Evangelicals up payments to Iranian olim

U.S. evangelical Christians are offering Iranian Jews $10,000 per person to immigrate to Israel.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which is sponsoring the program, has raised $1.4 million for the aliyah project. It increased the grant offer to $10,000 from $5,000 after a lower-than-expected response rate, The Associated Press reported.

The fellowship claims the Jewish community in Iran is in grave danger, but the AP story says most of the 25,000 Jews in the Islamic republic do not feel threatened – a claim buttressed by Iran.

Most of Iran’s Jews left for the United States or Israel over the past 50 years. Iran’s Jewish community remains the largest in the Middle East outside of Israel, and Iranian Jews have legal and constitutional protections as well as a representative in Parliament.

The charity, based in Jerusalem and Chicago, annually funnels millions of dollars in evangelical donations to Israel.

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