Facebook Terminates Pro-Israel Prayer Page Amid Cyberattack
By Movieguide® Staff
On May 15, Facebook removed a pro-Isreal, evangelical Zionist prayer group that had amassed around 76 million “likes” on its page.
“Without warning or notice, Facebook deleted the largest pro-Israel group in the world from its service,” the Jerusalem Prayer Team website reads. “A carefully coordinated attack launched from several Muslim nations brought bogus and baseless complaints against the Jerusalem Prayer Team. Facebook believed the lies and unpublished a page with 77,000,000 followers. We are not going to be silenced. We are going to continue to take a stand for Israel and speak out.”
According to pastor and founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center and the Jerusalem Prayer Team, Mike Evans, the account’s worship and prayer related posts were targeted by hundreds of thousands of anti-Semitic comments.
“What did we do wrong?” Evans responded. “All we were trying to do was pray. So basically, [Facebook’s Mark] Zuckerberg tried to cancel prayers of 77 million people. The crime was praying. Because surely they didn’t write anything anti-Semitic. Because these were Christians, we combat anti-Semitism, we don’t promote [it].”
Around 3 million people frequented The Jerusalem Prayer Team’s Facebook page every week.
JPT’s mission is grounded in the scriptural calling to pray for peace in Jerusalem.
“The Jerusalem Prayer Team’s mission is to build Friends of Zion to guard defend and protect the Jewish people and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Our goal is to enlist, inform, and encourage 100 Million people worldwide to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as directed in Psalm 122:6,” JPT’s site reads.
One of the services that the Facebook page provided was weekly church services for millions living in Arab countries.
During a service on May 12, Evans claimed that nearly 850,000 comments flooded a prayer night stream with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic memes and speech.
The Daily Wire reported:
The high volume of negative comments began during the 11 days of violence between Israel and Hamas last month during which more than 250 people were killed before the fighting was suspended when Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire.
The conflict began on May 10 when Hamas fired rockets into Israel following a clash between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Israel responded with air strikes targeting Hamas in Gaza.
Without warning, Facebook shut down the page.
A spokesperson for Evans claims that the comments were calculated and a part of a “coordinated campaign with the direct intention of bringing the page down.”
“WE DID NOTHING WRONG – and there has been no denial of that fact by Facebook and NO factual explanation by them as to why they took their amazing and devastating action,” another statement from JPT explains.
While JPT has not heard from Facebook, the social media company contacted The Washington Times, claiming that they terminated the page for “violating our rules against spam and inauthentic behavior.”
Evans and JPT will have legal backing as the organization’s headquarters are in Florida. The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, recently signed a bill to help residents fight back against media censorship.