Update: Apparently, the response to this was swift and strong. Word is that the group is now calling of its plans.
An evangelical Christian charity has dropped plans to settle 50 Muslim children orphaned by the Asian tsunami in a Christian-run home after the Indonesian government blocked the move, the group said on Thursday.
Virginia-based World Help has raised $70,000 to place Muslim children in a Christian orphanage near Jakarta. But the group’s president, the Rev. Vernon Brewer said it suspended fund-raising on Wednesday after Indonesia said Muslim children could not be raised in a non-Muslim home.
… “Once we realized that the government was not going to grant permission yesterday we took that fund-raising appeal off of our Web site,” Brewer said in a telephone interview with Reuters.
The plan drew criticism from Muslim groups which said it would take advantage of people in a position of need. Many religious charities prohibit mixing relief efforts with proselytizing.
“This confirms some of our worst fears that certain missionary groups would exploit the tragedy and the earthquake to enter into these areas and convert people through use of a disproportionate power relationship,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“How many incidents of this type are taking place that we don’t hear about?” Hooper said.
WorldHelp raises money for charity efforts and also seeks to win converts to Christianity by building churches and distributing Bibles, according to the group’s Web site.
Original Post: Great. This is just great. A christian tsunami aid group has snatched 300 orphaned kids, and says it will raise them as christians.
A Virginia-based missionary group said this week that it has airlifted 300 “tsunami orphans” from the Muslim province of Banda Aceh to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, where it plans to raise them in a Christian children’s home.
The missionary group, WorldHelp, is one of dozens of Christian, Muslim and Jewish charities providing humanitarian relief to victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami that devastated countries around the Indian Ocean, taking more than 150,000 lives.
…”Normally, Banda Aceh is closed to foreigners and closed to the gospel. But, because of this catastrophe, our partners there are earning the right to be heard and providing entrance for the gospel,” WorldHelp said in an appeal for funds on its Web site this week.
The appeal said WorldHelp was working with native-born Christians in Indonesia who want to “plant Christian principles as early as possible” in the 300 Muslim children, all younger than 12, who lost their parents in the tsunami.
“These children are homeless, destitute, traumatized, orphaned, with nowhere to go, nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat. If we can place them in a Christian children’s home, their faith in Christ could become the foothold to reach the Aceh people,” it said.
Unbelievable, yet all too believable. Any guess how many countries will be willing to accept help in the future, if they think something like this might e the result? What will a stunt like this do to what’s left of our reputation with the Muslim world? Fine ambassadors of W’s America, these folks are.
John, at AmericaBlog is asking people to contact the Indonesian Embassy and “let them know that not all Americans are kidnapping religious right maniacs who see the death of 170,000 people as an ‘opportunity’. ” Not a bad idea. Here’s the info:
Embassy of Indonesia in Wash DC
Phone : 202-775-5200
Fax. : 202-775-5365