Protestant TV channel begins airing in Israel despite missionary content

Under Israeli law, proselytizing to persons under 18 years of age is forbidden unless consent is given by a parent.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

Despite an Israeli law forbidding proselytizing to persons under 18 years of age, a prominent worldwide Protestant TV program was given permission to air, and at least some of its programming smacks of missionary type activity.

Shelanu TV, a Hebrew-language broadcast of GOD TV, aired its first episode in Israel on April 27 after signing a seven-year contract with HOT Cable, the largest cable network in Israel.

“God has opened up a miraculous doorway for GOD TV… by sharing the good news of Yeshua (Jesus), including powerful real-life testimonies of Israelis who have come to know Yeshua as Messiah,” GOD TV’s website stated.

“We want Jewish viewers to embrace the fact that Jesus is theirs. He is not a foreigner, an intruder, or imposter. He is their Jewish Messiah, born in Israel, raised as a Jew,” it said.

Under Israeli law, proselytizing to persons’ under 18 years of age is forbidden unless consent is given by a parent.

Haaretz reached out on Monday to Asher Biton, the chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, for comment as to why the council approved HOT’s deal with the Protestant TV channel if it violates Israeli law.

According to Haaretz, Biton said he did not know that GOD TV planned to engage in missionary activities.

“According to our regulations, it is fine to broadcast religious programming,” he said, “but it is forbidden to broadcast content that has the potential to influence viewers in an undue fashion, and most certainly young and impressionable viewers.”

Biton said he would revoke the channel’s license if the council found that its content is breaking the law or intends to break it.

GOD TV’a programming primarily caters to youth in over 200 countries around the world.