July 21, 2017
For over three decades, The Fellowship has provided aid and rescue to persecuted Jews around the world. Now, we are doing more to help equally persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Writing at JNS, Yael talks about how important it is to aid those who are targeted because of their faith - especially Egypt's Christian community:
During Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, I had dinner with a Christian pastor and his family in North Carolina. I was stunned and impressed that each time a rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel, the family’s “Code Red” app blared on their cellphones and they stopped whatever they were doing to pray for Israelis in danger.
And they didn’t just pray. Their sincere concern for the wellbeing of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel to help protect us. “It is our honor to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldn’t give me nearly as much joy and fulfillment,” the pastor told me.
I left his house feeling awed and inspired. “I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us,” I thought...
The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the U.S. and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the the Jewish state’s economy and morale.
If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer and for different just causes, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda?
For the last few years, Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (and sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history and we have vowed never to let it happen again.
The Fellowship has not stood silent in the face of such horror. We have heard the cries of the Christians in Egypt and we are helping them. The Fellowship is providing assistance such as summer camps for children and financial aid to families who are victims of terror; aid for basic needs, including food as well as medical and psychological care; and security support...