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Christian Persecution Alert: Messianic Jews Arrested In Israel!

Posted by Job on December 16, 2008

Messianic Jews detained at Ben-Gurion

A director of the US Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and his wife were detained Sunday at Ben-Gurion Airport by Interior Ministry officials amid allegations he is involved in illegal Christian missionary activity.
Ben Gurion Airport …

It is illegal in Israel to proselytize among minors. It is also prohibited to engage in missionary activities among adults when economic incentives are offered.

After over eight hours of detention, Jamie Cowen, a former president of the union, and his wife, Stacy, were permitted to enter Israel only after they agreed to sign a document that they would not engage in missionary activities during their stay.

The Cowens are in Israel to visit their two daughters, one of whom is an Israeli citizen. The other is in the process of obtaining citizenship after she and a group of other Messianic Jews won a Supreme Court case against the state.

The Cowens and their daughters all identify as Jews but believe that Jesus is the messiah.

“This type of religious discrimination would be expected of Iran, not Israel,” said Jamie Cowen, a US immigration lawyer, a few hours after he was released by immigration police.

“In the US we imprison individuals suspected of terrorism. Here apparently one can be jailed for his religious convictions. This is a case of blatant discrimination against basic rights. It is a story of a bureaucracy run amok. Someone has to crack down and bring in people of integrity.”

Cowen said he had visited Israel about 10 times, and had been active in social causes via the Knesset Social Lobby.

“I’ve brought $100,000 in humanitarian aid to Israel. We’ve provided lone IDF soldiers with about $50,000 in aid. This is unbelievable,” he said.

The Interior Ministry, which directed the police to arrest the Cowens, said they had classified information regarding missionary activity.

“The Immigration and Population Authority has reliable information that the Cowens were involved in missionary activity prohibited by Israeli criminal law during their last visit to Israel,” a ministry spokesman said.

“This is the reason they were detained. As soon as they agreed to refrain from any missionary activity they were allowed in.”

The Cowens arrived in Israel on a flight from Frankfurt at 3 a.m. They were arrested at passport inspection and placed in detention at the airport.

“As an immigration lawyer I have visited many detention facilities for illegal immigrants. This one was particularly dirty, smelly and overcrowded,” Cowen said.

According to Cowen, the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations has 90 member congregations with membership ranging between 50 and 400 per congregation.

Calev Myers, founder and chief counsel of The Jerusalem Institute, which provides legal advice and representation to messianic Jews, said the Interior Ministry was filled will clerks who identified with a strictly Orthodox definition of who is a Jew.

“During the years that Shas controlled the ministry they made sure to appoint clerks who were willing to carry out their policies,” Myers said.

“As a result, Israel is the only Western country where basic freedom of religion is denied. Today those who being discriminated against are messianic Jews. Tomorrow it will be Conservative and Reform Jews.”

Myers said anti-missionary organizations such as Yad Le’achim often tipped off Interior Ministry officials regarding messianic Jews attempting to enter the country.

However, Meir Cohen, a Yad Le’Achim activist, said that while it was true that his organization did provide the ministry with information, they were not involved in the Cowens’ case.

Cohen said the ministry had its own intelligence unit that gathered information on missionaries and on messianic Jews who were ineligible for Israeli citizenship due to their religious convictions.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Jews who embraced Christianity are not eligible for Israeli citizenship. However, the court has also ruled that people who are not Jews according to Orthodox standards, but who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return do not forfeit this right if they adopt Christian beliefs.


16 Responses to “Christian Persecution Alert: Messianic Jews Arrested In Israel!”

  1. Devon said

    I saw this yesterday and I found what makes it even more disturbing is reading some of the comments at the jerusalem post by people that are obviously strongly anti Christian…sad….

    I have always found it amazing and incredible that from a Jewish pov, that a Jew may be an athiest, a Buddhist, a new ager or whatever but the moment a Jew accepts his Messiah, they are no longer Jewish??

    That is totally demonic…ironic to considering that in the first century church, that some of the Jewish believers in Jesus said that you had to become ‘more jewish’ before you could be a believer….incredible…now it is the opposite…

    I am Pro Israel but I am under no illusion from our Lord and Savior’s viewpoint that we have only Christ and his Church as our allies!

