The Israeli authorities is threatening to take off air a Christian tv channel that launched within the nation to evangelise to Jews, warning that will probably be barred if it breaks strict guidelines round proselytising.
GOD TV, an evangelical media community that broadcasts the world over, signed a seven-year deal with a significant Israeli cable tv supplier, HOT, to host its new Hebrew-language channel that started airing final month.
In a video message, Ward Simpson, the CEO of God TV, stated: “God has supernaturally opened the door for us to take the gospel of Jesus into the houses, and lives and hearts of his Jewish individuals.”
Many within the Jewish state see the conversion of Jews as a menace to the comparatively small international inhabitants in addition to their majority standing inside Israel. Whereas the nation’s legal guidelines don’t place an outright ban on proselytising, it’s forbidden to evangelise to an individual beneath 18 with out the consent of a mother or father.
Myriad evangelical charities and organisations are energetic in Israel however clearly state they’re towards missionary work, even when many carry it out quietly.
Nevertheless, when asserting the brand new channel, referred to as Shelanu TV (Hebrew for “Ours”), GOD TV stated it supposed to provide exhibits “geared particularly in the direction of the youthful era of viewers”.
Communications minister David Amsalem threatened final week to close down the channel if it was confirmed to have damaged the principles. “We received’t enable any missionary channel to function within the state of Israel, not at any time and never beneath any circumstances,” Amsalem, a member of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud get together, stated in a press release.
The Cable and Satellite tv for pc Broadcasting Council, the Israeli regulatory physique, additionally stated it might shut down the channel if it broadcast “content material that has the potential to affect viewers in an undue trend”.
Ron Kantor, GOD TV’s Israel director, informed the native Haaretz newspaper his firm had been given an “emphatic sure” to its work by HOT, who he stated informed him the “legal guidelines have modified”.
“We’re not ashamed of who we’re and what we imagine,” Kantor was quoted as saying. “Definitely, if we have been doing one thing sneaky, we might not have introduced it to the world.”