Israeli far right religious party presents a bill banning the preaching of Christianity in Israel


The United Torah Judaism party, a partner in the Israeli government, has presented a bill that would ban Israeli Christians and foreigners from sharing their Christian faith with other Israelis.

According to Israeli media, the bill submitted by party leaders Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Asher, Knesset representatives.

The United Torah Judaism party has 7 of the 120 Israeli Knesset seats, which makes its survival in the government necessary for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government has the support of 64 Knesset members.

According to the text of the bill, which has yet to come to a vote in the Knesset, “a person who solicits communicates with a person, directly, digitally, by mail, or via the Internet in order to change his religion shall be liable to a one-year prison sentence.

“In recent times, there has been an increase in attempts by missionary groups, especially Christians, to entice people to change religion”.

The bill adds, “Sometimes, these attempts don’t involve financial promises or material gains, and therefore they aren’t illegal according to the current law, but they have many negative repercussions, including psychological damages, which calls for the intervention of the legislative body”.

“This’s particularly in light of the fact that most attempts to get people to convert target the weaker classes, who, because of their socioeconomic status, are more open to persuasion attempts like this,” the bill continues.

The bill proposes: “Along with the prohibition of providing services as an inducement to change one’s religion, the act of inducement to convert is also prohibited”.

“It’s suggested to distinguish between the case where the targeted person is an adult, in which case the maximum penalty is one year’s imprisonment, and the case where the targeted person is a minor, in which case the proposed maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment”.

The bill sparked anger reactions among evangelicals in the United States, who usually give absolute support to Israel.

“Free and democratic countries do not simply prohibit the free exchange of ideas, and that includes religious beliefs and beliefs,” former Kansas governor and former US senator Sam Brownback wrote on Twitter Monday.

The senior pastor at Preston Wood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, Jack Graham said: “Given Netanyahu’s friendship and longstanding alliance with Christians and his firm commitment to religious freedom and freedom of expression, I pray to God that he will soon make clear that this troublesome bill will not become law under his watch”.

Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women in America, the largest conservative Christian women’s organization in the United States, said, according to the same website: “I am horrified at the idea of ​​Christians being prosecuted for sharing their faith… Christians in the United States are counting on Netanyahu and members of the Knesset to reject this law, which is a violation of the human rights of our brothers and sisters in Israel”.

The ratification of the law must begin with a preliminary reading, then 3 readings for it to become law.

However, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the Knesset would accept the bill, nor was it set when it would be presented to the Knesset for a preliminary reading.

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