The primary charitable mission of SMOTJʼs American Grand Priory (GPUSA) is to support Christians at risk, especially in the Holy Land. For over a decade, extremists have targeted the Christian community there for persecution, and worse, in a manner unlike anything seen in the region for about 150 years. Information on this crisis is presented in the “News” section (see tab above). Christians in past decades constituted about 20% of the population in the Holy Land, but today they number less than 2%. Many have been killed, others have been kidnapped. But most of them fled to other lands. The most common reasons: the risks that many Christian families face living in the Holy Land, and the loss of hope that things will improve.
The needs of Christians in the region are urgent. American Templars are there to help, working to preserve Christianityʼs presence in the place of its birth. GPUSAʼs Jerusalem Mite program focuses on risks facing Christians in an effort to restore hope and encourage families to rebuild their lives in the Holy Land and the Middle East.
The Jerusalem Mite, with money raised from American Knights, Dames and friends, directs funds to a dozen known, trusted, church-related charitable organizations, based primarily in the Holy Land. These organizations provide essential programs for healthcare, housing, academic education, and vocational training, and they are making a difference for Christian families. In the wake of extremistsʼ recent campaigns to purge the region of Christians, several of our recipient organizations are also providing food, clothing, shelter, and medical care to tens of thousands of Christian refugees who have fled for their lives, especially in northern Iraq. GPUSA is in regular contact with our charitable recipients and visits them every year.
While the Orderʼs primary mission is to support Christians at risk in the Middle East, we also seek opportunities to build relationships with the regionʼs other two major Abrahamic faiths – Judaism and Islam – and to maintain free access for all faiths to the local holy sites of each.
Templars are changing lives in the Holy Land and beyond. With your support, we can do much more. Our brothers and sisters in the Middle East are counting on us.
For more information on GPUSAʼs charitable work, please contact the national leader of charitable activities, the Grand Aumonier.