  2. theoldadam said

    “I am Pro Israel but I am under no illusion from our Lord and Savior’s viewpoint that we have only Christ and his Church as our allies!”

    That about says it for me, too.

  3. John Kaniecki said


    Hope you are well.

    There are two things that make a Jew the blood line and living in accordance to God. Most of the Jews cannot trace their blood line. Also most Jews read the Talmud which is not in accordance with the Old Testament. The Talmud is a very wicked and evil book! Furthermore the Kingdom of Heaven or the Church of Christ has replaced Isreal as becoming God’s children.

    Is you alliance with Isreal based on spiritual connections or political, economic and military.

    I can give scriptures to support my position but will not do so now for time constraints. Exactly what role the state named Isreal today plays in prophecy I do not know. Yet when it speaks of Isreal it does not neccessarily mean the entity that exists there today.



  4. John Kaniecki said


    Romans 9:6 “…For they are not all Israel, which are of Isreal.”

    Also Galatians 5:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is niether bond nor free, niether male nor female for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then ye are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    The scripture from Galatians pretty much convinces me that there is no more an Isreal only Christians. In fact a careful reading of Galatians will show that in the past only those connected by the Spirit were truly Israel.

    How to understand the mentioning of Israel and Jerusalem in prophecy I don’t know. I am certain however that God’s people are Christians and Christians are special because of their covenant relationship with Jesus. Those without a covenant realtionship with Jesus are excluded from God’s Kingdom whether they be Jews, Muslims or whatever.



  5. theoldadam said

    “Those without a covenant realtionship with Jesus are excluded from God’s Kingdom whether they be Jews, Muslims or whatever.”

    That’s a bit intolerant, don’t you think, John?

    I agree with your statement 100%.

    Intolerant or not. It’s what the Bible tells us about what God is after…faith in Christ Jesus.

  6. Job said

    John Kaniecki:

    Romans 11:1
    I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

    We can’t get around what that says or means.

    Nor can we get around

    John 4:22
    Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

    In terms of salvation through Jesus Christ, of course, there is no distinction and no profit in being Jewish or non – Jewish. And as the Sinai covenant is dead, Jews who do not believe in Jesus Christ are not under God’s covenant, have no relationship with God, and are not being used to carry out His purposes in the world. This would still be true Talmud (and Kabbalah) or no Talmud (and Kabbalah).

    But there was God’s covenant with Abraham, which did cover the natural seed of Abraham, which conferred promises on the natural seed of Isaac. (And another set of promises on the natural seed of Ishmael, I have a curious set of teachings on that downloaded on Itunes, haven’t listened to it yet.) Those were not conditional as was the Sinai covenant, those are still valid for blood descendants of Abraham even if they are not good for those who practice the religion of Judaism. See, that was what Paul was referring to when he called himself a descendant of Benjamin, his blood ancestry and not the religion that he was practicing. Why? Because at the time, Paul and the early church, both Jew and Gentile, considered themselves to be practicing true Judaism, Judaism in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ. So, the divisions in the early church were not between Christians and people who wanted to practice Judaism, but rather between two groups who saw themselves as Jews. (Recall that the term “Christian” did not even exist until it was created in Antioch decades after Pentecost.) The issue, then, was not over religion, but genetic heritage as well as traditions, rites, ceremonies, observances, etc. most of which are now irrelevant because virtually no Jews are of Middle Eastern extraction and still observe most of the cultural and traditional stuff, and there is also no more temple or priesthood.

    So, the church was never intended to replace natural Israel, Abraham’s natural seed. It was only supposed to take up the role of national Israel in terms of fulfilling God’s purposes in the world under the new covenant through worship, praise, and preaching the gospel. (Keep in mind: one did not have to be a genetic seed of Abraham to join national Israel. Though it was exceedingly rare, they did accept converts such as Rahab, Ruth, and Uriah the Hittite. Curious that both Rahab and Ruth are in Jesus Christ’s geneaology, and so is Bathsheba, who was wife of Uriah the Hittite before stolen by David.)

