Originally posted on 6th July 2011
Greetings in the name of Jesus
Our prayers have been requested for an Israeli couple, Serge and Naama, being harassed because of their faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
On 26th June, a group of approximately 20 people demonstrated outside the couple’s home, shouting abuse through megaphones for 90 minutes. In the previous week there had been adverts in the local paper and leaflets distributed locally announcing the planned protest and calling on residents to participate. The protest was organised by Yad L’Achim.
Yad L’Achim is an ultra-Orthodox organization that aims to “rescue” Jews from what they consider harmful influences, mainly interfaith marriages and Messianic Jews (Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Jewish scriptures) or any adherent of religions which are accused of disseminating their faith among Jews. They have a long history of written denouncements and demonstrations against, and physical harassment of, Messianic Jews.
In addition, the couple’s landlord has received threatening calls in which she has been told to evict the Messianic couple or face her property being burned down. While initially asking the couple to leave the premises, she later agreed they could stay.
Yad L’Achim accuses the couple of trying to convert a 16 year-old girl, Donna. She is a former neighbour who spent time with the Messianic couple due to a difficult home situation. Serge and Naama state they never discussed religion with Donna but she herself asked if she could accompany them to their worship services. After obtaining permission from Donna’s mother they agreed and Donna attended the services for two months.
Attempting to convert a minor is a crime. The police investigated Yad L’Achim's claim, but found there was no basis for the accusation and dropped the investigation. The organization then filed charges directly against Serge and Naama and against Asher Intrater, the leader of the Messianic congregation. On 14th June the court dismissed all charges. During the 26th June demonstration Donna herself denied these charges against Serge and Naama to journalists present.
Messianic believers request our prayers that:
Open sources used: Compass Direct
May be circulated to general mailing lists and quoted from freely citing "Middle East Concern" as the source of the information