Missionary organisation Christian Witness to Israel (CSWI) has announced its official name change to ‘International Mission to Jewish People’, effective 1 January 2021.
Announcing the change, the groups CEO Joseph Steinberg said that their name had "become a hinderance in engaging parts of the Church".
"This is due to the assumption many people make that our name means we are focussed on politics or land issues in the Middle East when in fact we are solely focussed on telling Jewish people about Jesus, wherever they may be," Steinberg added.
CWI's Board Chair, Paul Morris, explained the process the organisation had undertaken before deciding to officially change their name.
He said: “In September 2019 we contacted 2,000 key supporters to canvass their opinions. 93% of those who responded were in favour of a name change to better reflect who we are and what we do. In fact, more than 75% of those surveyed told us that the name International Mission to Jewish People reflected what the organisation does. In addition, almost two-thirds of those surveyed chose International Mission to Jewish People as the best name for the organisation moving forward.
“Together with input and wisdom from the CWI leadership team, church partners, and after much prayer and discussion, we have now taken the decision to rename our organisation to better reflect who we are and what we are focussed on."
Joseph Steinberg added: “ We believe that our new name – International Mission to Jewish People - will overcome past misunderstanding, helping us to engage more supporters and churches to partner with us and, in doing so, we will see the lives of more Jewish people transformed by the love of Jesus.
“All over the world we are seeing God at work, bringing Jewish people to faith, lives being transformed as they accept Jesus as their Messiah, Lord and Saviour. As we look to this new season, we pray that our new name - International Mission to Jewish People - will help us lay foundations for the future, as we continue to share the good news of the Messiah Jesus with Jewish people everywhere."
CWI has been operating for 175 years, sharing the Good News of Jesus with Jewish people and currently has missionaries in the UK, mainland Europe including France, Hungary and the Netherlands, Australasia, Ukraine, North America and Israel.