A large sports stadium owned by the Municipality of Jerusalem is set to be used for at least two major missionary-sponsored events in the coming months - and Jerusalem city councilman Arieh King is demanding that something be done to stop further rentals of the space to such groups.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, King said that while such events had taken place in Israel many times, this was the first time the Jerusalem Municipality had been involved in providing space for them.
“Previous events were held in privately-owned spaces,” he said. “The Jerusalem Municipality is the owner of the Arena Stadium, where these events are to take place. It's very clear who these groups are and what their purpose is. There is no excuse for this.”
King said that he was involved in a project that will help identify such events, whose purpose is often wrapped in misleading appearances designed to fool Jews into attending – with the event's true purpose revealed only when unwitting attendees participate in the event.
“We already have a staff in place to identify such events in Jerusalem, and it was through this group we discovered the nature of the upcoming events.”
The group, he said, will expand its activities to the rest of Israel. He has also enlisted the help of anti-missionary group Yad L'achim in the project, he said.
The Arena stadium can hold up to 12,000 people, and the missionaries are planning to bring thousands of people to the event, as well as attract locals.
“This kind of activity is illegal, and I cannot understand how the Jerusalem Municipality can sponsor it,” said King. “I have asked the Attorney General to intervene. Even if there is financial damage to the city, it would be better than sustaining the spiritual damage to Jews.
Unfortunately,” he added, “we all realize that we are dealing with a very wealthy group that is able to use its money to 'blind' politicians, rabbis, and leaders,” he added.