Three Messianic Jews residing in Britain filed a petition with the High Court of Justice Wednesday in an effort to convince Interior Minister Eli Yishai to grant them citizenship.
John Christopher and Nina and Kevin Aires are members of a faith that believes Jesus Christ is the messiah but see themselves as Jews.
The petition states that Christopher's grandfather and Nina Aires' grandmother were Jewish, which grants them the right of return by law.
They claim they have appealed to the Interior Ministry a number of times but were rejected because they are Messianic Jews. They say the ministry sees members of their faith as missionaries and has denied their appeals for this reason.
The three say they have done nothing to warrant a denial of citizenship that is theirs by law and that they are Zionists who want to make Israel their home.
The petitioners claim the Interior Ministry is behaving in a discriminatory manner and persecuting them for their beliefs. The State's response has not yet been filed.