(QHA) -

Ultra-orthodox Jewish leaders have launched a crusade against the smartphone messaging service WhatsApp, saying it is the number one threat to Jewish homes, Israel’s daily Haaretz reported on Monday.

WhatsApp grew in popularity among Orthodox Jews following a 2012 campaign that tightened communal restrictions on social networking websites like Facebook, according to a report by The Forward.

Meshimer Filter, a web filtering company linked to the ultra-Orthodox Satmar Hasidic group, said on Sunday that filtered phones will block WhatsApp from sending multimedia messages, including audio, video and photos, according to forward.com.

To recall, about 40, 000 ultra-orthodox Jewish men rallied in New York’s Citi Field on May 20, 2012 against the internet, especially its unfettered use.

Rabbis demanded Orthodox Jews to use Web filters on all computers and discouraged the use of social networking websites.

Children whose parents do not have web filters on their computers are not allowed into Satmar Hasidic schools, according to The Forward.

QHA