Thumbs down on Jerusalem Prayer Team: I’ve just received a thick mailing from this so-called prayer charity, which wants my money and yours so it can pray for peace in a fancy church it wants to build with your money and mine.
Jerusalem Prayer Team sent me a stack of colorful and glossy mailing labels, a four-page letter explaining why only this global prayer movement can actually bring peace to the Mideast, and asked to buy their embroidered wall hanging about peace, a Bible Promise Box, and a book written by the prayer movement’s founder, entitled Why Christians Should Support Israel.
Thank you, Mike Evans, for this fancy, expensive mailing on behalf of your so-called prayer charity.
You should know that I refuse to donate to charities which don’t pass muster by charity monitoring and rating groups such as Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau, and Jerusalem Prayer Team yours does not pass muster with either charity watchdog.
Plus, I prefer not to support charities which waste donation funds by sending unsolicited mailing labels, notepads and such to prospective donors.
Most importantly, I refuse to donate to a group that does not have a 501 (c) non-profit designation as a legitimate, registered charity, as yours seems not to be. There’s no mention of your being a legally registered charity on any of the literature you sent me, none on your website, and none I could find on the charity watchdog agencies I checked.
Granted, large international charities such as Red Cross and Sierra Club don’t usually include their registered non-profit status in mailings, but they are so large and so reputable that they don’t have to. Smaller and lesser known charities always do so you know they are legit, and that your donation is indeed tax-deductible.
So I also will politely refuse your kind invitation to achieve “substantial tax liability savings” by “blessing” your ministry with a donation of stocks, jewelry, real estate, art, or other valuable personal possessions that my children are expecting to inherit, even though whatever I donate you promise will also be deposited in my own personal Kingdom of Heaven account.
So what exactly is Jerusalem Prayer Team, and where does the money go?
According to the watchdog magazine Charisma, it is primarily an extensive mailing list that solicits donations and sells books by its founder, Mike Evans. Oh, yes, it claims to be building a $15 million Jerusalem World Center for Christian Bible study, which has little or nothing to do with supporting peace between Muslims and Jews in Israel and Palestine.
And on the so-called charity’s own blog, the building is described as a museum to Christian love, and a ministry of Christian outreach to Jews. For whatever reasons, Muslims are not mentioned, even though they are a significant presence in the Mideast.
Also according to Charisma, Mike Evans appears to lead multiple nonprofit organizations in the U.S., Netherlands and Israel, and his wife is on the payroll of at least one.
There are so many legitimate and worthy charities in need of funds, including those trying to promote peace in the Mideast, feed the homeless victims of Syria’s brutal civil war, and save the historical artifacts of ancient civilizations from the lunatic destructive barbarism of ISIS thugs and hoodlums.
Don’t waste your hard-earned money on bogus charities. Check the sender’s reputation and rating thoroughly before you give, and don’t give to any charity that does not have a 501 (c) non-profit designation as a legitimate, registered charity, and does not meet the minimum standards of the top charity monitoring and rating services.