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March 8, 2012

‘Kony 2012’ and Invisible Children’s Christian roots

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/kony_2012_and_invisible_childrens_christian_roots_20120308/

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Invisible Children didn’t just rise up this week with their viral video “Kony 2012.”

Invisible Children considers Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army to be a war criminal of the highest order, and their hope is that “Kony 2012” will lead to his arrest and trial before the International Criminal Court. This is but the latest effort by Invisible Children to draw attention to Kony and the plight of African children he kidnaps into his militia. And it’s gotten a lot of attention, including some criticism, and prompted this response from Invisible Children.

Everything else aside, Invisible Children has its roots in the Christian community. And here is what I wrote about them in a Wall Street Journal op-ed two years ago titled, “How Missionaries Lost Their Chariots of Fire”:

Invisible Children’s media kit emphatically states that its founders “believe in Christ, but do NOT want to limit themselves in any way.”

Their motivation, though, certainly comes from a Christian place. “If you take that message—love another as yourself—and you apply that to kids in northern Uganda who are getting abducted, what does that mean? I knew, from that, that I had to do something,” says Ben Keesey, the CEO.

Read the rest here.

I’m not sure how central Christianity is today to the work being done at Invisible Children. But I know that their support still seems strongest, at least anecdotally, among young, educated Christians. Maybe I’m basing that too much on my Facebook feed, which is full of friends who, like me, were college friends with Keesey. Or maybe it’s that like Jewish World Watch in the Jewish community, Invisible Children is something that a lot of young Christians gravitate toward as their global-healing effort.

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