Back to All Stories

Missions in Israel Today-Part 2

March 22, 2024 |  By Eric Vess

This is the second part of a two-part series with Andrei Senderov, a leader in the Messianic Jewish congregation Beit Hallel (House of Praise) in Ashdod, Israel. Andrei was recently traveling in the US and visited our offices. I sat down to ask him about life and missions in Israel during these difficult times. You can read part one here. In part two, Andrei will discuss the persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel and the rising global tide of anti-Semitism.

Eric: What does persecution and opposition toward Messianic Jews look like in Israel?

Andrei: Twenty years ago I was doing open street evangelism in Israel. Some religious Jews were protesting what we were doing. They tried to burn our properties and the cars of Messianic leaders. They used violence as well, beating people who were sharing the Gospel. This actually happened to me. Some of these religious Jews tried to attack me on a number of occasions. When they saw we were sharing [Gospel] leaflets and books, they wanted to stop what we were doing. They were very angry. We have a number of extreme groups in the religious community in Israel that tried to establish a law against all Messianic activity in Israel. These groups even wanted to pass a law that if you had a New Testament in your home, you would be put in prison for a year. Actually, this law didn’t pass, praise God! Because if it would pass, then Israel is not going to be a democracy anymore. But, praise God, we still have this democracy. We still can preach.

Eric: Do you preach in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem?

Andrei: No one would take that chance, but we do share on the streets outside [the Old City] and in Tel Aviv and many other places in Israel. The opposition is less now than 20 years ago. People are more open now, and we can have open discussions with regular Israelis on the street.

Eric: Let’s switch gears and talk about the rise of anti-Semitism in the world, especially in the United States. How have you personally experienced anti-Semitism?

Andrei: It’s a very good question. My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor back in Ukraine when Nazi Germany occupied the country. In July 1941, he was able to escape from the Nazis while the majority of the Jewish people in his town were killed. So, I am the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. When I see these protests happening in America, it makes me very sad. We lost six million of our people. It’s difficult to see so many people who hate the Jews around the world in many countries. This is quite disturbing to see, especially for those Holocaust survivors who are now in their 90s, still alive today. This brings them to deep depression. They say we suffered so much. We have tattoos with the number, and now we see these things happening again when people rise against the Jews. It’s very tragic. This is why I believe the Christian church has an amazing opportunity to confront any kind of anti-semitism and stand with the Jewish people. We feel it, and it’s very sad. This is why I believe that those who believe in the Bible and take it seriously must take a public stand in their churches and their cities, as well as on social media.

Make a difference by praying for missionaries using the 7 Days of Prayer Guide.