    Romans 9:6 does not refer to the modern Jewish religion, which did not even exist in Paul’s day, and did not come into being until years after the temple was destroyed. It and passages like it in the epistles (though not in the gospels I should point out, at that point the Jewish religion was still valid, as Jesus Christ Himself practiced it, as even though the Sinai covenant was broken, it was not fulfilled until Christ died on the cross) refer to nationality, not religion. At the very most, it could have referred to nationality AND religion, but even if it did, since that religion died with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD, then its only application today is to genetic Israel, Abraham’s natural seed.

    So, the fate of genetic Israel, Abraham’s natural seed, some of which may or may not be practicing modern Judaism and may or may not be in the state of modern Israel, is still of very much interest to Christians, because there are still some unfulfilled prophecies concerning them, especially as they relate to the endtimes. Most prominently, the Bible states that Abraham’s natural descendants will see, acknowledge, and accept the Messiah that they rejected when He first came. There are other prophecies too.

    The primary error with modern dispensationalism is that it makes no effort to distinguish modern Israel and Old Testament Israel, modern Judaism from Old Testament Judaism, and most importantly those who practice modern Judaism with those who are actually descended from Abraham. As a matter of fact, it actually at times seems to purposefully, willfully make this error.

    On the other hand, I have to admit that the people who claim that the church has replaced Old Testament Israel and that we are supposed to set up little Christian commonwealths all over the place where people are born and baptized into as infants which forms the same purpose of and replaces the Jewish circumcision ritual … that error lasted a lot longer and was much more damaging, especially when you considered that it was the source of oh so many wars AND hindered people from fulfilling the great commission, which they claimed was only given to the apostles, was fulfilled in the apostolic era, so if you weren’t born to Christian parents in a Christian commonwealth then obviously you weren’t elected to salvation, or rather even if you were born in a heathen nation God would bring you to a preacher, not a preacher to you. (I am sorry, but the more I study the doctrines of the people who founded and ran these Reformed states, the more it seems like Roman Catholicism without Mary and the pope, which is basically what Augustinianism is … Augustine may not have been Roman Catholic, but he certainly was 100% Catholic!)

  7. John Kaniecki said


    Hi hope you are well.

    Romans 11:1 as I understand it is saying that God has not rejected all his people. Paul then makes the point that he is a Jew. Then he goes on to tell he Elijah thought himself to be the only faithful one to God. God rebukes Elijah and says there are seven thousand others who have stayed true.

    John 4:22 is refering to none other than Jesus. The primary role of the whole Jewish nation was to produce a Messiah for all people Jews and Gentiles. Once this was accomplished the Jewish people lost their stature as being God’s people. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” If you deny Jesus you have no faith in Him and thus cannot please God.

    Let us agree on this.

    Salvation is from Jesus alone and no other source.
    Modern day Israel for the majority cannot trace their ancestry back to ancient Israel.
    Modern day Israel for the most part does not follow the teachings of the Old Testament but instead rely on the Talmud.
    Prophecy talks about Israel and there are things not fufilled that have yet to take place.

    If we can agree on that I’d like for you to show me the scripture where all Israel will be saved.



  8. Job said


    Romans 11:26 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”

    I am trying to work up a contextual interpretation of that fragment incidentally.

    “Salvation is from Jesus alone and no other source.
    Modern day Israel for the majority cannot trace their ancestry back to ancient Israel.
    Modern day Israel for the most part does not follow the teachings of the Old Testament but instead rely on the Talmud.
    Prophecy talks about Israel and there are things not fufilled that have yet to take place.”

    Agreed 100% on each point.

    “John 4:22 is refering to none other than Jesus. The primary role of the whole Jewish nation was to produce a Messiah for all people Jews and Gentiles. Once this was accomplished the Jewish people lost their stature as being God’s people. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” If you deny Jesus you have no faith in Him and thus cannot please God.”

    Agreed. There is a bit regarding the “not my people” passages in Hosea that we could debate, but I will not right now. I just wanted to point out that there are prophecies and promises regarding the natural seed of Abraham that have not yet been fulfilled. I want to try to see what theologians that represent neither the amillennial/covenant theology school or the dispensational/pretribulation rapture school have to say about them. If you can recommend one, I would be eternally grateful.

  9. John Kaniecki said


    Let me examine the Romans scripture more. Is it perhaps talking about the church there?

    I never found a good book on the prophets. I read the prophets and see God calling out for justice more than anything else.

