Home / Operation Christmas Child - "racist & poisonous"
Operation Christmas Child - "racist & poisonous"
It's Operation Christmas Child time again, when well-meaning people are encouraging their children to fill shoe boxes with gifts for needy children overseas. But Operation Christmas Child, run by the evangelical American organisation Samaritan's Purse, has a destructive agenda. Please don't support them. Click here to read about "Mad Missionaries and Toxic Gifts".
The BHA has some suggestions for alternatives to Samaritan's Purse - click here to see their website.
There is a Campaign against Operation Christmas Child, that describes OCC as "Racist & Poisonous":
What most people don't know is that the organisation behind it - Samaritans Purse - is run by that well known islamophobe Franklin Graham - who calls Islam "a very wicked and evil religion". It's the same group that rode with Israeli army convoys into Lebanon during Israel 's 1982 invasion, and again followed US troops in to Iraq to claim Muslims for Christ.
In 1990 they sent 30,000 arabic bibles for US troops to hand out to the defeated Iraqis - literally at gun point. In Afghanistan their 2003 report proudly declared that with help from the Canadian military; they got "MUSLIM children in the capital city of Kabul to celebrate Christmas for the first time".
Their stated aim is the "advancement of the Christian faith through... the relief of poverty". Christian leaders in the UK have condemned this version of Christianity as "racist" and "poisonous".
Their poison isn't just directed at Muslims, they refer to Hindus as being "bound by Satan's power" and were caught preying on Catholic earthquake victims in El Salvador in 2001- refusing them temporary homes provided by US AID unless they first attend a half hour evangelising "prayer" session. Afterwards Frankilin Graham gloated that in one village they converted 150 Catholics.
You can be sure that Samaritan's Purse has an equally bigoted view of atheists.
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Posting several anti-OCC tweets on Twitter has drawn two kinds of responses; some from Christians, who seem to think that I'm against OCC just because I'm an atheist, and some from parents who've discovered that the shoe boxes aren't such a great idea, and won't be sending any.
This is one of the tweets from a keen supporter of OCC:
Well, at least he's honest!
Another tweeter replied with a link to her blog, Salt and Caramel, where she made some very good points about the waste of money involved with sending shoe boxes around the world. She wrote,
According to the website, there are 8 million shoe boxes distributed every year. 8m x €5 makes €40m . . . An estimated 2 million children die every year from illnesses that could be prevented by an set of vaccines that cost £2.50. The same £2.50 that it costs to send a box around the world.
Thinking about this today, and the claim made that some children had "celebrated Christmas for the first time" after receiving their shoe box, it struck me that in many parts of the world, no one celebrates Christmas, which is the Christians' name for a Northern Hemisphere winter solstice festival that dates back thousands of years, and which they only adopted about 1600 years ago. The "tradition" of giving presents is much later; it started in Queen Victoria's reign. So all the kids who've never celebrated Christmas won't miss what they've never known, and would probably much prefer something useful, like a mosquito net, a set of schoolbooks (without Bible stories), or a flock of chickens.