A school district in Canada has ended its participation in the Samaritan’s Purse children’s charity program Operation Christmas Child after complaints were received about the Franklin Graham-led evangelical organization’s stance on human sexuality.
The Canadian Press reports that the 259 schools in the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District can no longer participate in Operation Christmas Child, a Church-driven annual drive in which donors fill thousands of shoeboxes with small gifts and toys that are eventually delivered to children in need around the world.
After receiving complaints about Samaritan’s Purse’s views on marriage and sexuality, the school district’s board of trustees voted on Nov. 25 to end the district’s participation in the program.
“This organization is on record with its statement of beliefs that it requires its co-ordinating volunteers to sign statements of faith that are in direct conflict with our inclusive philosophy, particularly as it pertains to the LGBT community,” Director of Education Tony Stack said, according to CBCNews.com.
Stack added that school involvement with Samaritan’s Purse could pressure children of lesbian and gay couples to participate in Operation Christmas Child just to fit in with their classmates.
“For example, a child with two moms or two dads, unfortunately, has been put in the position of choosing between fitting in and partaking with other classmates in an activity, or supporting an organization opposed to the very existence of that very child’s family unit.”
According to The Canadian Press, Stack assured that the district is involved in other charities that help children in developing countries.
“Additionally, trustees directed staff to develop guidelines for schools regarding their interactions with outside or third party organizations who wish to participate or organize activities within district schools,” the district stated in a press release.
The move comes as Samaritan’s Purse requires volunteer leaders who represent the organization to sign a statement of faith that expresses that marriage is only a union between a man and a woman.
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Source: Christian Post