Israelis Divided on Evangelical Charity

Ad Feedback—JERUSALEM--A new survey shows that Israeli Jews are sharply divided about whether to accept charity from evangelical Christians.  70 percent of secular Israelis believe that it is good for Jewish groups in Israel to accept money from Christians, but nearly 80 percent of Orthodox Jews believe it is wrong. Overall, a majority of 54 percent of Israeli Jews support taking the charity, while 41 percent oppose it.

Evangelicals donate tens of millions of dollars annually to Jewish groups in Israel.  The money is used for social welfare, immigrant absorption programs and even for defense, including the construction of bomb shelters and the rebuilding of war-torn areas.

"The results of the survey show that we have had a lot of success and a lot more work to do to convince Israelis that we are true friends in a world which is becoming more hostile and more anti-Semitic every day," said Malcolm Hedding, director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.

The survey also revealed that more than 75 percent of Orthodox Jews believe Christianity is "idol worship," while 66 percent of secular Jews do not.

Other findings from the survey:  74 percent of Israeli Jews do not see Christians as "missionaries" and 78 percent are not upset about seeing a Christian wearing a cross.

41 percent of Israeli Jews believe Christianity is the closest religion to Judaism, compared to 32 percent who chose Islam.

 The survey was conducted by the Jewish Institute for Israel Studies and the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian relations.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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