Messianic Jews Harassed in Israel
Protests Against Violation of Religious Freedom
By Wolfgang Polzer
Special to ASSIST News Service
September 14, 2005
ARAD, Israel (ANS) -- Messianic Jews have called for international protests against violations of religious freedom in Israel. Orthodox Jews have harassed a congregation in the desert town of Arad in Southern Israel for more than 18 months.
Messianic Jews number approximately 6,000 in Israel and at least 100,000 worldwide. They believe in the Messiah Jesus Christ. Orthodox Jews regard them as apostates.
An orthodox group called Gur Chassidim has been persecuting 30 messianic Jews in Arad. They have been insulted in public as Nazis, whores and dirty Christians. According to eyewitnesses the police have turned a blind eye or even sided with the persecutors. An assembly hall has been burnt down.