International Mission to Jewish People shares the Good News with Jewish people all over the world. Jerusalem is home to an estimated 546,000 Jewish people, including elderly Holocaust survivors and there is an urgent need for them to hear the Good News of Jesus. Our missionary Aviel Sela regularly organises free Hebrew classes for Russian-speaking Jewish people and evangelistic bus tours of biblical sites. He has already seen two Holocaust survivors come to faith and begin walking with the Lord since the beginning of this year.
Betel International is now a legalized entity in Israel as both a Christian organisation and as an body entitled to engage in commercial activities. Praise God for the funds to purchase a suitable property, both for a residence for those recovering from addictions, and also as an income generating project - ideally a tourist hotel. Pray that Covid restrictions will lift significantly for this new venture of faith to advance.
The semi-nomadic Bedouin people have lived in the Middle East for centuries and consider themselves to be the ‘true Arabs’, famous for their nobility, hospitality and other honourable characteristics. The Bedouin (also known as Bedawi) need to hear – and see – proof of a loving God who longs to come near to them. Pray that God will reveal the truth to them through the Holy Spirit. And pray that a day will come when they meet in their tents and around their fires or their satellite TVs, praising Jesus with their chants and songs, and sharing Him with others.
International Mission to Jewish People reaches Jewish people around the world, sometimes in the most deprived areas of major cities. The homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics on the streets of Tel Aviv regularly encounter our missionary, Igal Vender, as he draws alongside them to share food and the gospel. A former addict himself, Igal has a unique perspective as he shares Jesus with lost and forgotten Jewish people in the city. These include drug addict Pasha and alcoholic Niko who entered the rehabilitation centre run by Igal’s church, having heard his testimony and the Good News. Both men subsequently came to faith and are now being discipled at the centre. Please pray that Pasha, Niko and others like them will grow in grace as they begin walking with the Lord.
International Mission to Jewish People reaches out to Jewish people around the world to share the Good News. As Israel struggles to recover from the recent conflict and subsequent upheaval, there is an urgent need there for the Jewish population to hear the gospel message. Igal Vender, Aviel Sela and Misha Vayshengolts are our missionaries based in Israel who continue to tell the Jewish community about the love of Jesus. Please pray that the Lord will move among the Jewish people in Israel and that many will come to faith as they hear about the Good News of Jesus.
Although a ceasefire was declared, there are ongoing tensions between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Arabs have particularly suffered in this decades-old conflict and more outbreaks of violence are never far from the surface. Pray for peace and reconciliation and a breakthrough in this seemingly impossible situation. Pray for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the international community to work to find a lasting solution
In light of the current situation in which it is expressed in polarization and hatred between Arab and Jewish citizens, we Israeli Jews and Arabs, who share the same faith in Jesus as Messiah and Lord: declare that we are united in brotherly love that is rooted in our faith and based on the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament, as written John 13: 34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”
Our hearts agonize at the expressions of violence and hatred in our country, where we all live together and we have no other country. Therefore, we call upon all our brothers and sisters who believe in Jesus our Lord, to practically express our unity in Christ Jesus, in love, in mutual help, and steadfastness, confronting the forces of Satan that are full of hatred. All of these since we have been called to be ambassadors of the Lord, and so that the name of God would receive glory and his son Jesus Christ our Lord would be magnified glorified both in our country and in the world.
Our prayers are that the fighting and hostility would cease and that the peace of God prevails in our land and among our neighbors: For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. (Ephesians 2:14)
That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)
With blessings and hope for quieter and better days,
The Board of National Pastors and Elders
Rev Dr Yohanna Katanacho, Academic Dean at Nazareth Evangelical College (and a Langham Scholar) writes "Things are very tense in the country. There is a lot of hatred and violence. But our eyes are focused on the Lord crying out for mercy and for changing the hearts of people in our region. We pray for peace and long for it. Remember us in your prayers."
