An Israeli website ran an incendiary article about a Messianic couple that has led to a complaint filed against them with the police and thousands of harassing phone calls by anti-missionary activists.
The couple, who asked to remain anonymous since the harassment is ongoing even now, said the article contained outright lies. The article focused on a particular outreach offering free tours of biblical sites in order to connect Israelis to their faith.
Arutz7 – an Orthodox news website – called the tours “a dangerous missionary ruse” and reported that the anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim decided to send workers to the meeting points to warn participants of its nature. The article claimed that the activists who converged at the buses warned the people they’d been tricked “by the missionaries.”
“They began screaming and cursing [at] the missionaries. Most of them backed out of the tour,” Arutz7 claimed.
Not true, the couple said.
“There was one harassing man who aggressively boarded our bus in Rishon leZion to persuade the people off. The driver had to get him off and the people both times kicked them out,” the couple said. “In Bat Yam was another man, trying to start a fight but we know better. He tried to block people and kept loudly saying, ‘Mission, mission, this is a mission,’ etc. and jumped on the bus and was calling on his network to bring others for sure.”
But in the end only three people declined to continue on the tour, unlike what the article reported.
“They made it sound as if also no one boarded the bus,” the couple said. “Everyone scheduled boarded as planned except for one at one location and two at another, a fraction only,” the couple said.
This all began after someone saw a post about the tour on social media. The couple originally only placed a small ad locally, but someone else took it and placed on social media. At that point it was reported to the Yad L’Achim hotline. The organization not only sent representatives to the tour meeting points in order to warn participants, but they also sent a “field worker” to pose as a tour participant and she reported back the entire time about what was being said.
The tour advertises openly that it visits Christians sites including a prayer tower associated with a congregation in Jerusalem.
“They found our number from the people who had been scheduled to go on the trip,” the couple told KNI. “They then purposely tried to harass us with as many calls as possible to force us to change the number so no one could call again to hear the gospel on that number.”
The couple called the police about the phone call harassment, which included threats, but not much has been done to resolve the issue.
The article also wrote that the people were deceived into the bus trip.
“Not true as they all knew they would hear about the gospel and or relation to it. They wrote that the people were forced to hear the gospel, a lie,” the couple said. “It was presented and they had double doors leading to an exit at any time. They were very impressed and want to go on another trip, all of them. They always do.”
“Many heard, many believed and there is now ongoing follow up with the major groups who will get their names from us, all of them. All the names and some will be saved,” the couple reported.
On the tours, the couple takes Israelis on a biblical tour of their own land to reconnect them with their faith in addition to sharing the Gospel.
“They have an opportunity to hear of the Bible and a Jewish Messiah told of in the Jewish scriptures on a nice day trip,” the couple said. “If they go to a prayer house, for example, the owners will tell what they believe. It is perfectly legal. Giving a Bible is also a gift of value, so if we are talking about exchanging a gift for value to coerce the Gospel it’s ludicrous. It’s our very own history.”
Please pray for protection over this couple and their ministry. May God use this situation to spread His truth.