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An Australian school district took a major stride to ban Christian activity and the name of Jesus in any form.
The Australian reports Queensland education officials are cracking down on "junior evangelists" through an unofficial school policy. Officials reportedly claim any student telling another about Jesus, or even sharing a Christmas card, could violate the other child's "GodSpace."
"While not explicitly prohibited by the (legislation), nor referenced in the Religious Instruction (RI) policy, the department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI are evangelizing to students who do not," says the department's report into the GodSpace religious instruction materials, according to The Australian. "This could adversely affect the school's ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment."
A statement from Education Queensland when the report into GodSpace was released earlier this year said: "Queensland state schools embrace a multitude of cultural, religious and non-religious beliefs and encourage students to grow and develop as a whole person, in particular, in beliefs, values and attitudes. State schools respect the background and beliefs of all students and staff by not promoting, or being perceived as promoting, any particular set of beliefs in preference to another."
The move enraged local politicians who saw the policy as a chance to crackdown on faith.
"This country has long held a set of Christian values which should not be undermined by bureaucratic nonsense such as this," One Nation MP Steve Dickson says.
He's not the only one.
"I don't think people are on the whole affronted by the handing out of Christmas cards," Center for Independent Studies senior research fellow Peter Kurti says. "And I don't think that children have the maturity to comprehend let alone evangelize."
Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien joined the opposition to the RI guidelines, as well.
"The notion of trying to take pictures of Jesus out of Christmas cards is ludicrous," O'Brien says. "What do they think Christmas stands for? Are they going to try and take Christ out of the word Christmas next? I don't think Australians should cop such political correctness. I think it's ridiculous."
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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