The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) does not permit Christian “missionary” activity on its bases, insisted the office of the IDF Chief of Staff in response to anti-missionary concerns.
The anti-missionary group Yad L’Achim issued a complaint to IDF officials last month after it obtained a copy of a pamphlet urging young soldiers who believe in Jesus to preach the Gospel to fellow soldiers during their military service, and explaining how to most effectively do so.
According to the complaint, the pamphlet is titled “Standing Order for Preaching the Gospel,” and informs young Christian and Messianic Jewish soldiers that “military service is a special, challenging period with many opportunities. The day-to-day interaction in the army opens many doors to preach the gospel. This Standing Order is meant to give practical tools for preaching to different groups in Israeli society which we encounter during regular military service.”
In response to the complaint, the Office of the IDF Chief of Staff sent a letter back to Yad L’Achim clarifying that “it is forbidden to distribute propaganda and sermonizing material on IDF bases. Enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the direct commanders, who can take disciplinary measures when soldiers act against army regulations. In any event, these missionary organizations have no access to the army and hold no activities on army bases.”
There are a number of local Messianic Jewish ministries that support young believing soldiers during their mandatory military service. It was unclear from the Yad L’Achim complaint which of these was behind the pamphlet in question.