Jews for Jesus Campaigner Taken to Prison in Israel Without Cause
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2013, San Francisco, CA
Freedom of Religion Under Assault
Jews for Jesus worker hauled off to Ramle Prison for exercising his faith.
Barry B., a participant in the Jews for Jesus “Behold Your God Israel Campaign in the Negev, now in progress, was taken to prison in Ramle (near Tel Aviv). Mr. B., a British citizen on staff with the organization, was part of a team in the Beer Sheva region holding up a banner with an evangelistic message and a cell phone number to call.
A group of six immigration inspectors seized the banner and took B. into custody (the other members of the team were Israeli citizens). Without charging him, they detained him for several hours in an immigration office in the town of Omer before moving him to the prison in Ramle.
Jews for Jesus is a legal charity in Israel and has never had any of their staff taken to prison for expressing their belief that Jesus is the Messiah. Dan Sered, Israel director, commented:
“I am shocked at this outrageous behavior. As an Israeli, I have been proud that our country allows for freedom of religion, yet those who seized Barry and took him to prison have done a shameful thing. Our outreach in Israel is 100% legal and Barry, though a British citizen, is not an illegal worker in Israel. With his B2 tourist visa he is permitted to exercise his faith, which is what he was doing.”
Jews for Jesus is an international organization with branches in 14 countries and 26 cities. Their mission statement says it all: “We exist to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to Jews world wide.”
“Of course…” says their Executive Director, David Brickner, “…that must include Israel!”
UPDATE: November 22, 2013, San Francisco, CA
Barry still be held in a prison cell in Israel. Jews for Jesus executive director, David Brickner, speaks out.