Christian Leaders are urging Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu to stop a Bill pending in the Israeli Knessett (Parliament) that would make it criminal to tell people about Jesus, inside Israel.
Just days before Good Friday, Palm Sunday, and Easter, the Bill would punish Believers for sharing the Gospel of Jesus. The Bill was introduced by two Ultra-Orthodox members of Netanyahu's Coalition: United Torah Judaism party members Moshe Gafni (Profile Here), and Yacov Asher, (Profile Here), pictured above.
The Bill would make it ILLEGAL to share, in personal conversation, or produce content online, in print, or by mail, talking about Jesus or His Gospel. Their explanation in the Bill is "to stop Christians" in particular.
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, Brownback – a long-time and consistent friend and supporter of Israel – was sent by email, a professional translation of the bill in English, which was originally written in Hebrew.
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.
No word on what Netanyahu will do about the Bill.
Hal Turner Remarks
Jesus said: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Moreover, the Book of Matthew says "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." -- Matthew 5:11, 12
For the record: