Friday, January 14, 2005

A CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY GROUP based in Virginia has dropped its plans to airlift 300 Indonesian children, orphaned by the tsunami tragedy, to Jakarta for placement there in a Christian orphanage. The group, WorldHelp, said they thought the Indonesian government had agreed to the airlift, and blamed a "backlash" among Indonesian Muslims for influencing the government to change their minds and retract the permission.

Buffalo bagels, I say. A plan like this would have been certain to stir up the worst fears of Muslims about Christians trying to convert them. And WorldHelp did not do anything to discourage such fears when it implied that the tsunamis were a golden opportunity to instill Christianity in Indonesian children at an early age. The fundraising appeal for WorldHelp's Indonesian airlift program described the program as an attempt to "plant Christian principles as early as possible" in these children.

"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. ..."
Yet another reason to feel grateful and proud that I'm Jewish. There are no rabbinical organizations planning to airlift Muslim children who have lost their parents in a natural disaster and convert them to Judaism. Although there are plenty of Jewish organizations raising money to send to the countries devastated by the tsunamis.

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