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  • Samaritan's Purse
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    Not to be confused with Samaritans (charity).

    Samaritan's Purse is an evangelical

    Christian humanitarian aid organization that provides aid to people in physical need as a key part of its Christian missionary work. The organization's president is Franklin Graham , son of Christian evangelist Billy Graham. The name of the organization is derived from the New Testament Parable of the Good Samaritan . Their international headquarters are in Boone, North Carolina .

    The organization has been criticized for requiring recipients of aid to participate in religious activities, for Graham's controversial statements, and for his compensation; in 2020 it became an honorary citizen of Cremona . [2]

    History

    Samaritan's Purse was founded in 1970 by Baptist pastor Robert Pierce (Bob), the founder of World Vision International , in Boone , North Carolina .

    [3][4]

    Franklin Graham met Pierce in 1973, and they made several trips together to visit relief projects and missionary partners in Asia and elsewhere. Graham became president of Samaritan's Purse in 1979 following Pierce's death in 1978. [5]

    In 2020, Samaritan's Purse has offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and the organization provides assistance in more than 100 countries. [ citation needed]

    According to NBC News and Gothamist , volunteers are required to adhere to a

    statement of faith, agreeing to a

    definition of marriage as "exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female" and acknowledging that "[God] will banish the unrighteous to everlasting punishment in hell." [6][7]

    [8]

    Programs

    Samaritan's Purse includes several ongoing ministries .[9]

    Disaster Relief responds to emergency situations. [citation needed]

    World Medical Mission , the medical arm of Samaritan's Purse, was founded in 1977 by brothers Dr. Richard Furman and Dr. Lowell Furman to enable doctors to serve short-term assignments at overwhelmed missionary hospitals. [citation needed]

    Children's Heart Project provides surgery for children born with heart defects in countries where proper care is not available.

    Turn on the Tap is a campaign to provide safe drinking water in the developing world. [citation needed]

    Operation Christmas Child

    Operation Christmas Child was created in 1990 by Dave Cooke and his wife Gill for children in Romania. [10][11][12]

    Each November thousands of churches, schools, groups and individual donors prepare and collect shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, personal items, and other small gifts. A booklet of bible stories is often distributed alongside the shoebox gifts which are given to children based on need alone, regardless of their faith. These boxes are then distributed overseas by volunteers. As of April 2015, over 124 million boxes have been delivered. [13]

    The program uses "follow-up" evangelism [14][15][16] with pamphlets of bible stories that are given to families that receive the boxes, [17] and an organizer for Operation Christmas Child says his goal every day is to "expand [God's] kingdom through Operation Christmas Child." [citation needed ]

    The follow-up evangelism program of Operation Christmas Child is called "The Greatest Journey". It is a 12-week discipleship program for children who receive shoebox gifts. [18]

    Operation Christmas Child in the US has over 9,000 year round volunteers and over 100,000 short term volunteers. [citation needed ]

    Emergency aid

    One of Samaritan's Purse planes used for the emergency transport of basic necessities and aid workers in

    Birmingham , England, 2019

    The organisation's medical mission in

    Liberia, West Africa, was one of only two medical NGOs active in Liberia during the beginning of the 2014 Ebola outbreak . Samaritan's Purse and SIM USA both have been actively engaged in treating the recent outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Liberia. On August 1, 2014, the organisation announced that it was evacuating 60 nonessential personnel from Liberia. Dr. Kent Brantly , a Texas-based doctor working for the organisation, was the first U.S. Citizen to contract the Ebola virus in Liberia while treating the disease. He arrived in the United States on Saturday, August 2, and was treated and subsequently released after nearly three weeks in a special isolation unit of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta , Georgia. [19][20][21][22] The organization recorded their mission in Liberia in the documentary Facing Darkness . Samaritan's Purse has a fleet of 21 planes and 2 helicopters for the emergency transport of basic necessities and aid workers. [23]

