Israel, Asia: Followers of Jesus in Israel are likewise a mix of Messianic Jews, foreign believers and Arab-Israeli Christians. All three groups have grown recently – especially Messianic and expatriate believers – the result of both immigration and conversion. There are over 120 Hebrew-speaking gatherings. Russian-speaking congregations are the next-largest number (as many as 50), followed by eight Amharic-speaking (Ethiopian) congregations and a smattering of fellowships in various European languages. Israeli-born Messianic Jews are around 1,000. Pray for:
- a) Boldness in witness and perseverance of faith despite difficulties and opposition. The Haredi regard evangelicals as subversive and a threat to Judaism, and therefore malign and occasionally harass them. Tolerance of Christians and Messianic Jews is high, but proselytism is increasingly opposed, especially by the ultra-Orthodox.
- b) Full legal rights of immigration and social acceptance in the face of national, social and family pressures. Israeli law states that national identity and religious identity of Jews are one; secular Jews can become citizens, but Christian Jews cannot. For more information, go to operationworld.org.