ARTICLES EXPOSING OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Here we feature a collection of articles that expose the reality behind Operation Christmas Child. Selected quotes are shown below, for the full articles including source references please click on the article title.
Christian Leaders Speak Out
Evangelicals Who Like To Giftwrap Islamophobia
Article by the Vicar of Putney, Rev Dr.Giles Fraser
But what many parents and teachers don't know is that behind
Operation Christmas Child is the evangelical charity
Samaritan's Purse. Their aim is 'the advancement of the
Christian faith through educational projects and the relief
of poverty'. And a particularly toxic version of
Christianity it is. This is the same outfit that targeted
eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall and was
widely condemned for following US troops into Iraq to claim
Muslims for Christ. It's run by the Rev
Franklin Graham - chosen by George Bush to deliver the
prayers at his presidential inauguration - who has called
Islam "a very wicked and evil religion..
Christian missionaries in
19th-century India used to describe those who came to the
mission stations simply for food as "rice
Christians". This became a derogatory term for those
driven to accept Christianity out of hunger rather than
genuine conviction. The accusation is that groups such as
Samaritan's Purse are creating a new generation of rice
Christians in the Middle East..
'racist' kids charity, says vicar
Rev Vernon Marshall, Unitarian minister at the Old
Chapel, in Dukinfield and New Chapel, in Denton:
Millions of shoeboxes full of gifts
are collected, but are then inserted with poisonous
literature and leaflets thrusting an intolerant and racist
form of Christianity on these poor Muslim people. This is
not a normal form of Christmas charitable giving and anyone
who usually helps this appeal should think carefully about
Teachers Speak Out
By Shoebox: Exploiting Children's Generosity
Article by Dr. Darren Lund, an award-winning educator.
An Operation Christmas Child
representative explains in a promotion video; "It's not
just a big gift. It's not just humanitarian aid. It is a
tool for evangelism so thank you for helping us evangelize
"Our outreach to
these children and their families may begin with a shoe box
gift," explains International President Franklin
Graham, "but our ultimate goal is to open doors to
share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to open hearts to
receive Him as Lord and Savior."
When I called their Canadian
headquarters, I was assured that, regardless of their faith,
all children receiving shoeboxes must register, attend a
rally, and receive Christian literature where the government
allows it. Graham is clear: "This project focuses on
sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them through
Christian literature distributed with the shoeboxes.
But Samaritan's Purse ministers don't
stop there. Their newsletter explains: "After the
shoeboxes are distributed, we also provide follow-up
materials to give children further opportunities to accept
Christ and grow in their faith. One such discipleship
program enrolls boys and girls in a 10-lesson Bible study.
Hundreds of thousands of children have participated in this
Graham and his followers admit
they hold no respect for other faiths. He calls Islam "a very evil and wicked religion," and talks of
his travels to " India , with its hundreds of millions
of people locked in the darkness of Hinduism…bound by
Gifts With Strings Attached: Questioning Evangelical Programs
in Public Schools
Another great article by Dr. Darren Lund, an
Franklin Graham admits that the shoe box program is "not just about reaching children with a shoe box....
this project focuses on sharing the Good News of Jesus
Christ with them through Christian literature distributed
with the shoe boxes" (Operation Christmas Child
brochure). I was also assured by a supervisor in the
Samaritans Purse Canadian headquarters in Calgary that,
besides being given biblical literature translated into
their native language, each child wishing to receive a box
will attend a mandatory Christian 'rally' in which the word
of the Lord is proclaimed, in every country where it is
legal. Further, a majority of the boxes are distributed in
communities that have a resident evangelical Christian
pastor who can provide 'follow-up' ministering. This is
gift-giving with strings attached.
In Bosnia , where the Samaritan's Purse
has been helping refugees move into new homes, Graham
explains their motive: "By helping refugee families...
we'll be earning the right to preach Christ to these
families and their Muslim neighbors." But isn't this
taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable? Of
course it is, according to Graham himself in his 1995 book
Rebel With a Cause, because by responding to tragedies
"we earn a hearing for Christ. When people are down and
out and we stop and help, they will listen to what we have
to say... you better believe I will take advantage of each
and every opportunity to reach them with the gospel message
that can save them from the flames of hell."
Shocked By The Truth Behind Operation Christmas Child
Article by Patrick McCurry of the Guardian.
Tony Mok, acting head of East Whitby community primary
school in North Yorkshire , says pupils and others in the
community send about 200 boxes each Christmas. Told of
Graham's comments on Islam, he says: "If that's true,
it would not fit in with the values of citizenship for our
pupils and we couldn't support it."
Shan Davies, head of Builth Wells high school in Powys, says
her school produces about 200 boxes each Christmas, but that
the charity has not informed her that the gifts delivered to
needy children are accompanied by Christian literature. "I would have difficulty promoting the appeal if that
were true," she says.
Samaritan's Purse International's website features
links to a Samaritan's Purse newsletter from Graham, in
which he states that God has blessed Operation Christmas
Child "because it is about more than Christmas
presents". He says: "It is about introducing
children and their families to God's greatest gift - His
Son, Jesus Christ. As long as evangelism is the focus, God
will continue to bless it."