    Financials

    In the fiscal year ending December 2012, Samaritan's Purse generated over $376 million. Of that amount, 89.3 percent goes directly to projects; 4.3 percent is used for administrative support; and 6.2 percent is spent on fundraising. The organization has received a 4 star rating (out of 4 stars) from the monitoring organization

    Charity Navigator.[24] The "Consolidated Statement of Activities" section of the organization's 2014 accountant's report lists the total revenue as $520.4 million. [citation needed ]

    Controversy

    In March 2001, The New York Times reported that Samaritan's Purse had "blurred the line between church and state" in the way it had distributed publicly funded aid to victims of the El Salvador earthquake. Residents from several villages stated they first had to sit through a half-hour prayer meeting before receiving assistance. [25] In a statement, USAID said Samaritan's Purse had not violated federal guidelines, but emphasized the need for the organization to "maintain adequate and sufficient separation" between prayer sessions and publicly-funded activities. [26]

    In 2003, Islamic leaders criticized Samaritan's Purse within the United Kingdom after its president, Franklin Graham, stated that Islam is a "very evil and wicked religion", [27][28] leading to opposition campaigns by the Islamic leaders. [29] Samaritan's Purse responded to accusations of being anti-Islamic by highlighting their long history of non-denominational co-operation and charity work in Baghdad without attempting to preach or proselytize. [30]

    The Operation Christmas Child project has been criticized in several countries, most notably in the UK, [31][32] but also in Ireland, [33] India [34] and Canada. [35] [by whom?]

    [ clarification needed] In the United States, Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has stated that such religion-and-relief groups are "using their position of power to try to persuade people to leave their faith."[36] In 2003, The British supermarket chain Co-op and

    South Wales Fire Service both suspended their support for the project after numerous complaints about its religious connections. [28][37] Samaritan's Purse responded by stating that Christian literature was only handed out where it was deemed appropriate. [37]

    Franklin Graham drew scrutiny in 2009 for drawing a full-time salary from Samaritan's Purse, while at the same time receiving a full-time salary from

    Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). This was called into question after his 2008 compensation from both organizations totaled $1.2 million. (Most of this was the result of a new IRS rule that required him to re-report deferred retirement contributions that had already been reported over the previous three years. [38] ) Some experts on non-profits have questioned whether one person can perform two full-time jobs leading organizations that employ hundreds and spend hundreds of millions around the world. [39] In response to the questions about his compensation, Graham decided to give up his salary from BGEA, stating his calling to the ministry "was never based on compensation." He also had contributions to his retirement plans suspended until the economy bounced back. [40] However, Graham was again criticized in 2015 when it was revealed he had again taken up his salary from BGEA, and that his annual compensation was significantly higher than that of the CEO's of similar but much larger non-profit organisations

    [41]

    In 2010, Flavia Wagner and two Sudanese men were kidnapped while working for Samaritan's Purse in

    Sudan. The two men were released promptly, but Wagner was held for three months. Upon her return to the US, Wagner sued Samaritan's Purse and their security contractor, Clayton Consultants, a hostage negotiation consultancy owned by Triple Canopy, accusing the organization "of failing to train its security personnel adequately and of willfully ignoring warning signs that abductions were a threat to foreigners." The organization settled out of court in March 2012. [42][43]

    In August 2013, Thankyou Group announced that it will no longer support Samaritan's Purse because it is not a signatory to the code of conduct run by the Australian Council for International Development , which bans aid as a vehicle for promoting religion or political groups. [44]

    In October 2014, Samaritan's Purse threatened legal action in the UK against the posters of online comments on the discussion forum Mumsnet . The resultant letters prompted one of the busiest discussions on the site's "Am I being Unreasonable" forum. [45]

    Response to the COVID-19 outbreak

    Italy

    On March 17, 2020, Samaritan's Purse dispatched over 60 disaster response specialists, 20 tons of medical equipment and a field hospital to

    Cremona , Italy which started operations on March 20, 2020. [46][47]

    [48][49]

    Alaska

    Samaritans' Purse airlifted 8 tons of medical supplies to Alaska on April 7, 2020 to help provide supplies to remote communities. [50][51][52]

