Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef issued a public statement Wednesday, urging the Jewish public to stay away from the annual conference of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), which they referred to as "a spiritual danger."
"We have been informed that people engaged in missionary activities on behalf of the Christian Embassy in Israel are organizing a major conference during the holiday of Sukkot, as part of the goals of this organization - to get Jews to leave the religion of Israel and take them under the wings of Christianity," the rabbis write.
Sources close to the chief rabbis say the letter was issued following appeals received from citizens.
The letter further warns of "those people" who "see it as their mission to convert all the residents of the world and turn them into Christians, and mainly members of the Jewish people. This is a serious matter which contradicts the foundations of our faith, and we must therefore condemn it and warn the public."
They conclude the public letter by calling on "the Jewish public in the Holy Land not to take part in this conference," clarifying that "although it is possible that the conference organizers are friends of the State of Israel, the event is spiritually dangerous and undermines the State's Jewish identity."
The ICEJ has been holding its annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration during the holiday of Sukkot for the past four decades. As part of the event, thousands of Christians arrive from around the world to express their support for Israel and pray for it.