School officials declare playgrounds 'no-Jesus' zones
By: BOB UNRUH
A summit meeting has been called, likely as early as next week, to address a backlash after bureaucrats in an Australian state declared their public-school playgrounds "no Jesus" zones.
"It is hard to understand what is so dangerous about Jesus that the Queensland government has to ban children from talking about him, even at Christmas time," said Wendy Francis, the Queensland director for the Australian Christian Lobby.
Jones' comments were reported by the Christian charity Barnabas Fund, which said she now is seeking a meeting of her education agency committee to discuss the issue.
Jones claimed school children are free to talk about Jesus or exchange Christmas cards, but Barnabas pointed out that "as the directives have not been rescinded, it is unclear what their current status is."
Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create "Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians," which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as "the world's most widely persecuted religious group."
On Facebook, Queensland-born Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, which runs the highly popular Ark Encounter in Kentucky, asked, "Is Jesus not welcome in Australian (government-run) schools?"
He noted The Australian reported, "Queensland education officials have moved to ban references to Jesus in the primary school yard, with an unofficial policy that takes take aim at junior evangelists."
He pointed out the officials believe evangelizing threatens "a safe, supportive and inclusive environmental for all students."
The Australian reported principals have been warned about unacceptable actions such as making beaded bracelets or necklaces with a Christian message to give away. Devising a poem, song or drama to communicate the gospel. Making a speech at a school assembly about something that matters to God. Passing around leaflets advertising church events."
The Australian Christian Lobby said it wants the issue cleared up.
Francis noted that while Jones was quoted saying children were free to speak as they wished, "departmental directives in government reports telling principals to crack down on kids talking about Jesus have not been rescinded."
"It seems that bureaucrats have over-reached and I am glad the minister has recognized this. But parents, children and principals need clarity over the status of department reviews which take a hostile approach to Christianity," Francis said.
"It is hard to understand what these unelected bureaucrats fear from children talking about Jesus, exchanging Christmas cards with nativity scenes and with Christmas decorations featuring angels."Christianity, Lies, Schools, No Jesus Zones, Paper Trail, Denial