Five years ago, there were fifteen thousand Jews in Israel who converted to Christianity. Today, missionaries boast that the number has doubled to thirty thousand. Experts in the counter missionary field are reporting the same alarming rate of Jews who are joining the church.
The fact is missionaries have been successful in evangelizing the most vulnerable Israeli populations. Many know so little about the faith they are being asked to abandon.
“Missionaries actively blur the distinctions between Judaism and Christianity in order to lure Jews who would otherwise reject a straightforward Christian message,” explains Rabbi Tovia Singer, a world-renowned expert on missionary activity.
Surprisingly, aggressive missionary efforts go largely unchecked by government officials. Missionary/proselytizing laws and related border entry regulations are deficient and seldom enforced.
To get an indication of the severity of the problem, there are currently more than 300 messianic organizations active in Israel today, including congregations, “ministries”, schools, Bible studies, and missionary-run guest houses. There are over 200 websites operating in Israel that target the Israeli population with the intention of converting them to Christianity.
Meanwhile, Israel is fast reaching the tipping point where Christian missionary organizations become an accepted part of the Israeli mainstream. For 72 years Israeli society – religious and secular, right wing and left, have argued about the meaning of Jewish identity, but we always drew the line when it came to accepting Christianity.
Partnering with Christian leaders and organizations offers Israel many benefits if it does not cross the line and enable missionary activity. However, key Israeli institutions are actively cooperating with missionaries, giving them free reign to preach their faith among vulnerable Israeli populations.
Beyneynu is a non-profit organization that monitors missionary activity in Israel. They work closely with government and community leaders to create awareness of the challenges facing the public and to facilitate the establishment of proper boundaries in their partnerships with faith-based organizations.
Beyneynu brings awareness through reports, meetings, conferences and consultations with Knesset and municipal representatives, rabbinic leadership throughout Israel, and Israeli-Diaspora organizations such as the Jewish Agency, B’nai B’rith, and the Orthodox Union.
Their goal is to encourage and guide Jewish leadership and Israeli institutions to operate with clear respectful boundaries, and to institute a code of conduct when working with non-Jewish faith-based organizations, especially those with a focus on converting others.
Founder and Director of Beyneynu, Shannon Nuszen, describes the non-profit as a team of former Christians and counter missionary experts who are familiar with the language and tactics of missionaries.
“One of the most common methods employed among missionaries is to present two vastly different versions of their work in Israel: one version to their fellow Christian supporters (generally in America and Europe), and one for the Jewish viewers in Israel. Beyneynu collects critical information that was clearly never meant for a Jewish audience. Much of the material we collect clearly outlines the agenda to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Jewish people. Beyneynu keeps a database of this information and presents it to Jewish leadership.” Nuszen explains.
There is no question that there are many fine, upstanding gentiles who support Israel. And while certain strategic, moral, and political alliances with the non-Jewish world are to be lauded and encouraged, it is both naïve and misleading to deny the serious consequences of Israel’s unregulated relationship with impassioned evangelical Christians.
For more information, and to support Beyneynu, visit us at: www.beyneynu.com