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Lockdown spikes demand for New Testaments among Jewish people

by Heather Preston

A Jewish Christian mission agency has reported an increased demand for copies of the New Testament during the coronavirus outbreak.

Christian Witness to Israel (CWI) says its missionaries have seen a spike in spiritual interest as people search for answers to the current crisis.

CWI has missionaries working across the globe to share the message of the gospel with Jewish people through discipleship, evangelistic literature and the distribution of Bibles.

CEO Joseph Steinberg told Premier there is a particular hunger to learn more about Jesus in Israel, with many people requesting copies of the New Testament.

Steinberg gave one example of a man who has begun reassessing his faith there: "We had a young man who's the son of a famous Rabbi in Israel. His father recently passed away and he started reading the Old Testament and began to see Jesus there and researching Jesus online. 

"Then ultimately he decided he wanted a New Testament and so he contacted us and we sent him one. He's reading that and he really sees that Jesus is the Messiah is what he said."

Interest in the Christian faith has grown worldwide during the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey by international aid agency Tearfund which revealed that Google searches for the word 'prayer' and 'Christianity' have increased. Figures also show that 25 per cent of the UK population have listened to a religious service since the country went into lockdown.

A Jewish man based in Leeds came to faith in Jesus just days before passing away from covid-19, after a member of CWI led him in a prayer of salvation whilst he was in intensive care. Steinberg explained that one of their missionaries had been regularly witnessing to the former atheist for the past 25 years.

"There's a lot more seeking going on right now as people are locked down. I think God's using it. He's using it to shake up people's lives and their hearts."

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