielski, who wrote that he will not permit the baptism conversion.

After citing the letter, King wrote, "if Raanana had the understanding to cancel the missionary event, is it possible that in the Holy City, whose residents we have merited to serve, we won't be able to...cancel the pretext for a disturbance quickly, before it will be difficult to cancel the event and to minimize the damage to Jerusalem?"

King told Arutz Sheva at length about the missionary conference, which is to take place in May. He explained that the event, which is expected to be followed by another similar event in August, poses greater danger than past missionary events because it isn't to take place at private locales like they did - rather it is to be held at a facility of the municipality.

"For several years there have been activities in Jerusalem by (missionary) organizations, and when they go into their sites we see that they don't hide the conversion of Jews from their religion," King described. "The matter is exposed on their internet pages, and if up until now their events were in private spaces, this time the plan is to hold the event at the municipality's 'Arena.'"

Based on the information published on the internet, King said the conference will include missionaries from around the world who seek to convince people to convert to Christianity.

"They are coming to discuss important topics, including the position of Christianity among Jews and the importance of Christian activities among Jews in Jerusalem. The hall can contain 12,000 people, and thousands and maybe tens of thousands will come from Israel and abroad," warned King.

In response to King's demand that the municipality's legal adviser inspect the legality of the event given Israel's anti-missionary laws, the municipality said, "Arieh King's request will be inspected at the legal department."