SEATTLE, WA, March 26, 2014 ( – The U.S. branch of international evangelical charity World Vision has backed off a highly-contentious decision announced two days ago that they would begin hiring staff who have contracted same-sex “marriages.”

The decision had sparked intense backlash, including calls for a boycott, from evangelical leaders, who accused World Vision of reneging on its commitment to Biblical morality. 

The organization’s board of directors held a meeting Wednesday and then issued a letter saying they “acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”


The letter, penned by World Vision president Richard Stearns and U.S. board chairman Jim Beré, states that the decision came in response to Christian leaders who had expressed their dismay “in the spirit of Matthew 18.”

“We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness,” it reads.

“We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority,” the letter continues. “We ask that you understand that this was never the board's intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.”

“While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect,” the letter adds.

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The organization said on Monday that they chose to make the change because some of the Christian denominations with which they partner had begun offering same-sex “marriages.” The purpose, they said, was to create “unity” by avoiding what they deemed a non-essential issue.

Before this recent situation, World Vision had come under fire from pro-life and pro-family leaders over its commitment to promoting “family planning” as part of its development model.

The organization’s Pragati project in India, for example, taught volunteers how to demonstrate and encourage the use of oral contraceptives and condoms. In a report on its health strategy, World Vision says the project led to an increase in usage of modern contraceptives from 12 percent to 27 percent.


World Vision, Inc.
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