Israel orders deportation of Jews for Jesus worker comment (1)
December 12, 2013
CAIRO — An Israeli immigration judge has ordered the deportation of a Messianic Jewish man from England who was arrested Nov. 20 for taking part in an evangelistic event in southern Israel.
Barry Barnett, 50, a worker with Jews for Jesus UK, was ordered to leave the country by Dec. 3. Barnett, who is based in England, was volunteering at the Jews for Jesus “Behold your God Israel” campaign around the city of Be’er Shiva when he was arrested.
According to his wife, Alison Barnett, he was taken to an immigration-holding unit of a prison in Ramle, near Tel Aviv. He spent four days in jail before his court hearing.
The team present at the time of the arrest was made up of Israeli citizens except for Barry Barnett.
According to Dan Sered, Israel director for Jews for Jesus, the presiding judge ruled that Barry Barnett was not allowed to engage in “missionary activity” while in Israel because he was engaging in missionary activity and not regular tourist activity on a B2 tourist visa.
“But the global ethics code for tourism, which the state of Israel signed and even advertises on its own Ministry of Tourism Web page, states that tourism for the purpose of exchanging religious beliefs is not only valid but also should be encouraged,” Sered said.