UPDATE: Full Report has been posted (May 11, 2015)
Last Shabbat, Jews of all persuasions attended a prayer vigil in protest of a Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) event being held at a sports arena in Ra’anana. After attempts to stop the event failed in an Israeli court, it was reported that thousands of demonstrators, religious and secular alike, staged a mass protest to voice their opposition to the proselytizing sect's activities.
The "Witnesses" are a christ-centered missionary sect with many millions of adherents world-wide. The anti-assimilation organization Yad l'Achim told JewishIsrael that of the estimated 2500 Jehovah's Witnesses adherents residing in Israel, approximately half of those are Jewish Israelis who were converted to Christianity by the sect. As of two years ago, the sect claimed to have 23 congregations in Israel.
The press reports leading up to the event, including accounts of the various decisions rendered in the Israeli courts, were a source of confusion. Some articles placed an emphasis on concerns of baptisms, proselytizing and offending Jewish sensitivities. Other articles placed a focus on the matters of "freedom of religion and ritual" and contractual obligations.
JewishIsrael investigated the background behind the provocative missionary group and their activities in Israel and conducted interviews with Yad L'Achim, as well as community activists and concerned citizens who were present at the protest.
A critical and comprehensive report is forthcoming.
Full Report has been posted (May 11, 2015)
Related Video: Jehovah’s Witnesses 2012 Conference, Tel Aviv (excerpts)