(IsraelWire-10/29/99) Israel police on Monday raided houses in the Azariya neighborhood of east Jerusalem and arrested 21 Christians suspected as cult members. Later, an additional three were arrested in western Jerusalem.
Many Christians believe that the redemption will come with the new millennium, but only after an Israeli war of Armageddon. Police are concerned that members of extremist cults will come to Israel and cause provocations on the Temple Mount and other holy sites.
The police stated that the cultists arrested this week are not the same as the "concerned Christian" cult members arrested and deported last year, who wanted to commit suicide in Israel. The police received intelligence reports that the recent group of Christian cult members planned provocations. Among those arrested are women and children, who will be deported soon. The police believe that many more cult members have arrived in Israel and are hiding in areas under PLO Authority (PA) jurisdiction. The police are involved in gathering intelligence information about the groups, and hope for cooperation with the PA in the matter.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Aviv Shiron stated that Israel is making a concerted effort to distinguish between the Christians who visit Israel for sincere religious reasons and those who are cult members who can endanger the country.
The American Anti-Defamation League has prepared a report on the potential activities of a number of Christian cults, and also neo-Nazi groups, who plan activities in the United States in the coming year.