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AIBU to ask you to watch this video about Operation Christmas Child?

(98 Posts)
exexpat Sun 10-Nov-13 10:00:45

Operation Christmas Child touches Nepal

We are approaching the final week of this year's Operation Christmas Child programme, which asks people to donate shoeboxes full of gifts for a needy child overseas. Many schools promote it as a nice way for all children, whatever their religion or lack of it, to do something for others at Christmas.

What schools often do not tell parents (because they do not realise themselves) is that Operation Christmas Child is a highly evangelical programme, run by American fundamentalists, which uses shoeboxes as a way to lure small children into the church.

However, the video above - from the website of the OCC parent organisation, Samaritan's Purse - makes it abundantly clear exactly what they are doing, and what they think of other religions (Hinduism = darkness from which children must be saved by missionaries bearing shoeboxes).

Parents may also be interested to hear that Samaritan's Purse is run by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham; he is best buddies with George Bush and Sarah Palin, describes Islam as evil, diverts the 'international relief' charity's funds to support the campaign against same-sex marriage in the US, promotes abstinence-only sex education in areas with a high HIV rate, and lots of other unsavoury things.

If your school promotes Operation Christmas Child, and they have not told you about the evangelical nature of the programme, please suggest the head teacher watches that video clip and has a good look round the Samaritan's Purse website.

(My apologies for yet another Operation Christmas Child thread, but this is the first one I have ever started, because I think that video deserves a wider audience)

Crazdsky Sun 10-Nov-13 10:43:41

Yanbu I just watched the video with DD15 who has been asked to make a box for school. I felt v uncomfortable with the video and the talk of "the darkness" etc. we will now be taking the money we would have spent on the box and donating to a much more worth while charity. Thank you OP

I'm drafting an email to the head at dd's nursery after the dreaded leaflet came home.

This year we are donating toys to salvation army, extra food to the local food bank and making lunch for an elderly gent who lives in the next village who will be alone.

exexpat Sun 10-Nov-13 17:01:24

Bumping because I really think more people should see this video.

ParsingFancy Sun 10-Nov-13 17:18:29

Wow. They're absolutely clear about the purposes of the shoeboxes, aren't they?

They describe them as a "tool" again and again.

ParsingFancy Sun 10-Nov-13 17:19:01

A tool for getting at children to convert them to Christianity.

blueemerald Sun 10-Nov-13 17:26:04

Not just parents; there are a lot of teachers on this site. Make sure your school and the schools that all your teacher friends work at are fully informed.

I've posted that video and a few other links on the Facebook group of my PGCE year group (120 teachers) and it is getting a great response.

exexpat Sun 10-Nov-13 17:33:29

I'm glad it's reaching teachers - they really need to know, since they are the ones who are put under pressure to promote it to children.

natwebb79 Sun 10-Nov-13 17:37:38

As a teacher I put a stop to it this year before all the posters went up and letters went out. Our Head was mortified when I emailed the info about them!

hairtwiddler Sun 10-Nov-13 17:41:50

Thanks for the link. That video makes for very uncomfortable viewing. Have shared on twitter.

ANormalOne Sun 10-Nov-13 17:45:31

Salvation Army aren't much better, look at the organizations feelings on LGBTs and how they've funded and supported anti-LGBT laws.

birdybear Sun 10-Nov-13 18:04:27

terrible, giving some children some gifts that they have never seen or had before. brightening up their day and seeing that other people care about them. supporting them and their families in their time of need. educating them and helping stop trafficking and slavery of young girls and women.

how can i live with myself giving them such opportunities. i must ignore them and leave them to just grin and bear it.

EduCated Bosnia-Herzegovina Sun 10-Nov-13 18:09:42

If you watch nothing else, watch from 5.20 onwards.

Birdy, if you are comfortable with the evangelical nature of the scheme, the fact they describe the boxes as a tool to convert children, in this case from Hinduism, which they describe as a great darkness, that it is run by a charity which has campaigned against same sex marriage and who's leader is openly homophobic, xenophobic and racist, that's absolutely fine.

However, many people aren't and many more are unaware of these aspects of the charity when they do a shoebox, and upon knowing decide they would rather support a different cause.

exexpat Sun 10-Nov-13 18:11:03

birdy - they are not stopping trafficking, they are handing out shoeboxes, recruiting children to bible study programmes and trying to plant churches.

