Two members of Israel’s parliament moved to create a law that will ban anyone from persuading people to convert or change their religion/spirituality, which includes talking or preaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Christianity, proposing jail terms for people who do so.
The proposed bill might bring conflict between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the millions of Christians scattered all over the world and in the United States, which is their biggest ally.
Former US Ambassador of International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback warned that the proposed bill poses a great threat to free speech, human rights, and religious freedom.
“Free and democratic countries simply do not outlaw the free exchange of ideas and that includes religious beliefs and convictions. Article 18 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights – which Israel has signed onto – guarantees freedom of religion, including the right to decide your own faith beliefs,” he said to All Israel News.
The proposed legislation would ban all efforts by people of a given faith to, in any way, want to discuss or try to persuade people of other faiths to consider changing their current religious beliefs.
According to the proposed law which was proposed by Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Asher, ultra-Orthodox Jewish members of Knesset, the punishment for doing so would be one-year imprisonment if it was with an adult, or two years if with someone below 18 years old.
This bill would also apply to people having spiritual conversations with Israelis of any religion.
Mr. Gafni is reportedly known for opposing Christians and serves as the head of the Knesset’s powerful Finance Committee, as well as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget.
Mr. Asher heads the Internal Affairs and Environment Protection Committee.
The bill appears to be making it illegal for followers of Jesus to explain why they believe that Jesus is both Messiah and God with the hope that Israelis might consider following Him, Mr. Rosenberg opined.
Mr. Netanyahu and most, if not all, members of his Likud Party have always demonstrated that they are adamant about preserving and protecting the Jewish state as a liberal democracy, he added.
According to reports, the bill will not only outlaw any talks on convincing another’s spirituality or talking about Jesus Christ to a non-believer, it will also ban soliciting a person – directly, digitally, by mail, or online – in order to convert his religion.
That would include producing online videos and publishing books and other literature explaining the Gospel to Jewish or Muslim people in Israel.