Yad L’Achim warns that parents sending children to play in public playgrounds should bear in mind that some playgrounds in southern Israel have been found plastered with colorful flyers posted by Christian missionaries.
Yad L’achim thought they had seen all the tactics of missionaries: food distribution, preaching to immigrants under the guise of lectures, preaching to minors through the internet, and even preaching by impersonation as religious or chareidi, but placing flyers in children’s playgrounds is moving to the next level.
Dozens of parents reported the flyers to Yad L’Achim, who sent their activists out to remove the flyers and to try find out who was behind them. One activist in a playground in Kiryat Malachi spotted four children, children of known missionary Scott Lewis who lives in a nearby yishuv, who were playing in the park and when they thought no one was looking they would take out the flyers and post them on the equipment. They were also seen destroying public property. When the children realized they were being filmed, they called out to their father, who was hiding nearby and he tried to distance the Yad L’Achim activist, who called a charedi member of the municipality to the scene.
Deputy Mayor Rabbi Betzalel Mizrachi arrived at the playground and was shocked at what he saw. He then arranged for a fine of NIS 5,000 to be sent to Lewis.
Yad L’Achim has announced that it intends to appeal to Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana, and will implore him to order the police to enforce Clause 368A of the penal code, which states that, “Someone who conducts a conversion ceremony for a minor, or engages in any other activity aimed at getting a minor to convert out of his religion, faces punishment of up to six months in prison.”