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Israel to deport German woman after suspected ties with missionary group

ICC Note

In the latest actions against Christians, Israeli government is deporting a German woman after accusing her of link with missionary group.

05/29/2008 Israel (International Herald Tribune)-Israeli authorities have ordered the deportation of a German student who claims she is a victim of government persecution of missionary groups.

The government insisted Thursday that Barbara Ludewig, 33, is not being kicked out because of missionary activity, but because she has resided in Israel illegally for five years.

Two letters on ministry letterhead that Decker sent to The Associated Press had clear references to Ludewig’s alleged missionary activity. The last was dated April 28.

And several years ago, the ministry interrogated Ludewig about her ties to missionary groups and Messianic Jews — suggesting those ties are the real reason her request for a student’s visa was denied, Decker said. Messianic Jews, also known as Jews for Jesus, accept Jesus as their savior.

There are an estimated 10,000 Messianic Jews living in Israel .

While Israel maintains close ties and receives significant political and financial support from Christian evangelicals abroad, the government frowns on missionary work. Proselytizing is only illegal, however, if minors are targeted or if payment is offered to induce someone to convert.

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