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No, Israel has not banned Christianity – Logically

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CLAIM ID
Kulsum
May 3, 2023 12:11:30 PM
There is no formal law in place that bans the practice of religion in Israel.

Context


Outrage spread across social media after Israeli lawmakers proposed a bill in January 2023 to outlaw any attempts to preach Christianity. On April 20, 2023, an Instagram user posted a video claiming that “Israel is banning Christianity.” In the video, Israeli police officers can be seen managing a crowd of shoppers at a street market, and an officer is seen removing a crucifix from a shop. This video was also widely shared on Facebook in the context of the bill being introduced by Israel’s lawmakers. However, the bill has only been proposed and has not been made law yet.

In Fact

Two ultra-Orthodox Jewish legislators, including Moshe, chair of the Israeli parliament’s Finance Committee, presented the bill on January 24, 2023. According to a report by AP News, the proposed legislation aims to ban “all efforts by persons of one faith who wish in any way to discuss or attempt to persuade adherents of other faiths to consider changing their current religious beliefs.” The bill further states that those who discuss Christianity would face at least a year in prison, and if the conversation is with a minor, it results in a two-year penalty. The bill read, “Recently, the attempts of missionary groups, mainly Christians, to solicit conversion of religion have increased,” the report by AP News added. Although the proposed legislation is real, it is incorrect that Israel is outlawing Christianity as a result of it.

Moreover, according to the AP report, lawmaker Moshe Gafni said the bill was only introduced as a procedural matter and there were no plans to move it forward.

After the bill drew widespread attention on social media in March 2023, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted that he would prevent the bill from becoming law. The tweet, posted in Hebrew and translated into English, said, “We will not advance any law against the Christian community.”

The Verdict

Israel’s government has not advanced any bill that would ban Christianity. There is no such law in place in the country. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.
 

If you think a claim has been misjudged or requires correction, please send us evidence to support your error claim. We will revisit our evidence and verdict and conduct additional research to verify new information.
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Written by: Christianity Today

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