And some people think this is God’s chosen people. Nonsense! This is the very mentality that Jesus met with in the Pharisees and He condemned them because they were of their father, the devil (John 8:44). Though hatred of Christians is not new in Israel, the fact that members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition put forward a bill that would criminalize Christians for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us just how emboldened they have become.
All Israel News reports:
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.
Should it begin to gain traction inside the Knesset and begin moving towards passage, the bill could create a major new headache for Netanyahu’s government by sparking a serious clash with Evangelical Christians in the United States and around the world who are among the biggest supporters of the State of Israel.
In the United States alone, there are some 60 million Evangelicals.
Globally, there are an estimated 600 million, according to the World Evangelical Alliance.
The bill could also draw sharp criticism from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, in the executive branch, among U.S. governors and others who love Israel and have always stood with the Jewish state, but would fiercely oppose efforts to silence followers of Jesus in the Holy Land.
Former U.S. Ambassador of International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback – who served during the Trump-Pence administration – is the first American leader to publicly warn that this new bill poses a massive threat to free speech, human rights and religious freedom.
On Friday, ALL ISRAEL NEWS emailed Brownback – a long-time and consistent friend and supporter of Israel – a professional translation of the bill in English, which was originally written in Hebrew, of course.
Surprised and concerned, the ambassador replied with the following statement:
“Free and democratic countries simply do not outlaw the free exchange of ideas and that includes religious beliefs and convictions. Article 18 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights – which Israel has signed onto – guarantees freedom of religion, including the right to decide your own faith beliefs.”
WHAT DOES THE NEW BILL ACTUALLY SAY?
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.
[To read a professional translation of the bill – and its authors’ description of the bill’s intent – in English, please click here.]
[To read the bill and its description in the original Hebrew, please click here.]
It is already a crime in Israel to try to proselytize minors or bribe people of any age with money or material goods to change their religious views.
But this new legislation seeks to go much further.
Are you sure Israel is America’s ally at this point, or its Judas?
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