After opposition shut down a meeting center for Messianic Jews in southern Israel last May, ultra-Orthodox Jews are harassing it again since it re-opened this month, sources said.
Two messianic Jews, who are Jewish by birth and who believe Jesus is God and the Messiah, and who sought to get married through the Chief Rabbinate in a Jewish ceremony, have been told by a special panel of the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court that their beliefs put them outside of the Jewish faith and therefore they cannot get married in a religious ceremony.
The Israeli High Court on September 12 heard a petition by ultra-orthodox Jews to hold a 700-person demonstration in front of the house of a family of Messianic Jews. In the past, the group’s smaller protests consisted of shouting obscenities and slurs at the Christians.
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.
In mid-April four Protestant churches - the charismatic Cornerstone Church and Free Church, the Baptist Free Bible Church and an unregistered Pentecostal congregation - were all evicted from state premises which they had been renting for worship services in the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan.