Lev L'Achim Battles Brazen Missionary Activity in Israel, Including Chareidi Areas
By L.S. Wasserman
Various Christian evangelical groups operating in Eretz Yisroel have taken on a more aggressive approach lately, openly revealing their intentions in some cases and not shying away from predominantly chareidi neighborhoods.
In Haifa's Neve Shaanan neighborhood Christian women went canvassing door-to-door in chareidi attire as reported here last week, and in Petach Tikva chareidi residents were shocked to find missionaries had disseminated literature stating their aims explicitly.
After receiving several complaints, Lev L'Achim immediately went to work providing counter-information. The heads of the Department for the Battle Against Missionary Activity and Assimilation said dealing with previously unheard of developments, like those seen last week in Petach Tikva, would require special preparation. According to up-to-date information they have received, some Messianic cults have already opened departments aimed at ensnaring observant Jews Rachmono litzlan.
In other cases Christian evangelicals used traditional approaches, not revealing their true intentions. In Netanya's largely traditional Dora neighborhood, a few months ago they tried to rent a room at the local community center, claiming they planned to give "Bible classes." The director asked the chairman of the neighborhood committee to approve the request, and as an observant Jew he was glad to consent and even offered his encouragement, not imagining the dreadful schemes lying behind the seemingly benign request.