Christian-Backed Youth Centers Vandalized in Israel

by | Jul 22, 2009 | Charisma Archive

Christian-funded youth centers in Acre, a city in northern Israel, were vandalized last week after residents expressed concern that their programs were evangelistic, the Jerusalem Post reported.

In a letter to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which funds the centers, Acre Mayor Shimon Lankri said some residents were “suspicious” the of group’s intentions “and distrust the organization,” the Post reported.

“In recent months, even as we are in the process of opening an additional youth center, those working on the project have been faced with violent threats, including one with a knife and another person nearly being hit by a car, broken glass and smashed plaques,” the mayor wrote July 14.

“We have established a steering committee to look into this matter for the next three months and to find a way of soothing community relations; until then we will not replace the [IFCJ] signs on the buildings.”

The mayor said the situation had been reported to the police, but did not tell the Post whether the vandals were from the city’s ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jewish community, which originally expressed concern over IFCJ’s presence in the city.

IFCJ chairwoman Dvora Ganani-Elad said the incident was the first such protest at one of the organization’s facilities. IFCJ runs similar centers in 60 other localities, she told the newspaper.

Founded by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ says its goal is to promote understanding between Jews and Christians, and to advocate on behalf of Israel. However, some Messianic leaders say the organization has hampered Christian and Messianic evangelism in Israel, making the recent vandalism even more surprising.

Attacks against Messianic Jews and Christians in Israel have escalated in recent years, culminating with a bomb disguised as a gift package that nearly killed Amiel Ortiz in the northern town of Ariel last year. No arrests have been made yet in that case, which is still under investigation.

“[The violence] is progressing—in Ariel you have attempted murder,” said Howard Bass, pastor of Nachalat Yeshua (“Jesus’ Inheritance”), a Messianic congregation in Beersheba, Israel. In 2005, hundreds of Orthodox Jews led a riot at the congregation, attacking worshipers, damaging property and pushing Bass into the baptismal pool, witnesses said.

Bass and the leaders of Nachalat Yeshua are suing the chief rabbi of Beersheba and Yad L’Achim, the anti-missionary group allegedly responsible for the riot. Bass said, “The outcome of our case could bring more attention to the situation in Ariel and in Arad,” where Orthodox Jews have demonstrated against Messianic Jews and Christians on a regular basis since 2004, many times violently.

A spokesman for Acre told the Post that the city would reach out to those who opposed the Christian-financed youth centers. In his letter, Lankri said the three existing facilities have been very effective in reducing crime and rebellious behavior in the last two years.

“It is important for us to find out where the core of the problem is and to deal with it by working to build up trust in the community,” Lankri wrote, according to the Post “These centers and our work with the IFCJ are extremely important to us.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Raise Your Praise!

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and principalities that come against you, in addition to the challenges...

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

Read Time: 1 Minute 9 Seconds What will turn the nations around? What will restore the world to sanity? There have been revivals from Old Testament times up through the year 2000. Today we need both a revival and a reformation. Here are 7 elements needed to usher in...

Messianic Rabbi: The Blessing of Esau Brings Freedom

Messianic Rabbi: The Blessing of Esau Brings Freedom

Read Time: 4 Minutes 55 Seconds Growing up in synagogue, I was taught about the heroes of the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon and Samson. When I became a believer in Yeshua, the writings of the New Testament new heroes were added to the...

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

Read Time: 2 Minutes 23 Seconds In this webinar, Grant Berry discussed the strategy the Lord is releasing for His end-time plans to reform His Ekklesia/church. God is revealing different focuses of this strategy to various parts of the body, especially as it relates...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

RECENT ARTICLES

Chris Reed Shares Prophetic Word on the Future of China’s Xi Jinping

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEKEaNqZydk Read Time: 1 minute 20 seconds Unprecedented mass protests are unfolding right now across China. The country is seeing the largest pushback in decades,...
Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Read Time: 2 Minutes 42 Seconds It’s very interesting how the Holy Spirit will use things that you’re going through to not only prophesy to you, but also to prophesy over the body of Christ. In listening to other people and hearing what’s been coming out of their...

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Pin It on Pinterest