Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Is the Harper government funding christian missionaries abroad?

According to this reportage in La Presse, more and more CIDA funds are being directed towards christian groups and projects that have a mandate to proselytize. Few have solid experiences with humanitarian aid projects as well regarded as Kairos; most have no international credibility.
While reducing financial support to many international cooperation agencies, the Harper government is now providing more subsidies to religious NGOs, especially those that have a mission to spread the faith.

This is what emerges from research conducted by François Audet, Director of the Canadian Research Institute on humanitarian crisis and aid; its results should be published this spring in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies.

His team of researchers combed through the tax returns of 198 Canadian NGOs who shared in 2010 a budget of $366 million in funding from CIDA.

Their conclusion: from 2005 to 2010, subsidies to secular NGOs have increased by 5% - from 226 to 237 million. During the same period, the annual budget for religious NGOs increased from 90 to 129 million - an increase of 42%.

The lion's share of this increase went to a dozen NGOs in Western Canada, which received $50 million in 2010, against 29 million five years earlier - an increase of 72%. However, in addition to their humanitarian mission, these NGOs are openly dedicated to evangelization.

Some examples: Africa Community Technical Services received $ 655,000 from CIDA in 2010, almost three times more than in 2005. On its website, the NGO says it carries out its duties "under the authority of the scriptures" and "seeks to glorify our Lord Jesus."

Cause Canada says: "We pray that our identification with Jesus, our concern for justice and our practical demonstration of God's love [...] attract people to Christ," on its website. This Alberta NGO received $ 483,000 from CIDA in 2010, an increase of 32% compared to 2005.
Rough Google translation of Agnès Gruda's text.  Radio-Canada is also reporting on this; CBC will no doubt soon produce a document in English.

Santiago Mariani (right) with a Tanzanian family outside their home

Would receiving humanitarian support and the benefit of clean water, education, health care and other necessities made available through international aid projects be conditional upon conversion to fundamentalist religious christian beliefs?

It seems as though Fantino and his accolytes are enforcing have adopted the hospice model developed by Mother Teresa for the Vatican Taliban - a choice between having your soul "saved" or dying miserably in the streets.

BONUS: Dennis Gruending's post about the Office of *Religious Freedom* in John Baird's Foreign Affairs. Would there possibly be a connection to the CIDA funding?

Update regarding the CPC partisan documents Fantino did ^NOT post on the CIDA government website, at The Sixth Estate

Update: Montreal Simon wrote this in December.

Photograph found here.

1 comment:

opit said...

Rather reminds me of JAARS in Central and South America and of stories from the North Vietnamese about outreach among hill people, Saudi Taleban madrassas, and recent stories of military personnel in Afghanistan proselytizing. There are strange complaints about army training centres for the enlisted in the US and Israel teaching soldiers their officers are Islamic sympathizers and of discrimination against pagans.

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