Monday, August 11, 2008

Religious Persecution: Coming to a town near you!

According to an article in Israeli religious newspaper Arutz Sheva, "US State Department Accuses Yad L'Achim", there is "no significance on practical level" to the U.S. State Department's annual International Religious Freedom Report citing them for abuses.

Yad L'Achim's Joel Rebibo is quoted saying, "We've been asked to come to America and set up shop there, to help American Jews fight missionaries.... We're concerned that if the State Department has us down as troublemakers, they might get in the way of allowing us to set up operations there."

For the fifth time since 1999 the 2007 International Religious Freedom Report issued by the US State Department has cited abuses by Israel's Yad L'Achim, an anti-"missionary" group.

The organization targets any person or group which they consider "missionaries" including Messianic Believers, Christians who support Messianic Believers, and organizations or individuals who support Messianic Believers in sharing their faith. Yad L'Achim raises most of the funding for its activities in the United States, and based on its successes in Israel, plans to expand its activities to the States.

The "anti-missionary" organization conducts a relentless campaign to harass, terrorize and assault believers of Yeshua/Jesus in Israel through various acts such as: blacklisting believers from employment opportunities, intimidating believers and their children by phone, posting flyers and advertising against believers, preaching hate and inciting violence against believers, vandalizing believers' properties, vandalizing ministries' properties, disturbing believers' meetings, and placing pressure on politicians against believers.

Yad L'Achim has deep roots within the law making and political infrastructure of Israel, leaving little recourse for justice to the victims of the organization's religious persecution. Attempted murder, arson and other terroristic activities against Messianic Jewish and Christian ministries languish in lackluster investigations. Cases filed in the courts against them are pushed to the back burner on judicial dockets.

In one case, the court ordered the believers who have the pictures of Yad L'Achim members who committed acts of violence against them to find out who these people are on their own with limited time.

In the case of the bombing of Ami Ortiz, the police did not move the investigation forward until international pressure was brought to bear months after the murder attempt. Even so, the case is moving at a snail's pace and police report "no progress" in the case.

Police also do not follow up on behalf of the believers to defend them from the on-going victimization and violence.

In an appeal this article is based on from David and Leah Ortiz of Ariel, Israel, they write:

"We feel it's important for believers to contact the US State Department or your country's American embassy to enforce actions based on their findings. This is needed in order to halt most of Yad L'Achim's funding which comes from the US. "

The State Department 2007 International Religious Freedom Report is at

Contact the State Department at

Also, you can view two parts to a video on the persecution of believers in Arad, Israel: