What if your 17 year old came home and said they wanted to change their religion?
By most accounts, there are approximately 15 million Jews worldwide. This is less than 0.2% of the world population. In comparison, there are 70 million evangelical Christians in North America alone. When one considers assimilation and the loss of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, it is miraculous that the Jewish people have survived. But we have survived, and in many ways, we are flourishing.
"It is miraculous that the Jewish people have survived.
But survival has challenges, both physical and spiritual."
Challenges Facing Jews
Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda continue to saturate college campuses and social media.
Spiritually, many Jews are unaffiliated and uninformed about the relevancy and beauty of Jewish tradition.
Fortunately, opportunities for education and inspiration abound, and the internet makes this easily accessible.
One historical challenge facing Judaism is the enticements of other beliefs and ideologies.
Some, like Buddhism, are based on Eastern thought, and others are more westernized forms of Christianity.
The challenger posed by Christianity are compounded by many issues.
The following time line is provided a perspective on the events affecting Christianity and Judaism.
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First and foremost, Christianity is the predominate religion major Jewish population centers outside of Israel. With interfaith marriages at an all-time high, this contributes to Jews converting to their non-Jewish spouse’s faith and raising their children in that faith.
The number of non-Jews converting to Judaism does not come close to compensating for the attrition rate.
Second, the State of Israel has become reliant on political and financial support from Evangelical Christians. They are often described as, “Israel’s best friends.”
As a result, evangelicals are not considered a serious threat to Jewish survival. The immediate benefits of this friendship have clouded the historically state of caution that has historically existed between Jews and Christians.
This has given Jews a false sense of security and caused them to lower their guard.
The Power Of Social Media
Third, the extensive use of social media by evangelicals has moved missionaries from street corner to chat-rooms and created a misconception that missionaries are no longer an issue.
The slogan “out of sight out of mind” is applicable here.
Confusion Of Rituals & Translations
Finally, it has become second nature for missionaries and evangelical churches to use the tactic of masquerading Christianity in the guise on Judaism.
Biblical and rabbinic text are mistranslated and misquoted and Jewish rituals are co-opted to lend legitimacy to a non-Jewish faith.
The use of mixed messages is no longer the sole ploy of Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews.Now, millions of evangelicals also tell their Jewish associates and neighbors that they can be Jewish and Christian at the same time.
Christian Beliefs & Congregations
According to a recent Gallup poll, there are over 70 million “born again” Christians in North America alone.
A core belief for most evangelicals is that the conversion of Jews to Christianity will hasten the return of Jesus and the final redemption.
Using deceptive tactics backed with millions of dollars, Christians have developed a network of messianic congregations and fellowships that have attracted hundreds-of-thousands of Jews from all denominations.
Misinterpreting of Jewish scriptures and rabbinical texts can foster confusion that leads to vulnerability in most individuals.
Empowering The Jewish Experience
The best defense against all forms of assimilations is education that empowers individuals to make informed choices and promote a passionate and spiritual Jewish experience.
To that end, Jews for Judaism International was established in 1986.
With full-time centers in Los Angeles and Toronto and an extensive worldwide presence on the internet, Jews for Judaism reaches millions of individuals each year.
There is a misconception that only emotionally unstable Jews fall prey to missionary overtures. In fact, the deliberate misquoting, mistranslating and misinterpreting of Jewish scriptures and rabbinical texts can foster confusion that leads to vulnerability in most individuals.