Ireland pulls plug on some "Power to Change" evangelism
Campus Crusade's multimedia "Power to Change" campaigns have run throughout Canada since 1998, and have recently branched overseas. In the last two years, for example, Jerusalem and Bolivia were focuses. This year Campus Crusade has targeted Ireland, and it has been quite a feat. Organizers are targeting both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (the websites are the same, but given different addresses for political reasons), and the program is backed by both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.
It's basically an ad campaign. Local celebrities (golfer Bernhard Langer, singer Maire Brennan, etc.) pitch Jesus through ads at movie theaters, billboards, public transportation ads, and—perhaps most crucially—television.
And that's where the trouble comes in. A Republic of Ireland law passed last year bans the national broadcaster RTE from airing any religious promotion (though promoting "spirituality" is okay). The station originally said it would accept the ads, but rejected them based on final scripts because they included the words "Jesus Christ" and "God."
The campaign organizers yesterday lost their appeal for a High Court injunction ordering RTE to air the commercials.
Still, the commercials will air on UTV, Sky Television, and Channel 4—and now that the organizers don't have to worry about violating RTE guidelines, they've made them more explicitly evangelistic.
A similar ban happened last year in Germany with the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation's Power for Living evangelistic campaign.
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