'We should stop': Fresh twist as new Israel Folau fundraiser shut down

A campaign to raise funds to support ex-Wallaby Israel Folau's legal stoush with Rugby Australia has been "paused" after donations topped $2 million.

The Australian Christian Lobby, which set up the fundraiser on its website, said the flow of donations since it was opened on Tuesday had been overwhelming.

More than 20,000 people had donated more than $2.2 million by Thursday morning.

"We have decided we should stop at $2 million and raise more money if and when we need it," ACL head Martyn Iles told The Australian on Thursday.

"The sheer scale and pace of the response from donors has just been overwhelming."

The fundraiser for Israel Folau has made over $2 million. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The ACL also released a statement thanking supporters.

"Your overwhelming support means that Israel Folau has raised enough money for now," the ACL said.

"ACL, Izzy and everyone involved is humbled and grateful. We are hitting the pause button.

“But if the case drags on and Israel needs more support, we will reopen this campaign."

The ACL said the fundraiser not only showed there was support for Folau but a "great movement of quiet Australians have found their voice".

"This cannot be ignored."

Folau wanted to raise $3 million for his unfair dismissal case, which he believes amounts to discrimination on religious grounds.

He is seeking $10 million in damages from RA and wants his multimillion-dollar contract to be reinstated after it was pulled by the association.

RA took issue with a social media post by the committed Christian in April that was condemned as homophobic.

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Folau had paraphrased a Bible passage saying "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" would go to hell unless they repented.

The ACL effort replaced an earlier campaign on GoFundMe that was taken down by the platform for breaching its service guidelines.

Scrutiny from watchdog

The development comes after reports the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has been asked to investigate the Christian Lobby’s new campaign.

The commission told Fairfax it "expected all registered charities to meet their obligations under the ACNC Act and the Governance Standards".

“The ACNC can investigate concerns that a charity has breached the ACNC Act or the Governance Standards.

"This may include not pursuing its charitable purpose, not operating in a not-for-profit manner, or providing private benefits to members."

Folau thanks supporters

Folau on Wednesday said he was humbled by the strength of the public support for his cause.

"To those who have criticised me, I bear no ill will towards you. You have every right to express your own beliefs and opinions," he posted on Instagram.

“To the thousands of you who donated to my GoFundMe campaign, I am forever grateful.

“GoFundMe’s decision to shut down my campaign proves the importance of my case; whether you share my faith or believe in my right to express it, attempts to sanction what we believe is a threat to all Australians.

“I am incredibly thankful for the Australian Christian Lobby, which has not only come to my defence in the media, but generously established a website to receive donations on my behalf.

“For those not in a position to donate, your support and prayers will make more of a difference than anything else. God bless!”