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Ultra-Orthodox Israeli group accuses Jewish man of being 'secret Christian missionary' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli group accuses Jewish man of being 'secret Christian missionary'

They claim that he emigrated from the US as a missionary [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 April, 2021

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A Jewish man is accused of being an 'undercover Christian' by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem, claiming he emigrated from the US as a missionary.
A Jewish man is accused of being an "undercover Christian" by an Israeli ultra-Orthodox group, and of secretly trying to convert people in Jerusalem.

The man in question is suspected of being a Christian missionary from New Jersey, despite having an active part in the Jewish community in the city, including officiating weddings for Jewish couples.

Beyneynu, an organisation that surveys the movements of Christian missionaries in the country, say the man and his family have been "under surveillance for at least seven years".

According to local media reports, the man emigrated from the US to Israel by forging documents claiming he was Jewish.

"From our information, it appears that there is no sign or proof that the family has Jewish roots," Beyneynu said. 

The man's wife died last year and was buried in Jerusalem with a Jewish funeral ceremony.

Shannon Nussan, a researcher for Beyneynu, claimed that he and his late wife moved to a different neighbourhood and "assimilated"
in what she says is a "new life, but apparently full of lies".

In response to the allegations, the man told local news station Channel 13 that he had worked as a missionary nearly a decade ago but that he had "repented".

Evangelical Christians, particularly in the US, are among the strongest supporters of Israel, with some viewing the Jewish state's creation as the fulfilment of biblical prophecy.

Some see it as the harbinger of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the end of days.

Israel has long welcomed Evangelical political and financial support in the US, particularly during the Donald Trump administration when their influence in the White House was more visual.

Many Israeli Jews view any effort by Evangelicals to convert them to Christianity as deeply offensive. In part due to these sensitivities, Evangelical Christians, who generally believe salvation can only come through Jesus and preach the Gospel worldwide, rarely target Jews.

Proselytising is allowed in Israel as long as missionary activities are not directed at minors and do not involve economic coercion.

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