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Israel (Including The West Bank And Gaza)
Hostile

Overview:

The decades-long conflict between the Israeli government and Palestinian authorities over the city of Jerusalem, the temple, the land and the status of Palestinian refugees remains among the world’s most volatile issues. During this conflict, both Jews and Muslims have been coming to faith in Christ despite their religions’ instructions to reject Christ as Lord and Savior. Christian activity is routinely opposed by Islamists among the Palestinian Arab populations of the West Bank and Gaza and occasionally by ultra-Orthodox and other anti-missionary Jews in Israel proper. Despite this opposition, there are evangelical churches that include both Jews who have accepted Christ as the Messiah and Arabs from a Muslim background who have left Islam and placed their faith in Christ. Active ministry efforts among both groups involve Bible distribution, discipleship, evangelism, church planting and theological education. The Palestinian Authority maintains some autonomous control over the West Bank under Israeli federal authority, while the militant Muslim group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip. Both groups are adamantly opposed to Christian activity and indoctrinate their populace to hate the West, Jews and Christians.

Major Religions:

The two major religions in Israel are Judaism and Sunni Islam, with Christians composing a small minority.

Persecutor:

In Muslim regions, Christian converts from Islam face severe persecution from their families, society, Palestinian government authorities and Hamas. In Jewish communities, Jews who follow Christ risk rejection, social pressure and occasional violence from ultra-Orthodox Jews and organized anti-missionary groups.

What It Means To Follow Christ In Israel (Including The West Bank And Gaza):

Christian converts from Islam in the West Bank and Gaza face violence at the hands of their family members and local governments, which are run by the Palestinian authorities. Christians in Israel proper often experience family rejection, low social standing and limited hope of job advancement. Jewish anti-missionary groups, especially Yad L’Achim, sometimes protest outside churches, cursing Christians and vandalizing their buildings. The anti-missionary activities have at times included violence against Christians.

Access To Bibles:

Bible societies operate in Israel, including the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Christians have access to Bibles throughout the country, though they are dangerous for Christians or seekers to possess in Islamist-controlled areas. Give Bibles

VOM Work:

VOM supports front-line workers in key regions, supports training for local churches and helps with Bible distributions. We also provide legal aid for Messianic (Christian) Jews who are harassed or deprived of their legal rights. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that the Lord will strengthen Ethiopian Messianic congregations, who are constantly harassed.
  • Pray for Bible printing and distribution projects in Israel, including in the Palestinian-controlled areas.
  • Pray for new believers who come from an Orthodox Jewish background.
  • Pray for believers from Muslim backgrounds in Palestinian areas, especially those who have lost jobs.
  • Pray that those persecuting Jewish Christians will come to know Jesus.