An evangelical Christian group is trying to convert children as young as five at Portland apartment pools, public parks and dozens of other gathering spots this summer — a campaign that's got hundreds of parents upset.
They've banded together in recent weeks to warn parents about the Child Evangelism Fellowship's Good News Club, buying a full-page ad in the local alternative weekly to highlight the group's tactics.
"They pretend to be a mainstream Christian Bible study when in fact they're a very old school fundamentalist sect," said Kaye Schmitt, an organizer with Protect Portland Children, which takes issue with the group's message and the way it's delivering it.
"Parents should know that out-of-state evangelical fundamentalists are in the Portland area this week, trying to convert children as young as five-years-old, using misleading tactics," said Stacey Jochimsen, another Protect Portland Children member.
A press release from the same opposition group, sent to the On Your Side Investigators Wednesday, said the Good News Club curriculum is "not the Jesus-loves-you mainstream Christianity that parents might expect."
They stated, the "curriculum teaches young children that they're born sinners, bound for eternity in hell unless they obey the club's teachings."
They also said, "the curriculum contains over 5,000 references to sin, 1000 references to hell and punishment, 1000 references to obedience, and only one reference to the golden rule."