Alternatives to World Vision

Where to give money if you don't like the Federal Way charity's dogmatic Christian hiring practices.

Anyone who wants to work for the international relief agency World Vision in Federal Way is required to sign the organization's highly specific faith statement, which declares that Mary was a virgin, heaven and hell exist, and the Bible is infallible (no word on how to treat conflicting translations), among other things. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a challenge to that policy, ruling that World Vision can indeed hire and fire staff based on their religious beliefs and still receive federal dollars. "Our hiring policy is vital to the integrity of our mission to serve the poor as followers of Jesus Christ," the charity said in a statement. The suit was filed by three employees who were fired after World Vision determined they no longer held the requisite religious views. World Vision is by no means the only charitable organization that requires statements of faith as a condition of employment. Others include World Concern, a Seattle-based community-development and disaster-response group; New Horizons, which provides services to homeless Seattle youth; the Union Gospel Mission, which runs local homeless shelters; and World Relief, a Baltimore-based group that has offices here. If you'd rather direct your money (and/or job application) toward humanitarian organizations with more open-minded hiring practices, these do not require a statement of faith: Mercy Corps, a Portland-based disaster-relief agency with offices in Seattle; PATH, which provides birth control and medical services to developing countries; Volunteers of America of Western Washington, which is technically a church and supports everything from preschools and developmental-disability programs to senior housing centers; and Habitat for Humanity, which is explicitly faith-based but does not require its employees to be believers. 

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