Messianic Jews are calling for international protests against violations of -religious freedom in Israel. Orthodox Jews have harassed a congregation in the desert town of Arad in southern Israel for more than 18 months.Messianic Jews number approximately 6,000 in Israel and at least 100,000 worldwide. They believe in the Messiah -Jesus Christ. Orthodox Jews regard them as apostates. An orthodox group called Gur Chassidim has been persecuting 30 Messianic Jews in Arad. The messianic Jews have been insulted in public as Nazis, whores and dirty Christians, while their persecutors call Jesus illegitimate and insist he is buried beneath their feet. An assembly hall has been burnt down. According to eyewitnesses the police have turned a blind eye or even sided with the persecutors. Leaders of the messianic congregation have written a letter of complaint to the police chief but received no answer. The Mayor of Arad said he was dependent on the Gur Chassidim. He could not intervene unless there was bloodshed.