Category: Israel

Israel symposium to explore legislation aimed at curbing cults

Israel flag A panel of academics and professionals from Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Services will meet Thursday to discuss the possibility of creating legislation to legally outlaw sects and cultish practices in Israel.

The one-day symposium will explore the ethical dilemma of curbing such groups and attempt to sharpen the definition of what constitutes a cult.

Israel: Welfare Ministry calls for legislation to fight cults

cults The Israeli government must create comprehensive legislation to combat the phenomenon of cults in Israel and provide a clearer definition of what constitutes cult activity, a report published Monday by a special Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs task force has recommended.

Authored by the team of professionals that dealt with the fallout of Israel’s largest cult to date – that headed by Tel Aviv polygamist Goel Ratzon – the 48-page report focuses on four main areas: preventive action, therapeutic intervention, legislation and government involvement.

Pilgrims return to Jesus’ baptismal site as Israel removes landmines

mines Pilgrims are flowing back to the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism on the Jordan River as Israel removes 40-year-old land mines and improves the area, but barbed wire and armed soldiers testify to the area’s tense past.

Located in a closed military area on the West Bank a few kilometers from Jericho, the site — Qasr el Yahud — has been revered since the fourth or fifth century as the place where John the Baptist recognized Jesus as the Messiah

Israel’s Messianic Jews Face Orthodox “Persecution”

Messianic Jews Representatives of a Messianic Jewish community in the southern Israeli town of Arad said Monday, March 21, they face “increased persecution” by ultra-Orthodox Jews who accuse the believers of missionary activities and want them to leave Israel.

In 2008, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Messianic Jews have the same rights regarding automatic citizenship as Jews who do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah.

Schools, stipends for ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority trigger Israeli religious battle

During its six decades of existence, Israel has maintained a shaky alliance with its ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority that allowed most religious men to avoid military service, attend separate schools and get paid by the state to study the Bible instead of entering the work force.

But this system is coming under new scrutiny, pressured by a series of Supreme Court rulings, an ambitious education minister and the hugely unpopular cost of sustaining a fast-growing ultra-Orthodox population that has few skills for the 21st century and now accounts for one in four Jewish first graders – and growing.

Messianic Jewish Church Won’t Appeal Israeli Court Ruling

Messianic Jews A congregation of Messianic Jews in Israel who recently lost a lawsuit against an ultra-orthodox Jewish group that allegedly incited a riot against them has decided not to appeal their case, the church’s pastor has said.

After meeting with his congregation and members of the Messianic community in Israel, Howard Bass, pastor of Yeshua’s Inheritance church in Beer Sheva, said that although there are strong legal grounds for an appeal, he believes it is not God’s will to do so.