Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Good News From Israel

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
A bill to restrict evangelism in Israel will not proceed. The retirement from the Knesset of its sponsor, Rabbi Raphael Pinchasi, means the bill will not get further legislative consideration, Compass Direct News said. Pinchasi, of the Orthodox Jewish Shas party, had enough votes, including those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet, for the first reading of the bill, introduced last May. Messianic Jews and Christians in Israel opposed the bill, which called for three years' imprisonment or a $12,500 fine for proselytizing. "This is extremely good news," the Messianic Action Committee said. "It means that for the first time in over two years, the legislative threat will no longer be of concern to Messianic Jews and evangelical believers." A similar bill was withdrawn in 1997 because its sponsor retired. This good news from Israel was confirmed April 14 by an email from Rev. John Ross, Chief Executive of Christian Witness To Israel, when he wrote "Please rejoice with us that the anti-missionary Bill before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has fallen. The Bill fell because its sponsor has chosen to withdraw from public service and will not stand for re-election to the Knesset in the May polls. However, continue to pray for Jewish Christians who are facing severe opposition and even outright persecution for their faith. Similar attempts to use legislation to marginalize Christian witness in Israel may be attempted in the future. Watch and pray!"
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