    I firmly believe scripture teaches the rapture is at the end of time.



  10. Yaakov du Plessis said

    Hi, I landed on this site by ‘coincidence’ It’s rather late and I haven’t got the energy to read everything you guys wrote. I want to take the liberty to refer you to the “Restoration Scriptures, True Name Edition Study Bible”. More info available from I ordered mine about 3 months ago and I can not begin to tell you what insight and knowledge I gained from this “first translation from the original manuscripts” instead of a translation from a translation from a translation. Romans, Galations, Ephesians, Collosians, etc. the whole Scripture became new and real for the first time in my life. This is a must for every believer!!
    Yaakov du Plessis

  11. John said


    Galatians 6:16 identifies all believes in Christ as being the “spiritual Israel”, and the Gr. kai (translated “and” in some versions, ommitted in others) does not destroy that sense (in Greek); the “and” is translated in English as such specifically to support the beliefs you purport here, despite that as such the translation’s sense is out of sync with the Greek’s.

    Considering that Romans 11:26 is Pauline, considering his theology, background, and the rest of Scripture, the general conclusion of those who have thoroughly, systematically, carefully, handled Scripture, is that that passage is about believing Israel, just as Paul says, not all who are of Abraham’s seed are Israel; Paul ends up using the word “seed” not just in physical terms, but spiritual; the see of the same faith in God for salvation, specifically in Christ, as Abraham, rather than merely those of his flesh.


  12. patchman said

    My ole friend Jamie…..a good man with a good wife. He was in my prayers no more than a few days back. They can bring you in from Russia not knowing you’re a Christian, and you can stay. If you’re a Christian and not on some repopulation list, you’re banned. Come on…..

  13. KB said

    Where else do you think modern Jews come from? DNA research has shown that they are of Mideastern origin and they are the only group to have preserved the Hebrew language and culture. Modern Jews do not rely on the Talmud, and it is only a collection of commentaries. It isn’t regarded as a Holy book, the Hebrew scriptures are. Strange comments on this page.

    BTW, the New Testament is full of contradictions, errors and every other sign of being decidedly uninspired by God.

  14. ha, i was detained too, they found my Messianic Literature…i had left was very little..i had much printed in Israel, and also many places told me..we signed papers so we cant give out this Hebrew Messianic literature…i said well let me have some, and they gladly did.

    as i was questioned leaving Israel the first time…i refused to tell them the names and addresses of the Messianics i stayed with in Israel, they called me a terrorist. and had me down to my underwear..but it was all good lol…but we have to be ready for things like this…
    after that time, i stayed at an orthodox hotel, that had Soviet Jewish maids…
    so i just gave them my receipt and was able to leave freely.

    Shalom to the true Jewish…not to the deceivers

    it is time to speak up…how can anyone possibly believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah? my own mother told me Jesus is a liar, other times she says he never existed….
    …i have searched…and i know the truth;
    Messianic…to believe the 1 Messiah makes one spiritually Jewish
    By david7israel
    shalom and thanks friend/s the undying question…who is a true Jew, atheist’s born Jewish are declared Jews…but there is only one that is considered definately not Jewish…Isaiah 53 says that one will come who will be despised and rejected…will we reject the one that accepts this one?

    the last post was on Islam…please check it out if your interested

    the question do we know..who is the 1 Messiah? the temple is destroyed…Moses said there is no forgiveness/atonement from sin without the shedding of blood” Leviticus 17:11th verse

    Isaiah said one would come be rejected and lay down his life as a lamb for our sins, and would later be exaulted isaiah 52 last paragraph and chapter 53

    we can make excuses not to believe Moses and Isaiah..but then truely we are no longer spiritually Jewish

    or we can know we were not lied to …and that before the temple was destroyed..the blood atonement had been fulfilled…and the new religions developed that reject Moses command calling it archaic or whatever, and Isaiah’s promise…are truely not Jewish no matter what they call themselves…and even demand that those that believe Moses and Isaiah (including Messianic Jews) are no longer Jewish.

    This entry was posted on June 12, 2010 at 12:05 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.