Meanwhile, there are decent charities in Nepal doing real, useful work to prevent trafficking and rescue people caught up in it, treat their HIV, find them new homes and lives - without trying to convert them to any religion.

Try charities like Plan and Asha Nepal.

Decent charities also do not cover up their real agenda when they are soliciting donations.

rudeness Sun 10-Nov-13 18:13:54

Birdybear, that is all great things to do and should be done with out the need if a 12 week disciple course. That is true help surely?

birdybear Sun 10-Nov-13 18:44:59

i don't personally have a problem with the bible course. no one forces any child to take part and no one forces any child to change religions. if they want to or if they don't want, that is up to them. you cannot expect a Christian charity who are perfectly upfront about their religious beliefs, as you have all very easily found out about by looking at their own website, not a hidden secret society, not to talk about Christianity. nobody is forcing you to support them. just don't , if you don't want to. choose another or do nothing.

they are very successful and raise much more money than the other charities you have mentioned for a reason. people like to give personally and know that what they give makes its way to help people, which def happens. whilst i may not agree with all their views, i know that my gift helps people.

if you vote, do you agree with every single policy the party has? or do you agree with most and the sentiment behind them. Op Christmas child help people and give children presents at Christmas who wouldn't otherwise get them. if i give them no money but just the box , then i haven't furthered any other cause i may not agree with.

exexpat Sun 10-Nov-13 18:50:33

The website is fairly clear about the religious motivation of OCC, though the UK one plays it down in comparison to the US one (the video comes from the US website, the UK website has nothing anywhere near that unambiguous).

Where they are not clear is in how they present themselves to schools and the local press, where they often make no mention of anything religious at all. If people know about it and are happy to support the evangelism, that is their business.

But many people who put together shoeboxes through schools are not aware of the evangelism - that is why I started the thread and posted the video, which makes it very clear.

sashh Sun 10-Nov-13 18:52:19

educating them and helping stop trafficking and slavery of young girls and women.

They don't even claim to be doing this let alone actually doing it.

birdybear Sun 10-Nov-13 19:08:56

they are educating them if they are holding a bible study. even if you disagree with the subject choice, the bible and Jesus, they Will be learning reading and writing and studying.

they do mention trafficking of girls and therefore slavery goes hand in hand with that, unfortunately .

people who give money, time or resources to a charity they don't know anything about are silly. i think it is well known that they are a Christian charity. it doesn't get any more simple than children getting toys at Christmas. i think people who want to stop that, just because the children can CHOOSE to go on a bible course are, quite frankly, a bit mean.

ParsingFancy Sun 10-Nov-13 19:25:58

You're welcome to think I'm a bit mean, birdybear.

You can think I'm a bit mean because I don't offer your children sweets to come and play at my house, too. Or because I'd stop 6 year olds CHOOSING to go to a stranger's house for sweeties.

It doesn't get any more simple than children liking sweets, does it?

ParsingFancy Sun 10-Nov-13 19:28:03

Or perhaps you do agree that the motivation of the adult offering the sweets matters too?

More than the childish thinking about sweets and presents?

EduCated Bosnia-Herzegovina Sun 10-Nov-13 19:29:12

I disagree that the charity's aims are well known. I, like many others I imagine, used to believe that it was religious in the same way that charities such as the Red Cross or St Johns Ambulance are.

What I didn't realise previously was that they are an actively evangelical charity who use peoples donations to try and convert vulnerable people to Christianity.

As a non-religious person, I tend to support charities which aren't religious rather than those that are. I don't rule it out, but it is something I am cautious around. I absolutely will not support OCC or SP. I don't want to support a charity that spends it's time trying to get children to pray or to concert them from other religions.

If that makes me mean, then so be it.

birdybear Sun 10-Nov-13 19:31:18

that is not really comparable is it? you don't know what a stranger will do, obviously. you know Exactly what op cc Will do. Give presents and give re lessons. something our kids have in school every week. you really are other thinking this.

and i would think you were mean if my kids came to visit your house and you didn't offer them sweets!

EduCated Bosnia-Herzegovina Sun 10-Nov-13 19:37:01

Except it's not obvious. There are disparities between the information provided to schools and the website, and between the information on the UK and the US websites.

blueemerald Sun 10-Nov-13 19:37:02

birdybear: SP donated $150,000 to the anti equal marriage rights campaign in the USA and the charity's leader has made $500,000 from SP. How is that possibly justifiable?

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