A Christian charity in the UK has removed Bible references from its annual Nativity book so it doesn’t confuse non-religious children.
Scripture Union, an international Christian organization founded in 1867, decided to trim down the story of Christmas in its picture book to be sent to more than 100,000 children. The group said many young people are unfamiliar with the basics of the Nativity story, reports The Telegraph.
Jennifer Babb, church and community fundraising manager at the Scripture Union, explained that, “When we realized that children don’t even know the basics of what they are celebrating, then the traditional, simple story is the best way.”
Previous versions of The First Christmas included Bible verses and suggestions of further reading in the Gospels. In this year’s booklet, Scripture Union assumed that the youngsters would have very little knowledge about the birth of Jesus.
The booklet tells the story of the angel visiting Mary, Joseph’s dream, the couple’s journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. Scrapped were the visit of the wise men, the young family’s flight to Egypt and Jesus’ first visit to the temple.
Scripture Union distributes hundreds of booklets through food banks, hospitals and a charity. Disadvantaged children are targeted to receive The First Christmas.
In an interview with Premier, Paul Stockwell, head of fundraising, said the organization has been communicating with retailers about the latter’s young market. They found that “Knowledge of the Christian faith and the Christian story is slowing dwindling amongst the next generation”
Despite the decline, Stockwell believed that children, even those who don’t go to church, are naturally inquisitive and will try to find answers on their own.