JERUSALEM (Jul. 13)
An effort to conciliate complaints by Christian missionaries, who have accused Jerusalem police of failure to protect them against harassment by Orthodox Jews, was made here today by S. B. Yeshaya, head of the Jerusalem District Administration. The complaint had been lodged by the Rev. Ernest Stewart, one of two Christian ministers of a fundamentalist church which, for some time, has been carrying on proselytizing activities among Jewish children in one of Jerusalem’s quarters thickly settled by Orthodox Jews.
Mr. Yeshaya called a round-table conference attended by Rev. Stewart, Jerusalem police authorities, and U. S. Consul-General Carl Wendelin. The ministers, who are American citizens, had complained to the U. S. Embassy about the alleged harassments. The Church of Christ, to which the proseletyzing mission belongs, is not affiliated with the United Christian Council, which embraces all leading Protestant churches in Israel.
Rev. Stewart told Mr. Yeshaya that, for several weeks, crowds surrounded his church during services, preventing entry of Jewish children who come there to see the Bible story on films. A spokesman for the police said, however, that the crowds have been small, consisting mainly of children.
It is understood that Mr. Yeshaya will assure the missionaries that the police will take firm steps to prevent disturbances. However, he will also explain to the missionaries that their activities in a district inhabited largely by Orthodox Jews cause a difficult problem.