June 17, 2024

Why Jews feel threatened by Christian evangelism

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by Faydra Shapiro, Senior Research Fellow

Why do Jews feel threatened by Christian evangelism? After October 7, Jews feel more vulnerable than ever.

Why Jews feel threatened by Christian evangelism

“It was recently brought to my attention that a major Christian missionary organization, Chosen People Ministries, is holding a large, public “Oppose Antisemitism” rally in New York City in a few days. Without a doubt, Christians ought to actively oppose antisemitism. In fact, seeing those Christians who do take a stand to combat antisemitism feels like an essential piece of righting a very deep and longstanding historic wrong, a position demanded by true Christian faith.

And while I know it’s out of the ordinary for an Orthodox Jew, I’ve had some positive things to say about Jewish believers in Jesus. I think the mainstream Jewish community actually has a lot to learn from their firm commitment to maintaining Jewish values and practices while living out their faith in Jesus. When I say that some of my dearest friends are Jewish believers in Jesus, I do not exaggerate. I am not in any way hesitant to engage with Jewish believers, the New Testament or Christians. And while I am very much opposed to Christian mission to Jews, it doesn’t usually bother me all that much. Evangelicals evangelize. I don’t find it particularly threatening. I proudly work for a Christian, pro-Israel organization.

My problem is specifically with Chosen People Ministries, an organization that “exists to pray for, evangelize, disciple, and serve Jewish people,” sponsoring a major public event to combat antisemitism, particularly at this time.

Chosen People Ministries knows that their mission is one that is profoundly threatening and offensive to the mainstream Jewish community. The organization could have discretely participated in any of the public events held to show Christian opposition to antisemitism. The organization could have discretely raised a whole bunch of money and anonymously donated it to help any number of Jewish community needs right now. Its members could have been encouraged to act, as individuals, to stand with Jews to oppose antisemitism in any number of ways. And could have done so in a way that is not offensive and adding an additional level of threat to the Jewish community at this time.”


Why do Jews feel threatened by Christian evangelism? Read the full article in the Times of Israel


Read more from the Philos Project’s Senior Research Fellows