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There is a battle going on in Israel for Jewish believers who have returned to the Land to be able to retain their citizenship. Spearheading the current test case is Carolyn Hyde, a Jewish follower of Yeshua. Together with her husband, Richard, she made aliya to Israel in 2003. They were both granted Israeli citizenship and issued Israeli passports. Later, when the time came to renew their documents, the Israeli Ministry of Interior (MOI) routinely issued a 10-year passport to Richard, but declined to renew Carolyn’s. The MOI is controlled by the Hassidic Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are the modern-day equivalent of the New Testament Pharisees. They regularly cause trouble for believers through harassment or open persecution. They accuse her of making aliya (immigrating) under false pretences because she is a Jewish follower of Yeshua. If she were denied citizenship, many other believers in the Land could also be affected.

Carolyn is a worshipper and worship leader and has made several CDs including, ‘The Latter Rain’, ‘Deep Calls to Deep’, ‘Fine Linen’ and ‘Just Like Joseph’. She also regularly shares the love of Messiah, striking up conversations with Israelis on the streets, giving away her CDs or a booklet written by Richard and their son, Ariel. Richard is a Bible teacher and congregation planter. They have an international ministry and travel widely.

About seven years ago, the MOI first denied renewing Carolyn’s passport. Each year since then she has been forced to get a one-year extension. One time she was taken to a back room and asked questions about her personal life. During this ‘interview’ she was able to read the words ‘Yad L’Achim’ on the interviewer’s paper. She confronted the interviewer, knowing that it is against Israeli law for a governmental office to base an investigation on information received from a non-governmental source. The lady was apparently embarrassed and she asked no further Questions.

However, when the next renewal was due she again met strong opposition. This time the MOI wanted to interview not only Richard and Carolyn but also their daughter, so she called their lawyer. However, the meeting with the MOI and the lawyer was most discouraging. After arriving home, she picked up her guitar to worship the Holy One of Israel. Afterwards, the MOI called to offer her a 10-year passport. Hallelujah!

But Carolyn’s battle may not yet be over. The MOI has insisted on conducting another interview into her status after she and Richard return to Israel from a long-planned trip abroad. Carolyn does not seek pity or revenge but strength to stand in the battle and G-d’s salvation for her Jewish brethren.

Day 4: Wednesday Sept 12