Mailmen protest distribution of New Testament

MK Orlev protests distribution of "missionary material to Jews in the State of Israel.”

March 6, 2012 02:48
1 minute read.
Israel Postal Company branch in Jerusalem

Israel Postal Company branch in Jerusalem 390 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

A few dozen Ramat Gan postal workers stopped working on Monday after they were asked to deliver copies of the New Testament and what they said were Christian missionary materials to residents on their mail route.

The postal workers contacted MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) about the matter.

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Orlev turned to Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, asking him to examine the issue.

He requested him to focus in particular regarding how the postal workers could be asked to deliver material that he said seeks to convert Israelis to Christianity.

Orlev said the copies of the New Testament came with pamphlets that warned of “an impending disaster in which peoples’ families would be wiped out and called on them to convert and be saved before it’s too late.”

Orlev said he views the matter with the utmost seriousness, and that “it can’t be that the Israel postal service will deliver missionary material to Jews in the State of Israel.”

He also expressed his concern that the material would fall into the hands of children.

The MK said that next week he will present the Knesset with a proposal for a bill that would call for stiff penalties for distributing missionary materials in Israel.

It is currently illegal to proselytize to minors or to try to bribe people in order to convert them.

The Israeli Postal Company issued a response to the dispute on Monday, saying that it is a government service “that works according to Postal Law, under which it is our responsibility to deliver all mail that comes into our hands for distribution. We don’t have the right to decide what to deliver or not to deliver.”

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