A new evangelical Christian television channel in Israel has been threatened with being shut down if it engages in any type of missionary activity, according to Israeli media reports.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the international television network GOD TV’s new Hebrew-language channel Shelanu began airing last week on Israel’s HOT cable network after receiving a seven-year license from the Israeli Communications Ministry.
GOD TV CEO Ward Simpson announced the launch and declared that the network has been “given government permission to broadcast the Gospel of Jesus Christ” in Israel, something he said has never been done before.
Proselytizing to people younger than 18 without their parents’ consent is against the law in Israel, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. And under the terms of the Shelanu license, the network is forbidden from engaging in missionary activities.
The Chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, Asher Biton, told the newspaper that he was unaware when the license was granted to Shelanu that the new channel planned to engage in activities that are prohibited under the terms of the license.
Biton told the newspaper that he has ordered an investigation into the channel. Biton was quoted as saying that if it’s determined that the license terms have been violated or there is any intention to violate them, Shelanu would be shut down.
“According to our regulations, it is fine to broadcast religious programming,” Biton was quoted as saying. “[B]ut 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 doesn’t want to rush to judgment because shutting down television networks isn’t something the council does often.
A HOT spokesperson told the newspaper that Shelanu is one of a number of religious channels that are broadcast in the country.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith