At Yad L’Achim’s Request, Defense Ministry Halts Missionary Activities at Soldier Hostels12/03/2013
Yad L’Achim’s efforts to save errant Jewish soldiers from falling into the hands of missionaries were recently crowned with success.
For some time, members of the “Messianic Jews” cult developed a relationship with soldiers staying in the Beit Hachayal hostel in Jerusalem for Shabbos. Taking advantage of the fact that these were “lone soldiers,” without family in Israel, and therefore particularly vulnerable, the missionaries began dropping in during the meals and inviting soldiers to their homes for “desert.” Needless to say, this included a large serving of Christian teaching.
In some cases, the missionaries showed up at the hostel and distributed copies of the “new testament” and an array of missionary material.
Yad L’Achim learned that four soldiers became regular readers of this material and one of them, whose full details are on file with Yad L’Achim, actually converted to Christianity, R”l.
The organization’s counter-missionary department contacted the administration of Beit Hachayal, which checked into the matter and substantiated the charges. Yad L’Achim also turned to the Defense Ministry and other military sources involved in the running of Beit Hachayal.
The effort paid off as a letter was received from the Defense Ministry, headed “Your appeal to the defense minister regarding missionary activity at Beit Hachayal in Jerualem.”
In the letter, the defense minister’s office states that, in response to Yad L’Achim’s appeal, the missionary activity had been stopped. A letter had been sent to missionary groups notifying them that they would have to receive authorization from the responsible parties in the IDF before they could conduct activities for IDF soldiers in hostels around the country, including Beit Hachayal in Jerualem.
Yad L’Achim said in response that it would continue to monitor the situation and take all legitimate steps to save Jews from missionaries.