JERUSALEM (RNS) — Israeli postal workers outside Tel Aviv are refusing to deliver thousands of copies of the New Testament and other Hebrew-language Christian materials.
Israel media reported March 6 that dozens of religious and secular Jewish mail deliverers jointly informed their supervisors that disseminating the materials goes against their religious beliefs.
The workers, who deliver mail in Ramat Gan, assert that delivering the items would be tantamount to proselytizing and therefore a violation of Jewish law.
It was not immediately clear who is mailing the materials.
Proselytizing is a sensitive issue among Jewish Israelis, who feel the Jewish people have already lost too many adherents to the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust and other times of Jewish persecution.
Israel’s anti-missionary law prohibits offering people monetary incentives in order to convince them to adopt another faith. It also bans proselytizing to minors. It does not prevent the dissemination of written material.
The Israel Postal Company told Ynet News that it is “a governmental company operating in accordance to the Postal Law, which obligates us to distribute any mail it receives. The Israel Postal Company has no right or ability to choose what it can or cannot distribute. Therefore, the mail will be distributed according to the law.”
— Michele Chabin
© 2012 Religion News Service. Used with permission.
Posted March 11, 2012