    New York

    In cooperation with New York City's

    Mount Sinai Hospital , Samaritan's Purse constructed a 14 tent, 68-bed

    field hospital in Central Park on March 29, 2020 to increase Mount Sinai's surge capacity. [46][53][54][55] Through April, over 190 people were treated there. By early May, all patients had been discharged, and there were plans to dismantle the tents. [56]

    Criticism

    Before the field hospital opened, journalists, politicians and LGBTQ activists raised concerns that it was only recruiting Christian medical staff and that it would provide inadequate and discriminatory care. [49][57][58][59]

    [60][61] New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that the presence of Samaritan's Purse was "very troubling," while New York State Senator Brad Hoylman told

    NBC News that he considered it "a shame that the federal government has left us in the position of having to accept charity from such bigots". [57]

    [62][63][64] Franklin Graham later responded to Hoylman's request for public reassurance by stating: "We do not make distinctions about an individual's religion, race, sexual orientation, or economic status. We certainly do not discriminate, and we have a decades-long track record that confirms just that." [46][61][65] New York City's Commission on Human Rights closed an investigation into the hospital after finding no evidence it had discriminated against patients.[66] The group's departure was hailed as a victory by LGBTQ rights activists. [67] Volunteers are required to adhere to a

    statement of faith, agreeing to a

    definition of marriage as "exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female" and acknowledging that "[God] will banish the unrighteous to everlasting punishment in hell." [68]

    [64][69]

    Joint plans between Mount Sinai Hospital, Samaritan's Purse and the

    Episcopal Diocese of New York to convert the Cathedral of St. John the Divine into a 200-bed hospital were shelved on April 9, 2020. Although this decision was attributed at least in part to the assessment that virus-related hospitalizations had already plateaued, [70][71] Bishop Andrew M.L. Dietsche of the Episcopal Diocese of New York later said that Graham's "exclusionary" and "narrow" attitude about Christianity was central to the decision. Specifically, the Samaritan's Purse requires its employees and volunteers to oppose gay marriage, which, in Dietsche's words, was incompatible with the work the New York Diocese had done "around the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people." [56]

    References

    1. ^ Charity Navigator Rating – Samaritan's Purse at www.charitynavigator.org

    2. ^ Lotta al coronavirus, Cremona dà la cittadinanza a medici e infermieri americani ilgiorno.it

    3. ^ Paul Battersby, Ravi Roy, W. George Scarlett, International Development: A Global Perspective on Theory and Practice Couverture , SAGE Publications, USA, 2017, p. 139

    4. ^ George Thomas Kurian, Mark A. Lamport, Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Volume 5 , Rowman & Littlefield, USA, 2016, p. 2015

    5. ^ Robert Wuthnow, Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches , University of California Press, USA, 2009, p. 136

    6. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (2020-03-30).

    "Group Behind Central Park Coronavirus Tent Hospital Asks Volunteers To Support Anti-Gay Agenda" . Gothamist. Retrieved

    2020-03-31.

    7. ^ "Group behind NYC's COVID-19 field hospital run by antigay evangelist" . NBC News. Retrieved 2020-04-01.

    8. ^ staff/jake-offenhartz (2020-03-31). "De Blasio "Very Concerned" About Anti-Gay Evangelical Group Running Central Park Coronavirus Hospital" .

    Gothamist. Retrieved 2020-04-01.

    9. ^ Haemin Lee, International Development and Public Religion: Changing Dynamics of Christian Mission in South Korea , Wipf and Stock Publishers, USA, 2016, p. 104

    10. ^ William D. Crump, The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3d ed. , McFarland, USA, 2001, p. 332

    11. ^ Christian Buckley, Ryan Dobson,

    Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross , Moody Publishers, USA, 2010, p. 149

    12. ^ David P. King, God's Internationalists: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism , University of Pennsylvania Press, USA, 2019, p. 254

    13. ^ "Can you believe it? Operation Christmas Child celebrates tonight for the 100 million shoeboxes delivered to poor children around the world! Congrats to Reverend Franklin Graham, Samaritan's Purse everyone who helped and helps" . Gretawire. April 6, 2013. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.

