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Battles For Christian After-School Clubs

by | Tue, Feb 6 2024

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The promoters of Christian after-school activity groups called Good News Clubs are suing Hawaiian education officials for refusing to let the clubs use public school facilities. The Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) alleges they blocked the clubs from operating on public campuses which are open to secular clubs like the Scouts. They had been allowed to operate in schools prior to the pandemic.

The clubs are designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children “on their own level in their own environment” which prompted the schools to object to the religious nature of the clubs. But lawyers from Christian legal advocate Liberty Counsel pointed out that the US Supreme Court has ruled more than 20 years ago that public schools cannot discriminate against Christian viewpoints regarding the use of their facilities.

The Christian Post reports that even Hawaii’s own Education Board says its schools should be available to everyone.

The same scenario seems likely to play out in California where an Oakland school district is refusing to let Good News Clubs use its schools’ facilities, despite letting them do so before the covid crisis. Some Oakland schools claimed they did not have the space for the Christian clubs, but others openly stated they were against Evangelism on their campuses.

Liberty Counsel has written to the schools, calling for an end to the discrimination, but the schools haven’t responded, increasing the likelihood of another lawsuit.

CBN News reports that one of the main opponents of Good News Clubs is The Satanic Temple (TST)  which has long sought to force their removal from public schools in the name of diversity.

“Although even the very presence of After School Satan Clubs shows how far America has sunk into moral relativism, these so-called clubs are not succeeding in their goal, which is to scare school authorities into banning all after-school groups so as to oust Good News Clubs,” said CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves.

“Satan cannot create anything but trouble, and this is a prime example. The devil promoters think they’re clever, but they don’t have a prayer when it comes to persuading parents to choose them for their children over CEF’s Gospel-sharing clubs. Parents simply won’t agree to send their children to a club whose mascot represents pure evil,” Mr. Esteves added.

He told CBN Digital that the Satanists’ efforts haven’t been successful in shutting down his Christian clubs. “It hasn’t accomplished their goals to shut our clubs up. As a matter of fact, sometimes it does the opposite, because Christians that are not aware about the work we do in the public schools go: Hey, we like what you guys are doing. Can we help? So, it helps us have more clubs.”

TST  has tried to establish affiliated clubs in hundreds of schools across the country, contending that they are not pushing religion, but rather providing students with an alternative to the popular Good News Clubs.

CEF is pushing full-steam ahead with its goal of reaching 100 million children with the Gospel within the next 10 to 15 years. In 2024 alone, CEF plans to reach at least 30 million children.

Photo: Child Evangelism Fellowship