Two influential members of Israel’s Knesset have introduced a bill to outlaw teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Israel and sentence violators to prison.
Israel already bans Christians from proselytizing minors but this new bill will go even further and “ban any and all efforts to tell people about Jesus.”
From All Israel News, “EXCLUSIVE: Two Knesset members propose legislation to outlaw sharing the Gospel in Israel and send violators to prison – could it become law?”:
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Is it possible that the Israeli government this year could pass legislation making it illegal for people to share the Gospel message in the very land where Jesus was born, raised, preached, died, buried and rose from the dead?
As Palm Sunday and Easter approach – the two most sacred days on the calendar for those who follow Jesus as both God and Messiah – two members of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) introduced a bill last week that would ban any and all efforts to tell people about Jesus.
The bill would send violators to prison.
[…] The proposed legislation would outlaw all efforts by people of one faith who, in any way, want to discuss or try to persuade people of other faiths to consider changing their current religious beliefs.
The punishment for doing so would be “one year imprisonment.”
If the conversation is with minor – someone under the age of 18 – the punishment would be “two years imprisonment.”
This bill would apply to people having spiritual conversations with Israelis of any religion.
However, in their official explanation of the bill, the two Israeli legislators specifically emphasized the warning to stop Christians, in particular.
The bill’s primary objective, therefore, appears to be making it illegal for followers of Jesus (“Yeshua” in Hebrew) to explain why they believe that Jesus is both Messiah and God with the hope that Israelis might consider following Him.
The bill does not only make a simple personal conversation about Jesus with another individual a crime.
It would also make it illegal for “someone who solicits a person – directly, digitally, by mail or online – in order to convert his religion.”
Thus, producing and publishing online videos explaining the Gospel to Jewish or Muslim people in Israel – and to those of any other religious faiths – would suddenly become illegal.
Publishing books, other printed literature, online articles, podcasts, or other forms of media that explains the life and ministry of Jesus and His message found in the New Testament would also become illegal.
So would discussing the Gospel message via email, text messages, written letters and/or on social media, including answering questions initiated by people who don’t follow Jesus.
All Israel News has the full text of the bill.
This is how Christians are treated when they preach the Gospel in Israel:
A new Pew Research poll in America found that Evangelicals have a +39 favorability rating towards Jews but Jews have a -40 favorability rating of Evangelicals.
Anti-Christian attitudes are even worse in Israel.
In 2019, the pro-Israel Christian TV broadcasting network Daystar had their headquarters burned to the ground by suspected Jewish extremists who were never caught.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem warned last year that “our presence in Jerusalem is under threat.”
“Our churches are threatened by Israeli radical fringe groups,” Patriarch Theofilos III said. “At the hands of these Zionist extremists the Christian community in Jerusalem is suffering greatly. Our brothers and sisters are the victims of hate crimes. Our churches are regularly desecrated and vandalized. Our clergy are subject to frequent intimidation.”
Just last month, a Jewish extremist from America desecrated a statue of Jesus inside a Jerusalem church.
“We cannot have idols in Jerusalem,” the Jewish-American vandal said. “This is a very serious matter, we cannot worship stones of false gods in Jerusalem.”
A poll from Gallup released last week found that Israel is losing support among American Democrats, though support among Republicans – especially Evangelicals — remains strong.
For the first time ever, Democrats said “their sympathies in the Middle East now lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis, 49% versus 38%,” Gallup reported:
Today’s attitudes reflect an 11-percentage-point increase over the past year in Democrats’ sympathy with the Palestinians. At the same time, the percentages sympathizing more with the Israelis (38%) and those not favoring a side (13%) have dipped to new lows.
Sympathy toward the Palestinians is also at a new high among political independents, up six points to 32%. However, more independents still lean toward the Israelis (49%).
Republicans’ views are unchanged, with nearly eight in 10 (78%) continuing to sympathize more with the Israelis while 11% side with the Palestinians.
All Israel News said the bill to outlaw teaching the Gospel in Israel has a solid chance of passing now that Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish members control the legislature.
“These members are far more aggressive in this legislative session than ever before in pushing for legislations to be passed that advance their theological worldview,” All Israel News reported.