Anti-Messianic Jewish Group Calls Emergency Meeting

Group warns of “unprecedented and dangerous missionary activity” as Messianic Jews seek to help refugees from Ukraine

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: MESSIANIC JEWS, Missionaries
Ukrainian fleeing war zones in Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border.
Ukrainian fleeing war zones in Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border. Photo: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

Senior members of Yad L’Achim, the anti-Messianic Jewish missionary group, convened an “emergency conference” in light of the “unprecedented, dangerous flood” of Messianic Jewish “missionary activity.”

According to the ultra-Orthodox daily Ha-Modia, Yad L’Achim is outraged that Messianic Jews are sharing the gospel. It is “equal to a decree of spiritual annihilation” of the Jewish people, they say.

They pointed to “recent data” that Christians and Messianic Jews are “investing millions of dollars” towards “intensive missionary activity” among Jewish immigrants to Israel coming from Ukraine. The watchful anti-Messianic group is also concerned with the growing Hebrew-language Messianic Jewish media activity, calling it “dangerous.”

During the conference, a Ukrainian refugee reported that while trying to escape the war and get out of Ukraine on the border with Moldova, a man offering food and drink and asked, “Are there any Jews here?” They thought he was a good Jew coming to help, the refugee said, “But after a short conversation I understood his devious plan: he wanted to add me to one of the missionary communities.” According to Yad L’Achim, this is not an isolated incident, but one of many, and that “they [Messianics and Christians] will not leave any stone unturned in order to return the sons to their Father in heaven.”

Israel Today has learned that many Messianic Jewish congregations in Israel are reaching out to Ukrainian immigrants to assist with absorption and housing, government paperwork, food stuffs, medical needs and general support once they reach Israel. Some Messianic Jews have also gone to Ukraine to assist refugees fleeing war, as well as any Jews looking to immigrate to Israel. According to Messianic Jewish reports, they do not use any material incentives to try and convert Jews to the Messianic faith, which is illegal in Israel, but simply want to help their fellow Jewish neighbors. See: On Missionary Laws in Israel.

Yad L’Achim have sent emissaries to the borders of Moldova to “fight back” against the “missionaries trying to hunt Jewish refugees by any means necessary,” and according to them with “supreme efforts in the face of huge budgets and impudent missionary determination.”

Yad L’Achim activists are explaining to the Jewish refugees that it is dangerous to have any contact with the “missionaries.” They also published a leaflet in Ukrainian warning the refugees about “the Mission and its evil intentions.”

Of particular concern to the anti-Messianic group is the assimilation of the “thousands of [Ukrainian] gentiles entering Israel under the guise of war refugees,” the organization’s activists claimed at the emergency meeting.

Yad L’Achim also expressed grave concern over the Israeli government’s new coalition, and in particular the new Minister of Religious Affairs Matan Kahana, whose actions “shake the walls of conversion to Judaism in Israel, while trampling on every rule of Jewish law,” they claim. For more on this and the war on religion in the Jewish state see: Who is a Jew in Israel Today?; and our series on: The Jewish State.

See also: Can Israel Stop the Christian Gospel?

Some of the material for this report appears in the Caspari Center Media Review, a synopsis of articles originally published in the Israeli press.

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