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.
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.
suppose for a moment that this is true – think about it.
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?
those questions with the reality of life in Arad and other cities
in Israel. Look at some actual events (there are
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. http://www.gov.il/FirstGov/BottomNavEng/Contact
Reports from Arad at http://www.angelfire.com/super/redhorse/Reports/Reports.html