Introduction / History
Jewish people have a long history in Persia, today known as Iran. We can read about the experiences of Jewish people like Daniel who lived under Persian rule at the height of their power. After the Babylonian Captivity, many Jewish people remained in what became the Persian Empire.
Today Persian Jews in Israel refers to the community of Iranian Jews who migrated to Israel. They have a deep and strong connection to Iran. Iranian Jews and their descendants, who immigrated to Israel, continue to hold a strong Iranian identity within the state of Israel.
Where are they located?
Many Persian Jews live and work in Tel-Aviv. Others are scattered throughout Israel as a result of their livelihood. Many are shop keepers. Some are professionals in various fields of service.
What are their lives like?
Israel continues to encourage the remaining Jews in Iran to immigrate to their country. Those who remain in Iran are sometimes viewed with suspicion by the Iranian government which has a special hatred for Israel. Older Iranian Jews who immigrated to Israel continue using a Persian language, Dzhidi, although the younger generations commonly use Hebrew in daily life. Many Iranian Jews are prominent in Israeli public life.
Many Israeli Jewish families of Iranian descent celebrate Iranian holidays. While most cannot visit Iran, they often keep in close contact with relatives who stayed behind by phone calls or Internet.
What are their beliefs?
The majority of Persian Jews practice Judaism or live secularized lives. They are emotionally attached to Judaism since it is an important part of their identity as a people. There are no known believers in Jesus Christ among them.
What are their needs?
There are no written, audio, or visual biblical resources available in the Dzhidi language.
This is truly an unreached, unengaged people group.
Pray that resources will be developed soon for these displaced people whose origin is Persia, and presently are living in Israel.
Pray that the love of the Savior who has provided eternal life and freedom from sin will draw them to Himself.
Pray that there will soon be a disciple making movement among the Persian Jews in Israel that will transform their communities into Christ's likeness.
Text source: Keith Carey