While hanging out over at Atrios’ pad yesterday I read a comment that claimed Christian missionaries were planning to take Muslim tsunami orphans and raise them as Christians. I thought it was apochryphal until I read this today.
The Virginia-based missionary group WorldHelp has dropped its plans to place 300 Muslim “tsunami orphans” in a Christian children’s home, the group’s president, the Rev. Vernon Brewer, told news agencies yesterday.
The group’s plan to raise children from Muslim families in a Christian home struck a nerve in Indonesia, which had regulations in place even before the tsunami requiring orphans to be raised by people of their own religion. This rule was adopted in large part to ensure that Muslim children were not converted.
Before WorldHelp changed its Web site, it contained an appeal for funds that described the Aceh people as “strict Sunni Muslims” who “have been very instrumental in spreading Islam throughout Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia.” Normally, it said, “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.” The fundraising appeal went on to say that WorldHelp was working with Christian partners in Indonesia who want to “plant Christian principles as early as possible” in the 300 Muslim children.
There was some idea floating around that the U.S. response to this disaster would help restore an image sullied by illegal war and officially sanctioned torture. But between the Chimpster’s slow and selfish response and the fundies trying to steal Muslim children, I guess that ain’t happenin’.