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World News

Israeli minister threatens to shut down God TV channel for preaching the gospel to Jews

by Premier Journalist

Israel's Minister for Communications has threatened to pull the plug on a new Hebrew-language evangelical channel which aims "to take the gospel of Jesus into the homes and lives and hearts of the Jewish people."

Under its newly issued license, Shelanu TV is prohibited from broadcasting content that subjects viewers to "undue influence." 

Evangelising, therefore, is off the table. This message was reiterated by communication's minister and Likud party member, David Amsalem, who said: "We won't allow any missionary channel to operate in the State of Israel - not at any time and not under any circumstances."

When Amsalem heard that the channel would be proudly sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, he immediately asked the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council to investigate.

He explained: "As soon as I heard about the incident, I asked the council's chairman to launch a comprehensive investigation to determine that no channel is violating the terms of its license, and if indeed this channel is engaged in missionary activities, it will be taken down immediately."

Under Israel law it is illegal to proselytise anyone under the age of 18 without first gaining parental consent. 

Shelanu TV is the Israeli arm of global Christian broadcaster, God TV. The network recently signed a seven-year contract with Hot, an Israeli cable television company that reaches some 700,000 households. 

Ward Simpson, the CEO of God TV, announced in a video that the network "has been given government permission to broadcast the gospel of Jesus Christ - Yeshuah the Messiah - in Israel on cable TV in the Hebrew language. Never before, as far as we know in the history of the world, has this ever been done."

The video was promptly removed from the God TV website on Tuesday. 

Ron Kantor, the network's regional director, insisted that his network had been entirely transparent during the licensing process. 
 "I immediately asked them, 'Can we broadcast in Hebrew?' And the answer was an emphatic yes," he told Haaretz.
"We are not ashamed of who we are and what we believe.

"We were told many times that laws have changed and there was no issue with our programming. Certainly if we were doing something sneaky, we would not have announced it to the world."

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