The newsletter says the boxes are
distributed along with evangelical literature and that the
boxes "have led to salvation for tens of thousands of
children and their families". It cites examples such as
in Zambia , where "one shoebox prepared the way for
nearly two dozen people to come to faith in Jesus
Follow-up materials "give
children further opportunities to accept Christ and grow in
their faith". Hundreds of thousands of children in
developing countries are said to have participated in a
10-lesson Bible-study course run by the charity.
Toxic Shoeboxes Dumped
Cuts Christmas Box Link With US Charity
In a letter informing the charity of its decision to
withdraw completely, the Co-op said "You are aware that
we have received a large number of complaints regarding the
comments of your trustee, Franklin Graham. Indeed, had we
been aware of his views in advance, we would not have
participated in Operation Christmas Child this year.."
|Fire Service Dumps Christmas Charity Run By Fundamentalist Missionaries
South Wales Fire Service's director of corporate services, Norman Hillier, has "instructed that the brigade's normal involvement with this project be halted and any future involvement will be subject to an investigation of the .. organisation" .
Brendan Paddy of Save the Children told the same reporter that it was dangerous when charities mixed their humanitarian work with promotion of a religious or political agenda. He also doubts the economic value of sending boxes full of donated goods, when transport costs are going to make items more expensive than they would be in the recipient country.
|DHL Cancels Support For 'Extremist' Group
International courier service, DHL, has retracted its financial support for an "extremist evangelical" organisation after concerns raised by Muslims.
"We find it appalling that the likes of Franklin Graham firstly supports invasion of countries including Iraq and then they are one of the first to go in for 'aid'" - IACN
The Man Behind It
Graham: Christianity Through The Barrel Of A Gun
Graham, who has called Islam "a
wicked religion", views the US military and its wars in
the Muslim world as the perfect vehicles for missionary work
in the difficult "10/40 Window". The 10/40 Window
is evangelical Christian-speak for the rectangle with
boundaries of latitudes 10 and 40 degrees north of the
equator; encompassing most of the Muslim World.
Graham and his Samaritan's Purse
organization have a record of exploiting wars and preying on
victims for their own missionary ends. They rode with IDF
convoys into Lebanon during Israel 's 1982 invasion to reach
Palestinian refugees, preached pretentiously to Kurds
fleeing Saddam's forces in 1991 and sheltered and
proselytized young Bosnian Muslim girls who had been raped
by Orthodox Christian Serbs.
A thought that struck Graham in the
Spring of 1991 shortly before the Kurds were betrayed by
America and slaughtered in droves by Saddam's military is
"What a time to preach the
gospel to these people! America is number one with them
right now. They're eager to listen to anything we have to
In December 1990, Graham followed with
a bolder campaign. His Samaritan's Purse organization helped
send over 30,000 holiday gift packages to men and women in
uniform that included a New Testament in Arabic.
Graham was later "touched most
deeply" by a letter from an A-10 Thunderbolt
"Tank-killer" pilot. "Just two weeks earlier
I had been trying to kill those guys," the pilot told
Graham. "Then I found myself in an army hospital
talking with an Iraqi POW. I gave him the Arabic New
Its not just Muslim they're
On Catholic Earthquake Victims
El Salvador Earthquake March 2001:
Residents of several villages said
volunteers from Samaritan's Purse, which has received more
than $200,000 from the United States Agency for
International Development and is to receive a second similar
amount, has held half-hour prayer meetings before showing
them how to build temporary homes of metal and plastic
provided by the American government.
According to interviews with numerous villagers here and elsewhere in this predominantly Roman Catholic country, volunteers of the Protestant group have distributed religious tracts and asked them to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
According to the group's Web page,
which quotes its president and chairman, Franklin Graham,
in one village where the group provided supplies, 150
Salvadorans converted ..
Dodgy Charity, Dodgy
Commission Investigating Operation Christmas Child
A commission spokeswoman has told the
Guardian: "We are concerned about the way the charity
might be representing itself, both in its fundraising and
recruitment of volunteers."
Samaritan's Purse International failed to tell many
supporters of its hugely successful Christmas appeal that
the shoeboxes they packed with gifts for needy children
overseas were often distributed with Christian literature.
More than a million shoeboxes are sent from British schools
and other organisations each year. Appeal leaflets sent to
parents and teachers say nothing about any missionary aim,
or religious affiliation, despite the fact that SPI's
website has links to an Operation Christmas Child newsletter
stating that the shoeboxes have "led to salvation for
tens of thousands of children and their families".
Other Charities Speak Out
|What Other Charities Say Of Samaritan's Purse & Operation Christmas Child
Senior Spokesperson for Save The Children, Brendan Paddy:
Questions the economic sense of shipping boxes full of donated goods, arguing that transport costs could make the items more expensive than they would be in the recipient country. "Also, because each box contains different items, that can create conflict among the recipients," - stressing that a key principle of emergency relief is equality.
President of Operation USA, Richard Walden:
More telling is Nicaragua's experience with Samaritan's Purse, which came in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch. It organized a religious music festival at which Protestant churches were pressured to spend what few resources they had...This took place in an atmosphere in which 20% of the population had been severely affected by the hurricane; the Catholic Church (80% of Nicaraguans are Catholic) was furious, and little of material good was accomplished.
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