Monday, November 13, 2006

Christian Charity Bans Christmas

Here's the lates madness from, you guessed it, the Islamic Republic of Britain, courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Operation Christmas Child, run by the charity Samaritan's Purse, sends festive packages to deprived youngsters in countries ravaged by war and famine.

Donors are asked to pack shoeboxes with a cuddly toy, a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and flannel, notepads, colouring books and crayons - but nothing to do with Christmas.

Stories from the Bible, images of Jesus and any other Christian literature are expressely forbidden - in case Muslims are offended.


I really don't understand these people. Why don't they distribute these gifts during Ramadan, which is when God revealed the ultimate Truth to us in the Koran. Rename the operation Ramadan's Child. Problem solved.

Read it all

9 comments:

Salome said...

Oh dear! Why am I not surprised? Meanwhile, Albion, on a related matter, you might like to check out this news item: http://www.compassdirect.org/en/newslongen.php?idelement=4596 since it would appear that it concerns a man who could do with our prayers.

albion said...

Yes, Salome, I was familiar with this man's story.

I recommend that everyone read compassdirect regularly

Ken said...

Our charity shouldn't be predicated upon our ability to evangelize.

Is it possible that these gifts would be destroyed if they were viewed as overtly Christian? Or not even make it to the intended recipients?

albion said...

Ken,

You're setting up a bit of a straw man here. I, for one, am not suggesting that charity be predicated on the ability to evangelize.

However, to refuse to evangelize on the spurious grounds that someone might be "offended" is offensive to me. I believe in a world where a full exchange of ideas is possible, and where people are allowed to share their faith.

Our fathers and mothers in the early church risked and, often, lost their lives in order to evangelize. And others have done the same throughout the centuries. If they hadn't, neither you nor I would likely be Christians today.

I'm with Ann Widdecombe said: "Either this is being done in the name of Christ or it isn't. This is Christmas, a Christian festival. If it's being done for Christmas, there is no reason on earth why they should not have Christian symbols."

And if it's not being done in the name of Christ, no problem. I've already proposed a solution -- not a Christian one, but a solution.

Abu Daoud said...

Greetings from the Middle East. Muslims are actually very used to religion you know, and they don't get offended by Christmas. Actually Christmas is more respected here in my country (which does have indigenous Christians, unlike many MENA countries) than it is in Europe or the USA.

I think this is pretty lame. They know they have the superior religion, so seeing some pictures of baby Jesus and Mary will not freak them out.

On a related note, coming soon, more Islam in Europe. Posted a link on my blog so feel free to check it out, on demography.

Rt Revd Prof Barry Peachey said...

This discussion tends to belittle the very serious situation in which British Christians find themselves. We are just a fraction away from being openly persecuted by this government, whereby anything that is Christian-orientated is no longer publicly acceptable. You try getting government money for anything Christian. I know of a case where a parish church applied for National Lottery money to restore its bells, only to be asked how many Muslim ringers it had, and if none, what plans it had to recruit some!

albion said...

Bishop Peachey,

There is no belittling going on here. This is indeed a serious matter, and is why I referred sarcastically (apocalyptically?) to the Islamic Republic of Britain.

It is also a subject that I regularly touch on in this blog. You might like to read one sucn post, from last December, entitled 'Free Piglet.'

Rt Revd Prof Barry Peachey said...

Indeed,and there are much wider implications. Every story like this adds fuel to the fire of the extreme Right, and there is litle doubt that the rise of the BNP in Britain is in large measure due to the government's growing hatred of Christian values. I am not a politician, but I don't believe that the Bliar government really understands the potential consequences of its actions in the long term, which is going to boil up into BNP-v-Islam in our inner cities.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your site and it looks interesting. Will be bookmarking for sure. I had heard about this issue and actually contacted Samaritan's Purse to check it out. Turns out the Daily Mail may not be all it is cracked up to be. Here is the response I received from their donor department:

Thank you for expressing your concern about the newspaper article published recently in United Kingdom. The article stated that Christian literature is banned from gift-filled shoe boxes donated to Operation Christmas Child. Please be assured that the commitment of Samaritan's Purse to evangelism is as strong as ever.

Christian literature is not banned from Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes in the United Kingdom or any other sending country. However, there is a difference in the way the boxes are processed in the U.K. for overseas shipment. The U.K. program removes all religious items (Christian as well as other religions) and forwards any Christian literature to our National Leadership Teams working in countries where shoe box gifts are distributed, so the Christian literature can be used with children through the local church.

Samaritan's Purse staff in the U.K. is dedicated, as we all are, to ensuring that Christian literature given by donors is used in effective ministry outreach to children through Operation Christmas Child.

The Gospel is also presented locally as part of the distribution of the gifts, and wherever possible, children are offered a Gospel storybook written in their own language called The Greatest Gift of All. Many children are also invited to enroll in a 10-lesson follow-up Bible study program, and upon completion receive a New Testament as a graduation gift.

In the United States, Christian literature remains inside the shoe box gifts given by donors. We are developing and implementing standard operating procedures to ensure that this practice is followed in the U.K. and other sending countries.

It grieves us that this article has caused confusion at this particularly crucial time for Operation Christmas Child in the United States, as National Collection Week began Monday, November 13. On behalf of Franklin Graham, we thank you for writing and expressing your concerns.

We invite you to please join us in prayer for Operation Christmas Child.
Soon we will be delivering 7.8 million shoe box gifts to hurting boys and girls in over 90 countries around the world. Each box can make an eternal difference in the life of a child!

Sincerely,

Donor Ministries
Samaritan's Purse
PO Box 3000
Boone, NC 28607
828-262-1980
www.samaritanspurse.org