    14. ^ "Operation Christmas Child/Children's Evangelistic Rallies" (PDF). Occupying Till He Returns. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association . 1998. "Thousands of children were touched in 1998 by Operation Christmas Child, a project that ministers to both the physical and spiritual needs of children around the world... In conjunction with the distribution of shoe box gifts, BGEA International Ministries often arranges Children's Evangelistic Rallies, which include a presentation of "The Greatest Gift of All." In this lively program, a young boy learns about God, His creation and His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. At the end of the program, children are invited to become God's friends by accepting the forgiveness He provides through His Son. Trained volunteers meet with each child who responds. Rallies took place in Romania and in hurricane-ravaged Nicaragua and Peru. Total attendance at the rallies was 245,000, with more than 42,000 inquirers."

    15. ^ "Sharing Christ's Love Through Operation Christmas Child" (PDF). Samaritan's Purse 2003 Ministry Report . Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2004. "Operation Christmas Child is one of the best evangelistic tools because it is a gift," ministry partner Victor Kulbich said. "It opens the door to telling about Jesus."

    16. ^ "Discover The Greatest Journey" . Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. "The journey to faith begins when children are offered Gospel storybooks during Operation Christmas Child gift distributions. The most far-reaching impact comes later, when boys and girls are invited to participate in the voluntary Bible study course produced by Samaritan's Purse... The 12-lesson set guides children through a study of who Jesus Christ is, what it means to follow Him, and how to share this exciting message with others. After children complete the program, they are presented with a personalized certificate. To help these boys and girls continue to grow in their faith, we want to provide them with their very own copies of the Greatest Gift of All New Testament. This special edition also includes selected Old Testament stories, a dictionary, and a section that encourages the children to memorize Scripture. All of the materials used for The Greatest Journey are provided at the request of local churches and ministry partners. Millions of boys and girls have indicated that they have committed their lives to Jesus Christ after receiving shoe box gifts and participating in our follow-up program. By sharing their faith one-on-one, these children in turn lead friends and relatives to Jesus Christ"

    17. ^ Curtis, Polly. "Education: Parents angry at evangelicals' charity scheme" . the Guardian .

    18. ^ "Top 10 Reasons to Pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox! - Pedro Carrion" .

    Pedro Carrion. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2017-12-18.

    19. ^ Blinder, Alan (August 2, 2014).

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    "Samaritan's Purse evacuating 60 from Ebola outbreak" . Asheville Citizen-Times . Retrieved August 3, 2014.

    21. ^ McCay, Betsey (July 31, 2014).

    "Peace Corps, Aid Groups Evacuate Personnel From Ebola-Hit West Africa" . The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved August 3, 2014.

    22. ^ Walker, Jade (August 21, 2014).

    "Kent Brantly, American Doctor Treated For Ebola, To Be Released From U.S. Hospital" .

    The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Retrieved August 21, 2014.

    23. ^ David Cenciotti, Rare Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 Cargo Aircraft Airlifts An Emergency Field Hospital to Italy For COVID-19 Pandemic , theaviationist.com, USA, March 18, 2020

    24. ^ "Charity Navigator Rating - Samaritan's Purse" . Charitynavigator.org. Retrieved

    August 9, 2014.

    25. ^ Gonzalez, David (March 8, 2001), "U.S. Aids Conversion-Minded Quake Relief in El Salvador" , The New York Times , retrieved February 28, 2010

    26. ^ Gonzalez, David (March 5, 2001), "U.S. Cautions Group on Mixing Religion and Salvador Quake Aid" , The New York Times, retrieved February 28, 2010

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    "Top Evangelicals Critical Of Colleagues Over Islam" , The New York Times, retrieved

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    Red-faced MP dumps Islam-bashing charity , retrieved

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    August 29, 2017

    32. ^ McGreal, Chris (December 12, 2010), "Sarah Palin visits crisis-hit Haiti" , The Guardian , London

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    "Christmas aid group rejects criticism" , The Irish Times

    34. ^ "Uncle Sam may be indirectly funding religious conversion in India" . Firstpost .

