Christian missionary ramps up outreach to Israeli Jews in northern cities

Andrew Lewis previously gained notoriety in Israel for mailing a copy of the New Testament to every member of the Knesset.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A missionary who was fined thousands of shekels last year after aggressively proselytizing to Jewish children has recently ramped up his efforts to convert Israelis to Christianity, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

Australian national Andrew Scott Lewis, who identifies himself as a “Messianic Jew,” was found to have used his children for his conversion efforts throughout southern Israel.

At the time, Lewis and his family lived in Moshav Otzem, near Kiryat Gat.

In June 2020, Lewis instructed his children to approach other kids at playgrounds in Kiryat Malachi and hand them Christian outreach materials, as well as post missionary flyers on recreational equipment.

He was fined 5,000 shekels for the incident, as proselytizing to minors is a violation of Israeli law.

Lewis was also reportedly behind an incident in which flyers urging Jews to convert to Christianity were posted on the exterior wall of a synagogue in Ashdod.

Residents of Moshav Otzem pressured Lewis to leave their community, and many believed he had returned to Australia.

But anti-missionary advocacy group Yad L’Achim said Tuesday that Lewis had been spotted in the north of Israel, and was engaging in missionary activity once again.

The organization said it had received complaints from numerous Israelis in the northern municipalities of Haifa, Afula, and Harish, about children distributing New Testaments and other Christian material to Jews.

Based on the missionary materials that the complainants turned over to Yad L’Achim, the organization said it was clear that Lewis was behind the activity.

“We ask the public to keep their eyes open and update our emergency hotline in case you come across it, so that we can respond quickly for the good of the public,” the organization said in a statement.

According to the website of an Australian Baptist Church, Lewis moved to Israel more than a decade ago with the goal of converting Israeli Jews to Christianity.

“In October of 2007, Lavington Baptist Church was very proud to have commissioned Andrew and Rachel Lewis for the mission field in Israel,” reads a post on the church’s site.

“Their goal in their mission is the furtherance of the Gospel to the people of Israel.”

Lewis previously gained notoriety in Israel for mailing a copy of the New Testament to every member of the Knesset.

In response, former Jewish Home MK Zevulun Orlev filed a police complaint against Lewis.