YWCA drops Christian word from historic name after 156 years

Friday, January 7, 2011

LONDON - The Young Women’s Christian Association, which is one of UK’s best-known charities, has dropped any mention of the word Christian from its historic name after 156 years.

The organisation, which is mainly funded by legacies left by Christian supporters over 15 decades, will now be known as ‘Platform 51′, and the reason they say is because “it no longer stands for who they are”.

“During the 156 years since we were founded, we’ve had to evolve to reflect changes in society and the needs and expectations of women,” the Daily Mail quoted YWCA England and Wales as telling supporters.

“This is true not only of the work we do, but also of our name. Our original name no longer stood for who we are or what we do and people often confused us with another charity,” they stated.osses say the name was chosen to reflect the fact that 51 percent of people are female and that they can use the charity as a platform “to have their say” and “to move to the next stage of their lives”.

The decision to drop all mention of Christianity from the charity’s name and purposes has drawn criticism from religious groups.

It also appeared to open a rift between the renamed grouping in England and Wales and the worldwide YWCA that grew after two Englishwomen founded the charity in 1855.

Officials at the World YWCA headquarters in Geneva said none of the 124 branches in other countries are changing their names.

“The name has been there for more than 150 years and we are not even discussing a change. We see our name as an opportunity for promoting Christian values and principles,” spokesman Sylvie Jacquat said.

Platform 51 aims to “lobby for changes in the law and policies to help all women”.

“Many believe there is an anti-Christian bias among those who decide which charities get state funding,” Mike Judge of the Christian Institute think tank said.

“It was the Christian character of the YWCA that made it great. It is a shame that it is turning its back on those values,” he added. (ANI)

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