    One Response to “Messianic…to believe the 1 Messiah makes one spiritually Jewish”
    david7israel Says:

    June 12, 2010 at 12:05 am | Reply edit

    Shalom, Yes, I happen to be a Jew, born and became Bar Mitzvah too. That was when I was given a copy of our Jewish Scriptures, and they led me to the truth, both from the Hebrew and the English too.
    that mention Channukah- an ancient story but a modern battle

    1. I speak to this and to another who writes from South Africa and is determined to stop ‘Messianic Jews’ and the very concept of them.

    2.It is time to stand up for truth, thanks. Why take the closest thing we have had to a prophet with a message from God, or a Jewish Priest in the last 2000 years…the legend of the burning oil, in all these years and tag it to Christianity?

    Interesting from another, the one I consider a dear teacher from South Africa.
    I have been through many turns, ups and downs as of late and may well die this week Thursday. I wish to hear from you with some little help.
    I have been out of touch with you for over a year. And your zeal fascinates me. Like Rabbi Saul who became the Christians leading writer as renamed Paul, spoken of in the goyim’s book of Acts, who killed and helped kill the ‘messianic Jews’ not like you who says Christians are fine to believe in their Messiah, as long as they dont claim to still be Jewish if came from Jewish decent.
    How does a Jew become not born to a Jewish mother?
    How does a Jew that believes Rabbi Schneerson was the Messiah become a non Jew for believing wrongly? Rabbi Schneerson was not born in Bethlehem from eternity Micah 5 verses 1 and 2.
    He was not born a son given, almighty God, wonderful in counsel (yet he was a great counselor), the prince of peace. Isaiah 9 verses 5 & 6.
    He was not the one that was to be exaulted after he first was marred more than any man, and would shut the mouths of kings and be rejected by his own people and die as a lamb for their sins. Isaiah 52 last paragraph and chapter 53(although he was very favored as he sent out his followers to get other Jewish to leave their beliefs and their parents food as not kosher enough so they would refuse to eat with them even a passover seder).
    He didnt claim to be a prophet or a priest…Why take the closest thing we have had to a prophet with a message from God, or a Jewish Priest with our blood atonement sacrifice Leviticus 17 verse 11 as stated “For it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” in the last 2000 and disregard all this for something from the lost temple, meaning Hashem failed or we as many rabbis declare, our sins had the temple destroyed.
    Jonah our cherished prophet, was called to be a bringer of truth to the gentiles. Was he wrong to do this?
    We may disagree, because the Messiah is my best friend, you pride yourself in honesty and to print even that which you disagree with as long as they dont have web reference to ‘missionaries’ regardless of their references and statements.
    In highest regards, David

    Comment by David Alan Ben Israel | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    3.I am sorry about your divorce from your wife, and sorry that i did leave out the reference under Rabbi Schneerson..the one to be exalted …Isaiah 52 the last paragraph and chapter 53. (put in in this article)
    I wish you every happiness and for me pray
    please and send what you may
    thanks again David fromt he USA.

    p.s. How will we know our Messiah? the only footnote in my Jewish Scriptures from the Harkavay Edition is under Zechariah 12 verses 9 & 10 “When we shall see him whom we have pierced, we will mourn as a mother mourns for her only lost child.”
    the footnote amazingly states, this is talking about Israel….how can Israel have pierced Israel and mourn for Israel when they see Israel, like a mother mourns for her only lost son?

    dont ever be a gentile…be a true Jew…thanks David

  15. I stood up for the Berdfords from South Africa years ago. I talked personally to the Judge before his final decision..not to have them deported out of Israel for believing Yeshua is the Messiah…I said if we let Athiest Jews stay..and others then why make Messianic leave? the orthodox where strong fighting this…they are at last i know still in Israel but refused citizenship

    in the supreme court that day i tried to give to all i could, and when i got upstairs i said..downstairs someone was giving these out..and handed one to each office..some said ‘what do you want me to do?’ i said i dont know..and left the article and walked out…finally i put them in the window shelves and they came out of the offices and started getting them…’these are them’ and then i walked down the stairs with an empty bag folded and left..and i distributed literature in Hebrew showing that Moses and Isaiah would be kicked out of Jewish Yeshivah for their beliefs in Hebrew,i also had literature in Russian for Soviet Jews…in Israel it isnt against the law to put into mail boxes..which is convienient in Apartments in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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