Two members of Israel’s United Torah Judaism Knesset, Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Asher, have introduced legislation that would make it illegal to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who is not already a believer. As reported at Natural News, this bill has always been rejected in previous years, but because the Israeli legislature is now controlled by Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews, a greater chance exists for such a measure to be passed. Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor of All Israel News, and he says that the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox majority of the 120-seat Knesset is likely to favor prohibiting evangelical Christianity in the modern state of Israel.
Violators of the new law would serve one year in prison if the person to whom they are witnessing is an adult; two years if the person is a minor.
All this while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs the Knesset’s help to pass sweeping judicial reforms in order to advance his agenda items. Netanyahu has long recognized and valued the support of Christians and the Messianic community, but if he refuses to sign this legislation, he would face opposition in getting his agenda passed. This includes making peace with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stopping the Iranians from building nuclear weapons, and strengthening and expanding the Israeli economy.
The proposed legislation from Gafni and Asher has raised concerns for Evangelical and Messianic Jewish leaders worldwide, who fear that passage of the anti-Christ legislation would allow the current Knesset to ban all forms of evangelism in Israel. The legislation would provide no legal recourse to Jewish and Gentile people who love Jesus and want to tell others about Him.
If the legislation passes, support for Israel is expected to plummet across many groups and even some governments. It is reported that more than a few organizations that support Israel believe the passage of this legislation could lead to the Biblical “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”