Breaking the Jews for Jesus code

Marcello Araujo, 59, is not just a living, breathing paradox of faith. He is the only person who knows the identity of a traitor inside the Canadian wing of the evangelical group Jews for Jesus, a person described by a judge as more of a “mole” than a “whistle-blower.” This mole, according to court records, emailed Mr. Araujo a valuable list of donors after Mr. Araujo was fired for violating Jews for Jesus’ fundamentalist code of employee conduct, by getting married without permission.

Mr. Araujo’s secret, and JFJ’s effort to pry it out of him, is at the heart of a five-year legal saga unfolding in Ontario Superior Court, in which he has sued for wrongful dismissal, and JFJ countersued for poaching the donors, alleging he contacted them on behalf of his new employer, JFJ’s main “competitor” in Jewish evangelism, Chosen People Ministries.

Even though he was fired for getting married without his employer’s permission, it is not clear from the law that this was wrong, or that Mr. Araujo deserves the six-figure settlement he is seeking for lost wages and benefits, plus punitive damages.

Based in San Francisco, with Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Jews for Jesus believe “that Jesus the Messiah was eternally pre-existent and is co-equal with God the Father,” and that the Bible, both New and Old Testaments, is “divinely inspired, verbally and completely inerrant in the original writings.” Employees are required to live by “biblical morality and accountability,” to dress “modestly” and to “avoid questionable forms of amusement.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday December 7, 2010.
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