By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - Jews and others believing in Jesus as the Messiah reportedly face attacks in southern Israel by followers of a strict Orthodox sect. Details of the incident in Arad emerged Thursday, with rights investigators blaming the Gur Hasidim group.
“Recently, graffiti was written on the footpath outside the home of some believers,” said Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), citing several sources.
It added that graffiti said, “the mission" - - - a term used by Gur members about the fellowship of Messianic Christians - - - was "a tragedy for the Jewish people”
Gur youth have been encouraged “to spit and insult the name of Jesus whenever they encounter Christians,” according to sources familiar with the situation.
And, hostile sect members reportedly frequently gather outside prayer meetings. “During a previous incident that took place in August 2017, a large group of this sect demonstrated outside a Messianic meeting place,” recalled VOMC.
To identify members of the Messianic community, “Gur antagonists have collected the [car] license plate numbers of believers,” VOMC told Worthy News.
They also took photos of those who have attended the faith gatherings, Christians said. There was no immediate comment from the sect.
VOMC urged prayers that “local Messianic believers affected by these ongoing threats and harassment will be given the wisdom and patience required to respond Scripturally to their persecutors.”
The group said the opposition could “serve to strengthen and unify this targeted community of believers.” That would, in turn enable them “to remain strong in their faith so that they can serve as courageous witnesses for Christ.”
Believers said they pray that “God will have mercy” on the troubled Gur members. Referring to the Messiah, they hope the sect members’ will open their “spiritual eyes” to see “that the very One they curse and insult is, in fact, their very source of love, hope and salvation.”