In recent years, the Israeli government has considered a number of rulings intending to outlaw the “possession, production, or distribution of any tracts or books which could be used to induce religious conversion.” Following the debates in the Knesset (Parliament), it is clear that when referring to “religious conversion,” they mean “converting to Christianity.” These proposals, which are always initiated by Orthodox Knesset ministers, would make preaching or teaching the New Testament gospel to Jews punishable by a one-year prison sentence.
For most of us, these proposed laws come as a surprise. How could our beloved, modern, democratic Israeli nation consider a law which undermines the basic values of freedom of religion and freedom of speech in a democratic country? I understand that Orthodox Jews, who actively oppose the message of the gospel, would try and pass such laws, but in one case, 78 Cabinet Members (a clear majority) expressed support for the law in its first reading. What happened?
It happened that our people have heard for far...
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