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U.S. State Department on religious diktat in Israel
November 19, 2010. The U.S. State Department concluded that Israel is the deterioration of the situation with freedom of conscience and religion:
according to the report svezheopublikovannomu State Department "religious freedom in the world, in Israel there is enhancement of the religious
dictates and the narrowing of the scope of religious freedoms.
The report lists a number of innovations, indicates an increase in government intervention in the sphere of freedom of conscience. Referred to the act
of NIDs on civil marriages, according to which the state will register the matrimonial unions only in cases where both spouses do not belong to any of
the religious groups.
Reported and innovation Jewish Agency Jewish Agency, which brought in their questionnaires to candidates for the repatriation issue of religion: the
Jews need to answer the question whether they believe in what Jesus Christ was the messiah. A positive answer denies the applicant the right to
repatriate, even if he is a Jew according to Halacha and is not officially converted to Christianity. Other beliefs of the Jews - for example, a
complete secularism, a commitment to Hindu worship or the teaching of the Buddha - the official "Jewish Agency" is not interested, the report said.
The report also notes that in 2009 the Ministry of Religious Affairs has not used the money allocated budget for the resettlement of non-Jewish
Department of State drew attention to the retroactive cancellation of conversion, and the segregated bus cooperative Egged, and many other scandals of
Freedom of conscience and religion is one of the fundamental values enshrined in the foundation of the U.S. Constitution and serves as an important
criterion for the foreign policy of this country. Each year the State Department publishes reports about the level of religious freedom in the world,
collecting data on almost two hundred states.
The report of the 2010 Israel allotted 29 pages. It is noted that, although the authorities of the country "in general compliance with" the
principles of freedom of conscience and religion enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents, the country still is
discrimination of non-Jews and representatives of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.
During the reporting period the level of this discrimination has not changed, says State Department, reporting that the U.S. embassy regularly
confronts the Israeli government on the expansion list of officially recognized religious communities and a more thorough investigation of cases of
religious violence against minorities, such as the Messianic Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses . In addition, the Foreign Ministry is seeking from the
Israeli authorities "to clarify the criteria under which the country does not admit suspected of being a missionary."
The report cites the CSB in 2008, according to which 7% of the Jewish population are ultra-Orthodox, 10% - Orthodox, 39% - "to respect the tradition
(the believers and unbelievers)" while 44% belong to the secular sector, most of them comply with some Jewish traditions. A small part of observant
and secular Jews associate themselves with the heterodox currents of Judaism - Reform, Conservative and rekonstruktsionistskim. The country also has
about 10,000 Messianic Jews, whose numbers are slowly but steadily growing, - said the State Department.
A list of officially recognized religious communities in the state remained in Israel, almost unchanged since the British Mandate. British authorities
granted the status of religious communities of Jews, Eastern Orthodox, Latin (Greek Catholic) churches, two Armenian churches - Gregorian and Roman
Catholic, Chaldean, Melkite, Syrian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox and Maronite churches. Muslims the status of religious communities do not have, as were
the religious majority - and Israel has not granted them the status thus far.
Since the founding of Israel the status of religious communities received only three: the Druze in 1957, the Evangelical Episcopal Church
(Protestants) in 1970, and Baha'i - in 1971. Not recognized by the State religious groups do not receive state support, even though their members are
not forbidden to practice their religious rituals. State for many years refused to recognize a number of Protestant communities, Ethiopian and Coptic
Orthodox Church, as well as the Joint Christian Council, which represents the interests of Israel in many Christian denominations.
Regardless of the presence or absence of official status, the foreign priests are constantly faced with difficulties in obtaining and renewal of
Israeli visas, but for members of unrecognized religious groups, bureaucratic obstacles anymore. In addition, the "unrecognized," difficulty in