Kehila News Israel (KNI) brings you the first published survey online of Messianic Jews serving in the Israeli army or IDF (Israeli Defense Forces).
KNI conducted the survey in cooperation with several local ministries that organize conferences and Bible studies on weekends for hundreds of Messianic soldiers currently serving in the IDF. All Israelis, men aged 18 to 21 and women aged 18 to 20, are required to do some form of military or community service. This means that thousands of Messianic Israelis – Jewish and non-Jewish, men and women – have shared in the Israeli army experience at one time or another. We are especially proud of our soldiers who are facing the challenges of today, which are more complex than ever before.
From the survey results, it is clear that openness about Yeshua (Jesus) in the Israeli army is indeed the new “normal”. Of those Messianic soldiers asked by KNI, a remarkable 96% say that their fellow soldiers know of their belief in Yeshua as the Messiah. Possibly even more remarkable is that 78% of their commanders or officers know of their belief in Yeshua. This is certainly a generation that is bolder than ever in sharing and living their faith!
Equally encouraging feedback from the survey results is a largely supportive and pluralistic reaction from their fellow soldiers and officers with 64% of them having a “positive” response, 22% having an “indifferent” response and only 14% expressing a “negative” response upon hearing about faith in Yeshua. Contrary to what older Israeli believers remember of their army experience, very few Messianic soldiers today face significant discrimination or persecution. Furthermore, a relatively high percentage (30%) responded that they have a fellow believer in their unit. As recently as fifteen to twenty years ago, it was a rarity for any two Messianic soldiers to be found serving together.
A statistic that has not changed over the years is the high percentage of Messianic IDF soldiers serving in combat. A vast majority of 57% responded that they are serving in combat units, with many serving in volatile areas, such as the Gaza border (9%), Lebanon border (15%), and Judea & Samaria (18%). The believing community in Israel, both young and old, is known to be very Zionist, nationalist, law abiding, with a high motivation to serve God and Israel. There is a long history, albeit unknown to many, of Messianic believers serving in combat units and elite special forces including Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) and Shayetet 13 (Navy Seals). Today’s Messianic IDF soldiers are no exception.
Click here for more.
SOURCE: Kehila News Israel