As we keep an eye on the worldwide growth of the “Messianic/Hebrew Christian” activities, this just in from Ukraine.
Nearly one year after Jews for Jesus launched among its most effective and questionable ministration campaigns, more than 1.3 million people worldwide have watched That Jew Died for You.
The three-minute YouTube video portrays Jesus carrying the cross to a gas chamber. The movie’s goal was to “reshape views of Jesus and his relationship to the Holocaust.” Pegged to Yom HaShoah, a day when Israel keeps in mind the Holocaust (held the evening of April 15 this year), many Jews called it the “most unsavory YouTube video ever.”
In Ukraine, where nearly 1 million Jews were killed during The second world war, Holocaust references are usually utilized to make political points. Throughout January’s 70th anniversary of the freedom of Auschwitz, Russian and Ukrainian leaders compared each other to Nazis and openly contested which nation must get the credit totally free the prisoner-of-war camp in occupied Poland.
But Ukraine’s Messianic Jewish environment is discussing the Holocaust in its evangelistic efforts. And now Messianic parishes are growing in many of the exact same environments that suffered the inmost Holocaust wounds.
Remembrance and education
The Soviet Union suppressed information about the Holocaust in its effort to develop a “typical Soviet people,” said Igor Rusniak, director of the Bible college at Kiev Jewish Messianic Parish (KJMC). Therefore, lots of Ukrainian Christians still do not understand that the Holocaust targeted Jews in particular. Rusniak says, “Virtually every Jewish household in Ukraine has loved ones who were killed by Nazis throughout the war.” For these Jews, the Holocaust just proved that Christians with power are not to be trusted.
One method Messianic churchgoers like KJMC have actually tried to bridge the space in between Jews and Christians is through a yearly interdenominational prayer meeting versus anti-Semitism. Rusniak’s Bible college also trains Jewish and Gentile ministers how to identify, understand, and oppose anti-Semitism, and teaches how the Holocaust formed contemporary Jewish identity.
It has also shaped their location. KJMC, reportedly the world’s biggest Messianic parish with 1,600 attenders, is less than 10 miles from the site of among the Holocaust’s largest massacres: Babi Yar. This Kiev ravine is where Nazi soldiers and regional cops eliminated more than 33,000 Jews in 2 days. In Berdichev, a northern city where German soldiers slaughtered 15,000 Jews, a Messianic Jewish churchgoers of about 200 individuals gathers weekly.
“We … rejoice that lots of Jewish people are pertaining to faith in Messiah in locations that experienced some of the worst wrongs of the Holocaust period,” specified the Lausanne Assessment on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE). The group satisfied in Kiev for its 10th European conference last April. More than 80 participants from 19 countries collected largely “to verify and motivate these Jewish fans of Jesus,” and to recognize “the huge variety of Jewish fans of Jesus who died in the Holocaust.”
Today, an approximated 10,000 to 15,000 Ukrainian Jews worship Jesus as Messiah. This makes Ukraine, a country of 45 million, the area’s fulcrum of the Messianic Jewish motion. (By comparison, Ukraine has about 1.7 million evangelical Christians and more than 23 million Orthodox Christians, who constitute about half the nation’s population.)
Now, as Jews emigrate en masse from Ukraine, its Messianic believers are growing churches around the globe.
From Christianity Today