HOME  DISINFORMATION  PLUNDER  PLUNDER BRAINS
O'Sullivan   Windsor Star   10-Feb-1995   Let in a flood of goyim
"Rev. Radwan Romanos, a Greek Orthodox priest who organizes services for Russian Christians living in Jewish towns around Nazareth, said one second-grade girl was taunted, hit and then ostracized by other children after she wore a cross to school." Arieh O'Sullivan

Israeli Christians pray in shadows

By Arieh O'Sullivan


JERUSALEM (AP) Jana Fungartz has a secret she keeps from her Israeli friends she's Christian.

She puts her pictures of Jesus, her crucifixes and holy candles well out of sight in the back room of her apartment.

"I don't think they are interested, but we don't tell them to be on the safe side," said the 55-year-old former mining engineer who emigrated with her family two years ago from Kiev.

Fungartz, whose husband is Jewish, is part of a wave of Christian faithful who have arrived in the Holy Land among a half-million immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Although there are no precise figures, Daniel Rossing of the Melitz interfaith centre estimates 25,000 of those immigrants are Christians many observing their faith in secret.

"They are Christians who are in hiding.  They practise their religion (in secret) because they don't want to risk losing their benefits," said Kevin Carey, chancellor of the Greek-Catholic Patriarchate in Jerusalem's Old City.

Under Israel's 1951 Law of Return, anyone married to a Jew or who has at least one Jewish grandparent is entitled to immigrate and to get immigrant benefits.

BUT BENEFITS could be revoked and a person deported if he or she lied about Jewish ties to gain immigrant status.

There have been no deportations, and cancelling benefits is rare.

Even so, many Christian Russians feel that the less revealed the better.  They fear discrimination from their neighbors and in the job market as well as stigmatizing their children in the schools.

Rev. Radwan Romanos, a Greek Orthodox priest who organizes services for Russian Christians living in Jewish towns around Nazareth, said one second-grade girl was taunted, hit and then ostracized by other children after she wore a cross to school.

"I used to visit them (parishioners) at their homes, but they asked me to stop after their neighbors started asking them why a priest was coming to them," Romanos said.

"Now I call and tell them when we are holding services."

The influx of non-Jews has stirred protests from Israel's Orthodox community and some secular leaders.

"It wasn't the intention of the Law of Return to let in thousands of goyim (non-Jews)," said Rabbi Yitzhak Levy of the National Religious party.

"But what it did was let in a flood of goyim and that is harming the (Jewish) character of the state."

Experts estimate 160,000 Christians live in Israel, including the recent Russian arrivals.

There are 4.3 million Jews and 725,000 Muslims.


HOME  DISINFORMATION  PLUNDER  PLUNDER BRAINS