Israelis find Jesus on Facebook

Sunday, January 22, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli Messianic ministry One for Israel (which Israel Today previously covered) continues to find success spreading the Gospel via online social networks and specialized Hebrew-language websites.

In its annual report, One for Israel again pointed out that Israelis are far more active on the Internet than average Westerners, making the online space a perfect, though often overlooked avenue for evangelism.

For example, One for Israel pointed to comScore statistics that revealed Israelis spend 11.1 hours per month on Facebook, more than double 5.7 hours spent by the average person worldwide. It was further noted that "overall a whopping 94 percent of Israeli Internet users are active on social networks."

In order to reach all those Israeli Internet users, One for Israel takes out ads on Facebook, Google and other high-traffick websites. Those who click the ads are taken to a series of evangelism-focused Hebrew-language websites (like iGod.co.il) that seek to explain to the average non-believing Israeli why Jesus' claims deserve consideration.

But the average Israeli is not well versed in the Bible, and certainly not in the prophecies that point to Jesus. So recently One for Israel launched a new website, TheOne.co.il (English version here), that takes a very simple and basic approach to the prophetic narrative, leading the viewer by the hand through the Bible's messianic prescription to Israel's woes.

These efforts continue to bear fruit.

One for Israel's annual report spoke of several individuals who have personally contacted the ministry over the past year seeking greater knowledge of Jesus, including a high-ranking officer in the Israeli army. Additionally, the group's evangelism-focused websites were visited over 150,000 times and Israelis downloaded a digital, Hebrew version of the New Testament ever five hours during 2011. Physical copies of the New Testament were requested more than once a day on average.

This is a persistent trend. Statistics provided by Google showed that Israelis searched (in Hebrew) for the name "Yeshua" (Jesus) more than 25,000 times every month. The phrase "Brit Hadasha" (New Testament) was searched for over 5,000 times every month.

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