The evangelisation of non-Christian children by the Church of England is a breach of human rights, say a New-Age human rights group. The S.A.F.F., a 600 strong group which looks after the interests of minority religious beliefs in the UK, was responding to All God's Children? the General Synod's recent critical report on Children's chosen role models and life-styles which blamed Barbie Dolls and Computer Games for the godlessness of today's children.
In a scathing criticism of the C of E report the SAFF claim that the Church of England is campaigning to subvert the authority of parents without their knowledge and has no prerogative, nor prior moral right to intervene in the life-styles of children without the express permission of their parents. The Leeds based group say that the church's recently launched campaign to popularise Christianity amongst the young is the thin end of the wedge for a continuous process of cultural brainwashing and says that the C of E has declared war on religious minorities. They point to the recommendation in the report which states:
Churches must, as a matter of urgency, invest new energies and resources into the evangelism of those millions of children at present beyond the reach of any congregation.'and ask whether that applies to children of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Humanist parents? Martin Keane, a spokesperson for the group, said that 'All God's Children' was a "contradictory and hypocritical attempt to project the blame for falling church attendances upon the scapegoats of the media and the toy industry in order to justify a recruitment drive which intended to manipulate the minds of children without their parents' knowledge.
"The real reasons why children were not going to church is because either their parents have stopped going, or, as in the case of those of other faiths, they never went there in the first place."
adding thatIf it follows recommendations in the report the Church of England will be breaching international laws on human rights which protect the rights of parents to pass their beliefs on to their offspring without hindrance.
When asked whether he thought that the Church might not have a point about the scary nature of some childrens' entertainment Mr Keane replied,"Have you read the Book of Revelations recently? Masters of The Universe might be more animated but it is a lot less psychopathic than some of the images which religion has traditionally fostered. This is just the kettle calling the pot black. What we need is a sense of proportion here and we won't get that if we allow 'spiritual colonialists' to act as though our multicultural and pluralist society does not exist.
Gavin Read, leader of the Synod working party which drew up All God's Children? was unavailable today for comment but his report warns those who feel'squeamish' about about evangelising children that others with what the report terms 'false gospels' would be 'left to shape young lives'.
Mr Keane said that his organisation did not intend to allow the Church to use children as 'religious currency' in this way and would be writing to the General Synod to remind them of their responsibilities under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 14 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child which effectively outlaws the reports proposals.
*This historic 1991 Press Release by the SAFF proves just how prophetic our perspective of the fundie campaign has been. All God's Children? was the first salvo by the Church of England in a battle to reclaim the minds of the young for Christianity by riding the hysteria of Satanic Ritual Child Abuse which was a scare promoted by them to worry parents into compliance. This strategy was a first step towards taking back control of the educational system. Any parent who has tried to get his child into a state funded so-called 'faith school' lately will know just how well they have succeeded in morally blackmailing people into going to church who would otherwise probably not set foot in one.
(c) world copyright holders: The Sub-culture Alternatives Freedom Foundation (S.A.F.F.) Leeds, Yorkshire, U.K.
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