A parent in Chilliwack, British Columbia is seeking to stop Gideons International from distributing free Bibles to fifth graders.
Richard Ajabu recently contacted the Chilliwack School District to lodge a complaint after he said his daughter came home with Christian pamphlets that included a special offer.
“My child was given religious marketing material with a photo of a free gift (attractive red ‘answer book’ plastered with smiling kids), intriguing (and potentially frightening) questions, branding and graphic art,” he wrote in a letter to District Parents Advisory Council president Gord Ayers.
He stated that the materials further outlined, “It is often in Grade 5 that a child begins asking the big questions of life: what is right and wrong, what is the purpose of life, and what happens when we die,” which is why the Gideons wished to supply students with a free Bible.
However, Ajabu contends that the Bibles violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that education needs to be kept secular.
Superintendent Evelyn Novak stated that students must have a permission slip in order to obtain a free Bible, so parents have a choice in regard to whether or not their children receive the literature.
Ajabu is pressing forward, though, asking Education Minister Don McRae to get involved and oversee any meetings by the school district.
The distribution of Bibles is reportedly not allowed in most of British Columbia, as school boards have already banned Gideons International.