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    August 29, 2017

    38. ^ "Franklin Graham moves to address concerns about his $1.2 million pay packages" . cleveland.com. Associated Press, File. Retrieved August 9, 2014.

    39. ^ Funk, Tim; Alexander, Ames (October 2009), "Franklin Graham's CEO pay draws experts' criticism" , Charlotte Observer , retrieved March 1, 2010[ dead link ]

    40. ^ Funk, Tim. "CHARLOTTE: Franklin Graham gives up one of two nonprofit salaries | Religion" . NewsObserver.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014.

    41. ^ Tim Funk, Ames Alexander (August 8, 2015). "Franklin Graham takes pay he once gave up" . The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved August 31, 2015.

    42. ^ "Darfur kidnapping victim sues aid group that sent her" .

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    43. ^ Rix, Matt (January 29, 2013).

    "Perspectives: Standard of care rising for employees in threat elevated areas" .

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    44. ^ Battersby, Lucy (20 August 2013). "Fund-raiser Thankyou Water drops support for evangelical group" . The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 November 2017.

    45. ^ "Legal News". Private Eye . London. October 17, 2014. p. 13.

    46. ^ a b c Reyes, Lorenzo. "An emergency field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients is opening in NYC's Central Park" . USA TODAY . Retrieved 2020-04-01.

    47. ^ Rambaran, Vandana (April 1, 2020). "Samaritan's Purse Central Park field hospital takes in first patient in coronavirus fight" . Fox News. Retrieved 2020-04-11.

    48. ^ Corbella, Licia (March 26, 2020).

    "Corbella: Canadians helping in the centre of Italy's COVID-19 storm" . Calgary Herald . Retrieved 2020-04-11.

    49. ^ a b Vallejo, Justin (April 6, 2020). "Coronavirus: Gay-rights activist arrested protesting at New York field hospital run by controversial Christian group" .

    Independent. Retrieved

    2020-04-11.

    50. ^ Rulz, Michael (April 7, 2020).

    "Samaritan's Purse jet lands in Alaska with massive shipment of medical gear for coronavirus response" . Fox News . Retrieved

    April 11, 2020.

    51. ^ Leseman, Matt (April 8, 2020).

    "Samaritan's Purse donates over 17,000 pounds of medical supplies to Alaska" . Microsoft News. Retrieved April 11, 2020.

    52. ^ "Governor Dunleavy Thanks Samaritan's Purse for Medical Supplies" . April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2020.

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    55. ^ "Samaritan's Purse, in Collaboration with Mount Sinai Health System, Opens Emergency Field Hospital in New York's Central Park in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic" . Mount Sinai Hospital. April 1, 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-11.

    56. ^ a b Stack, Liam; Fink, Sheri (2020-05-10). "Franklin Graham Is Taking Down His N.Y. Hospital, but Not Going Quietly" . The New York Times . ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2020-05-10.

    57. ^ a b Riota, Chris (April 1, 2020).

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    65. ^ Sopelsa, Brooke (April 6, 2020).

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    66. ^ Stack, Liam; Fink, Sheri (May 10, 2020). "Franklin Graham Is Taking Down His N.Y. Hospital, but Not Going Quietly" . The New York Times . ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved May 10, 2020.

    67. ^ Yensi, Amy (May 3, 2020).

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    68. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (2020-03-30).

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    69. ^ staff/jake-offenhartz (2020-03-31). "De Blasio "Very Concerned" About Anti-Gay Evangelical Group Running Central Park Coronavirus Hospital" .

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    70. ^ Bailey, Sarah (April 7, 2020).

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    71. ^ Stack, Liam (April 9, 2020).

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    External links

    Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samaritan's Purse .

    Official website

    Evangelical Christianity portal

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