Dr Katanacho has recently written a short essay unpacking some of the prayer requests. How should followers of Christ respond to the current situation in Israel/Palestine? By Rev. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho
Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) reaches out to Jewish people around the world to share the Good News. The collapse of the oppressive communist regime in the former Soviet Union created a huge spiritual vacuum amongst Russian-speaking Jewish people. Their hunger to hear the gospel is unprecedented and to meet this increasing demand the CWI team has expanded to now include five Russian-speaking missionaries based in the cities of Odessa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel is currently home to around one million Russian speaking Jewish people with almost 40,000 immigrating into the country in the last four years. Please pray that the Lord will move among this vast community of Russian-speaking Jewish people and that many will come to faith as they hear about the Good News of Jesus.
CWI continues to reach out to Jewish people around the world. Over recent years, many of the those we have seen coming to faith in Jesus have been post-Soviet-era Russian-speaking Jewish people in Israel. As a result, we are expanding our mission work both there and in Ukraine. There has been a significant increase in interest in the gospel from the older generation of Russian-speaking Jewish people, many of whom have lived through the Holocaust and decades of communist oppression. CWI missionaries have been answering many questions by staying in regular communication with their Jewish contacts, during and post lockdown. Please pray for Russian-speaking Jewish people in both Israel and Ukraine, asking that many will turn to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour as we share the gospel with them.
Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) continues to reach out to Jewish people around the world. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and country-wide lockdowns, the Good News is being shared with Jewish people as they ask questions about death, suffering and human mortality. CWI missionaries have been providing answers to these questions by staying in regular touch with their Jewish contacts, most of whom are also in self-isolation, by phone and online. We have been conducting Bible studies and sharing the gospel in conversation, as well as safely distributing food parcels to addicts, the homeless, and Holocaust survivors in Israel. Please pray for all the Jewish people we are reaching out to at this time, asking that many will turn to Jesus as their Saviour.
Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) reaches out to Jewish people across the world and continues to embrace the latest technology to spread the Good News. CWI’s publishing house in Israel “HaGefen Publishing” produces books and Bibles for Jewish people and are excited by the launch of a new app for the unique HaEdut version of the Bible (the Old Testament in Modern Hebrew). The app will reach a younger generation of Jewish people, providing them with an accessible version of the Hebrew Scriptures in a language they can easily understand. Translation work is also nearing completion on the New Testament in Modern Hebrew. Please pray that the Lord will use this technology for his glory and that it will reach many Jewish people in Israel and beyond.
The number of Jewish people turning to Jesus in Israel has increased significantly in recent years. In 1948, when the state of Israel was established, the population of 600,000 included only 23 believers in Jesus as their Messiah and there were no Israeli congregations. Seventy years later, it is estimated that there are now some 30,000 Jewish believers in Jesus and over 300 congregations. During a recent outreach in Jerusalem, thirteen Jewish people turned to Jesus as our two missionaries based there shared the Good News with them. Pray for the church in Israel as it continues to grow.
Christian student groups in Israel usually struggle to advertise their events on campus due to strict rules limiting religious activities. However, in March, Haifa University organised a fair for student groups on campus and allowed the Christian students to have a booth. The students took it seriously and wore special T-shirts. It was a great opportunity for them to be known on campus and for conversations with students at neighbouring booths. Some interested students left their contact information to continue to talk about faith. The Haifa group is arranging a trip to Jerusalem to walk the Via Dolorosa and has invited these students to join. Please pray for this trip and for students’ conversations there to be full of the person of Christ.
Christian Witness to Israel’s publishing house in Israel, is currently translating the New Testament into Modern Hebrew. The Old Testament is already available in five volumes and has made the scriptures accessible to large numbers of Modern Hebrew speakers in Israel and beyond. The only other access to them is in ancient Hebrew, an antiquated language most cannot understand. Their translation is available on an evangelistic website in Israel and when it was taken down for maintenance calls came in from around the world, particularly from the Orthodox community, asking where it had gone. Please pray that the New Testament translation will be read by this community and many other Jewish people and that, through it, they will come to know the promised Messiah of Israel.
Tel Aviv has the highest population of homeless people out of any city in Israel. The majority of these desperate people are also alcohol or drug addicts and suffer from some form of mental or physical illness. A missionary, born in the Ukraine, was a former drug addict himself before the Lord intervened in his life and now runs a weekly outreach to the homeless of Tel Aviv. He shares the gospel, while also providing practical help and support through the rehabilitation his congregation organise. Many have come to profess faith in the Messiah, been baptized, and are on the way to leading fruitful lives free from substance abuse and homelessness. Please pray that the Lord would continue to bless the lives of those living on the streets of Tel Aviv as the Good News is shared with them.
