Summary of the Issues
Franklin Graham is the International President of Samaritan's Purse. Graham's words and actions toward other world religions reveal a remarkable lack of respect for the dignity of people whose world views differ from his own:
Graham says, “…it is a very evil and wicked religion.”
Graham says, “…we traveled to the subcontinent of India, with its
hundreds of millions of people locked in the darkness of Hinduism…
These people were bound by Satan’s power.”
On a local
religion in Indonesia Graham says, “A witch doctor ruled that
particular village, and I could sense an evil presence.”
Samaritan’s Purse website contains an article entitled “Shoe Box
Gifts Help Dispel Spiritual Darkness in Haiti” that denigrates another
local religion by claiming it is a false religion.
Consultants on Religious Tolerance say that, “statements that
categorize other religious groups as evil, degenerate, sub-human and/or
hated by God are statements that promote religious intolerance.”
Graham and Samaritan’s Purse promote religious intolerance.
Do you think
that it would be appropriate for our public schools (or any public
facility or institution) to be used as a venue for an anti-Semitic
organization? Or an anti-Islamic, or anti-Hindu? The principle is the
The Operation Christmas Child website contains an article that states: "They received shoe boxes filled with toys, candy, and other small gifts, donated by Christians...”
Operation Christmas Child Special Report (2002) indicates that some
children receiving the boxes are told that “these gifts are from
Christian children in the West”.
the same report Franklin Graham says, "Our outreach to these
children and their families may begin with a shoe box gift 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."
The November 2002
Samaritan’s Purse (International) Newsletter quotes Franklin Graham as
saying, “I believe God has blessed this program because it
is about more than Christmas presents. 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.
“That’s one of
the things about Samaritan's Purse,” Michael (A Samaritan’s Purse
partner) said. “It’s not just about giving the boxes so the children
can receive presents. Giving the boxes actually evangelizes more than
people think. It’s been a
blessing in Haiti. Haiti is a very superstitious country. With
Samaritan’s Purse helping out with the shoe boxes, it really has
helped us bring in souls.”
In a promotional
video, a spokesperson for Operation Christmas Child in Kosovo says,
“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
“The rallies and distributions drew people from miles away…
What’s truly exciting is that it is possible to present the Good News
of Jesus Christ at every distribution, even in cultures that don’t
traditionally celebrate Christmas. The children are eager to read the
Gospel literature printed in their own language. The Pastors and members
of the churches Operation Christmas Child works through are excited
about this program because it gives them a very effective outreach
Darren Lund, an
Alberta parent and award-winning educator reports:
“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).”
Darren Lund also says, "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."
Many public school children (of many different faiths) are participating in this program (without full knowledge of the primary goal of the program) with NO strings attached. Their kindness and generosity is being taken advantage of by an organization with questionable motives and philosophy.
- Public schools
and other public facilities and institutions are being used as a venue
to sponsor, condone and promote this evangelistic missionary project
that has the ultimate objective of converting people of other religious
beliefs (in other countries of the world) to one particular brand of
- Some teachers
have been using instructional time to promote this project with the
video, brochures and talk.
- Some teachers
have been presenting misleading information about the project to
students and other teachers.
- The generosity of
our students is being used as a tool for a missionary project that has
the ultimate objective of converting other children to one particular
- We may be sending
a message to our non-Christian students and citizens that we value
Christianity over their spiritual beliefs by the fact that public
schools are sponsoring (and thereby endorsing) an organization that
promotes religious intolerance and whose ultimate goal is to convert
others to one form of Christianity.
Giving Gifts With Strings Attached
Evangelism by Shoebox
In the News...
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