Israel Prayer Teams
PO Box 111302
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How to Pray for the Persecuted Believers of Israel 

This article sent to us by Lura Maiman Beckford, a believer in Arad, Israel conveys the hard position of those believers under the constant strain of persecution and harassment. Lura, and others in the believing community in the southern Negev Desert region, have been the targets of daily religious persecution for over two years without significant intervention of the authorities. While it may be difficult to understand how this could happen in Israel, please know that the community of our faith in Israel needs under girding and uplifting prayer support.  Let us not be remiss, forgetting when we pray for Israel, to pray for these who are called by the name of the Lord. 

 The Foreign Ministry says what!? 

by Lura Maiman Beckford

The Israeli Foreign Ministry is sending out response letters stating that the Christians in Arad are bringing persecution upon themselves because they are ”perceived” as proselytizing.

Just suppose for a moment that this is true – think about it.

Is there freedom of religion in Israel or not? Are Christians free to give out books and/or put them in a store where others can get them? Are Christians free to worship in their houses? Are they free to own businesses and operate them without fear of retribution? Are they free to live in peace in their houses without intimidation?

Compare those questions with the reality of life in Arad and other cities in Israel. Look at some actual events (there are many more):

  • A Christian taxi driver is harassed at his taxi stand. The Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) scream at would-be passengers, “This man is a Christian – don’t ride in his taxi!” They also scream some very blasphemous things about Jesus.
  • The Congregation meets on Saturdays and the parishioners need to go through a gauntlet of curses from 40 or more Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) standing in front of the entrance. All through the service, screams, chants and curses can be heard from outside.
  • A mother and her 5-year old child are stalked by Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) men as she takes her child to kindergarten. At times she must duck into an entrance way to get away from the abuse. Her child prays at night asking God to make the bad men go away.
  • Another mother of four has to look for her little child at night because the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) scared him away from his own front door and he was afraid to go home.
  • At the local chess club, (operated by two Christians) the retired men at the club are harassed and hassled by young Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) thugs and told not to go there – it is a Christian place. The place is regularly picketed and the Haredim harass the poor people who come there to pick up used clothing.
  • Christian’s pictures and addresses are hung up around the neighborhood and in the local Yeshiva (boy’s religious school) warning people that we are dangerous and to stay away from us.
  • A new immigrant (Jewish believer) was expelled from Hebrew class because the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) warned the teacher that he is a Christian.
  • A Jewish believer was thrown out of his home because the Haredim put pressure on the landlord.
  • A widow with 3 boys and several foster children (from Christian families) is regularly picketed by hundreds of Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) and accused of stealing the children from Jewish families.
  • The Haredim have made false charge (LIES) against the believers, which have been accepted as facts by the police, and as a result, the believers must hire lawyers to defend themselves.
  • We have been accused of kidnapping children, being worse than the Palestinians and Nazis, converting Jews, (No one can do that except God), stealing souls (How do you do that?)
  • We have been told that we are animals without souls (Talmud teaches that) and threatened with being carried out of Arad in coffins, or shot, or dozens of other threats.
  • When we go on a trip (secular Jews and Christians) the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) riot and try to prevent buses from leaving. People have gotten hurt.
  • When we feed the hungry, the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) surround us, curse us and push against the tables, and generally act like criminals.
  • When we sit at outdoor cafes, the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) surround us and tell lies to passers-by about us.
  • They vandalize our property – they attack our people – they burned our chess club (the only visible reminder that there are Christians in Arad and the only place to get a Bible in Arad.)
  • They stormed into a congregation in Beersheva during the service and wrecked the place and threw the pastor into the baptismal and they did about $2000. worth of damage.
  • Some believers have lost their jobs because of the pressure exerted by the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) on the employers.
  • They play dirty – there are a lot of other things they are involved in but I think you get the picture.
  • The police are refusing to take our calls – they are also afraid of the Haredim.

Let it be known far and wide that the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) object to the fact that we are alive! That is our crime. Most of us were minding our own business but the Haredim are seeking out Christians and harassing them. Why? Because their own manmade religion is so corrupt and bereft of any spiritual value, the only way for the Rabbi to hold on to his people is to give them a purpose for existence and a scapegoat to persecute. The sad thing is that the government and most of the people here have a love-hate relationship with the Haredim. They believe that the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) are the guardians of the “Jewish state”. Therefore, even though they don’t want to be like them, they think they have to protect them and allow them to do whatever they want.

If there were religious freedom in Israel, people would be allowed to practice their own religion freely. Ideas would be allowed to proliferate and be discussed openly. In a democracy, people are allowed to have freedom of speech. However, the Haredim are afraid of ideas and freedom. They are no different than the terrorists – they use violence to force their will on others. IT IS WRONG! The Israeli Foreign Minister should know better than to excuse the criminal behavior of the Haredim, but he is caught up in the trap as well.

This will not end here – the Haredim have a list of people they want to get rid of – the Christians are only the first on the list. Next are the Bedouins, and then the Ethiopian Jews and the secular Jews.

This small, but powerful, group of Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) is funded by donations from the West. Much of the money coming to fund the persecution is given by well-meaning Christians in the USA and other western nations, and is intended to help the poor. The donors think they are giving to charitable organizations, but the money is used to build the power base of the Haredim and pay to persecute believers. Be careful to whom you send your donations! Be on the safe side – send them to believers!

In short, to blame the persecution of Christians on themselves is like telling a victim that she was asking to be mugged. The mugger is at fault – not the victim.

Of course, through all this negative publicity, the Lord has been drawing people to Himself. Several people have become believers BECAUSE of the persecution and the Christlike response of the Christians. History has shown that persecution only makes a movement grow.  It is no different in Arad. The Lord’s Will be done.

Here is a link to the various Ministries of the Israeli government: Please feel free to write to any of them.

               Reports from Arad at

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