Israel is the only nation with a majority Jewish population, and it has faced perpetual conflict since its creation in 1948. Disputes with Palestinians and neighboring Arab nations have resulted in several small-scale conflicts, and even regional wars. Despite this political turmoil, Israel’s economy is growing thanks to its technological advancements and the growing number of Jewish immigrants that are moving back to their homeland.
About 76 percent of the population is Jewish, ranging from “ultra-orthodox” to “secular.” Muslims make up about 17 percent of the population, and this number is growing due to higher birth rates in Muslim communities. Messianic Jews and Christians make up only about 2 percent of the entire population.
In 1989 and the early 1990s, about 1 million Russian-speaking Jews left the countries of the former Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel. It is now estimated that every third Jewish person in Israel is Russian-speaking, and about 60 percent of them are between the ages of 35 and 50. To help Christian converts reach the large Russian-speaking Jewish population in Israel, we partnered with Living Israel, a local messianic congregation, to introduce our School Without Walls (SWW) program in Haifa in January 2014. Currently, 61 students are being trained and equipped to share the gospel with their own people through this program, and another 100 have already graduated!
The need for Scriptures is growing yearly, as the number of Christians is increasing and new home churches are forming, especially among Russian-speaking immigrants.
- Please pray for peace in Israel between the Jewish and Arab people.
- Please pray for the Russian-speaking Jewish community in Israel, that many would discover Jesus as their true Messiah.
- Please pray for Mission Eurasia’s efforts to form new home Bible study groups in Israel, in partnership with the organization Living Israel.
- Please pray for funds needed to expand the SWW program in Israel over the next three years.
“Before we became believers in Israel, Nastya and I had very different life experiences,” shares Gleb, a young man who accepted Christ at the Living Israel rehabilitation center. “I grew up and went to school in Russia, where I hung out with a bad crowd and started doing drugs when I was very young. On the other hand, Nastya had a stable family in Ukraine, where she studied hard, had a prestigious job and good friends, and was involved in sports.
“When I moved to Israel, I had already been a drug addict for 15 years, and I found out that I was HIV-positive. Two years later, Nastya also moved to Israel, where she started using drugs. Not long after, she lost everything: her friends, job, and even her parents. But, in the midst of this darkness, God revealed Himself to us through Living Israel. He saved and restored us, not only physically, but also spiritually!
“Nastya and I met in Haifa, where we got married. We also have a son, Timothy, who is completely healthy! Isn’t that a miracle? But, most importantly, we are serving the living God in Israel. I am helping to lead SWW, where we train future leaders to serve lost sinners in Israel.”