Synagogues closed, church open

Yad L'Achim activists say missionary church continues operating in Ashdod: 'If synagogues are prohibited, no reason to allow church service'

Ben Shaul ,

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As thousands of synagogues in Israel closed their doors due to directives by competent authorities and the police worked hard against individual prayer organizations, it turns out that there are those - l'havdil - who are operating a missionary center without interruption and without any enforcement.

A follow-up conducted by Yad L'Achim at "Kehilat Beit Hillel" Church, a branch of the "Messianic Jews" cult in Ashdod, indicates that it runs a live broadcast of religious ceremonies attended by people from the sect.

"It may be that the number of participants is larger, but the photographs we have appear to show that six are the smallest and 13 the largest," notes Yad L'Achim.

Members of the anti-missionary organization have contacted authorities - both city council members and the Israel Police - two weeks ago and warned of the prohibited activity, but so far they have not encountered any real activity to stop the phenomenon, and the missionaries continue to gather uninterrupted in their compound on HaOrgim Street 20, Ashdod.

"We counted six times when the missionaries gathered at the scene and we informed the police in real time, but except for one time when the police stopped the ceremony, the other times it continued uninterrupted even two hours after informing the police and giving them the exact location where it is being executed and the other details," the organization stressed.

"However, even after the only time the police stopped the ceremony, the place was still active and the police no longer arrive. This is a Christian cult that works to convert Jews in city centers," they added.

"If they're enforcing and prohibiting holding prayers in a closed place, there's no reason for this sect to be excepted. Letting the missionaries continue is seven times more outrageous in view of the fact that they were active even when minyan was banned in all forms and in some cases police locked the synagogues themselves."



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