Protestant congregation will build church in Israel

Jerusalem, Isreal – A Christian Protestant organisation has won a long legal battle and, probably for the first time ever, it will build its church in a Jewish area near Tel Aviv. The Christian congregation, “Grace and Truth”, got the green light from the Israeli Supreme Court to complete building works against which Orthodox Jewish groups ranged themselves.

Breaking the news, the Assist News Service (ANS) specified that the Grace and Truth congregation, Reformed and Baptist, is a native Israeli church, reaching out to Jews and Arabs. Founded in 1976, it is one of Israel’s oldest churches and has paved the way for other churches in the country. Grace and Truth has led a successful international campaign against efforts to restrict religious freedom in Israel.

David Zaodk, of the church elders, said in Israel, “the Gospel has not really penetrated all levels of society,” and that “although the numbers of Jewish Christians are growing, it is still too small”. His church has been continuously growing in recent years: there are 450 adherents, of whom 150 are under 18 and 150 new believers.

The building under construction is situated in the heart of the country: the walls are up, the roof is in place and most of the wiring, plumbing and tiling have been completed. But there is still much to do. The building site is protected day and night to avoid acts of vandalism by Orthodox Jews. When it is completed it will be available for use every day for prayers, weddings, conferences and seminars.