A new Israeli television channel launched last week actively works to missionize Jews to Christianity – despite a legal ban on missionary activity.
GOD TV, an international Christian media network which broadcasts in almost 200 countries around the world, launched its Hebrew-language channel in Israel last week, in conjunction with the HOT television service provider.
The seven-year deal with HOT provides GOD TV’s Hebrew channel with access to a subscriber base of over 700,000 – the largest cable service provider in Israel.
While Israeli law prohibits overt missionary efforts on broadcasts, GOD TV CEO Ward Simpson explicitly stated that the new channel’s purpose is to preach “the gospel of Jesus”.
“GOD TV has been given government permission to broadcast the gospel of Jesus Christ – Yeshua the Messiah – in Israel on cable TV in the Hebrew language. Never before, as far as we know in the history of the world, has this ever been done,” Simpson said in a video statement.
On the network’s website, GOD TV says that the new channel is intended to help “local Messianic leaders to share the gospel freely in Israel” and to encourage Israeli Jews to become Christians.
“We want Jewish viewers to embrace the fact that Jesus is theirs.”
Despite the network’s overt plans to use the channel to missionize Jews, Israel's Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council granted HOT a license to broadcast the GOD TV channel.
Council chairman Asher Biton told Haaretz that he had been unaware that the new channel planned to engage in missionary activity, adding that he has ordered an investigation into the matter.
When asked if the license to broadcast the new channel could be terminated, Biton said that if the channel violates anti-missionary regulations, it could be taken off the air.