A controversial effort to spread Christianity across international borders might soon be stopped at Glenwood Elementary, a public school in McDowell County, North Carolina.
Soon after the story got out last Thusday, secular activists began contacting officials in McDowell County.
American Atheists has obtained a copy of the form that all students at Glenwood Elementary had to fill out.
This is part of Operation Christmas Child, an effort by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that aims to spread Christianity internationally. The initiative is supposed to take place in participating churches, with children stuffing a shoebox of toys and Christian literature. Instructional videos repeatedly reaffirm that the entire point is to convert people, ‘saving’ them from their current and apparently inferior personal beliefs.
But Operation Christmas Child has strayed from the confines of churches, and public school children are now the instruments of a coordinated effort to convert people to Christianity. Statistically, many of these children themselves are non-Christian.
After hearing about the initial controversy, two families with students attending the school also came forward and provided these documents. These two families are requesting anonymity for their children’s sake. Personally identifying details have been removed or obfuscated along these lines.
Dr. Ira Trollinger, the McDowell County School District’s Superintendent, has assured concerned citizens that he will put a stop to it. He indicated that he simply needed to know in exactly which school this occurred to rectify the situation. It is hoped that Dr. Trollinger will indeed keep his promise to stop Operation Christmas Child from proselytizing any further now that the school has been identified.Luckily, legal action might not even be needed in this case. Many of these situations are fixed before the counties incur a costly and un-winnable legal battle.
Trollinger was not available for comment when the specific school was finally identified, as it was a district holiday. American Atheists is watching the situation as it develops. They expect to hear from McDowell County School District officials early next week.
Franklin Graham, who runs BGEA, is no stranger to blurring constitutional boundaries. He has even previously funded Arabic language Bibles and distributed them to US troops in the Middle East, and in both gulf wars he was ordered to stop. Franklin’s “Islam is Wicked and Evil” antics have recently earned him a ban from official Army religious events.