A recent survey found that, of the estimated 189,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, about 45,000 live in poverty, sometimes having to make a choice between food and medicine. Our missionaries in Israel continue to reach out to the decreasing numbers of Holocaust survivors, many of whom, having faced unimaginable tragedy early on in life, are now suffering in their old age. By sharing the good news about Jesus with them and demonstrating his love by helping to meet their practical needs, a number have come to confess Jesus as their Messiah. There is a great urgency for this group, as their average age is around the mid to late 80s. Please pray that the Lord will continue to meet the spiritual and practical needs of this diminishing community through the work of CWI and for many more to come to trust Jesus.
Most Jewish people around the world are only culturally Jewish, and have an array of religious beliefs that include atheism, humanism, Buddhism. Yet, many observant Jewish people are committed to practicing the particulars of the Jewish faith. One of the few common threads for Jewish people around the world is their refusal to consider the Messianic claims of Jesus. This makes Jewish people difficult to reach with the gospel, and yet we must according to Acts 1:8. Will you join us in praying that people would feel less afraid to investigate the person of Jesus? Pray that Jewish people would begin to accept the Jewishness of Jesus.
Church leaders say many Christians in Israel and the Palestinian Territories now feel unsafe, after recently being the target of attacks and inflammatory speeches. An imam at the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem recently posted a video on the Internet urging Muslims to be in a constant state of war against the ‘polytheist enemy’, namely Christians, and also against Jews. In May, a mob attacked property in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem, following a row between a Christian and a Muslim. Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Israel and the Palestinian Territories to be salt and light in their communities. Pray too that moderate Muslims and Christians will unite to stand against extremism in all its forms and promote religious tolerance.
The worldview of all who live in Israel or Palestine today is clouded by violence and conflict. The daily reality of checkpoints, guns and soldiers merely serves to reinforce entrenched historical opposition and prejudices. As a result, the encounter between Israeli and Palestinian is all too often preconditioned by both real and perceived threats, in a way which does not allow space for an alternative story to play out. Pray for the work of Musalha, which promotes reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, as demonstrated in the life and teaching of Jesus, both among believers, and more widely in the two communities.
Praise the Lord that young Israelis are coming to faith in greater numbers than ever before. The Internet has become an invaluable source of information about the Messiah of Israel, particularly for this younger generation. For example the word Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) is Googled from Israel on average 25,000 times a month. At a recent count the word God was being searched about 71,000 times a month, Messiah 96,000 times and New Testament 5,300 times. Pray that these young believers will grow in grace and go on to serve their own generation. Pray also for the reception from relatives and friends to their new-found faith, which can often result in rejection and persecution from those closest to them.
Please pray for the many Jewish people who, having become disillusioned with traditional religion, get caught up in New Age or occult practices. Many Jewish people are attracted by the New Age as they seek spiritual fulfilment. Please pray for the various outreaches and book tables that are held at New Age fairs and for those who work among such Jewish people, seeking to bring the truth of the gospel and the true light of Messiah Jesus to them.
Give thanks that an increasing number of young Israelis are coming to faith in the Messiah in their homeland. Please pray that these believers will have a significant impact on their local communities and families as they grow in faith. They can often face rejection or persecution from those closest to them as they profess faith in Jesus. Please pray for their protection and ongoing witness amidst conflict in Israel.
The Palestinian request for statehood at the UN in September 2011 again highlighted how much the Israel-Palestine question is not just a Middle Eastern issue but a world question. Somewhere in the midst of entrenched, historical, cultural and religious views, lies a body of Christian believers who straddle both the Israeli and Palestinian cultural divides. Pray for wisdom for religious and political leaders on both sides as they seek to lead their respective communities to greater harmony and acceptance.
Population: 8,723,260 (2017)
Official languages: Hebrew, Arabic
GDP (PPP) per capita: $36,379 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 82 years
Religions: 76% Jewish, 16% Muslim, 2% Christian, 2% Druze, 4% other religions