An Alcoholics Anonymous group in England has been removed from the AA’s online directory of groups after the Somerset group was told it had become too “Christian-focused.”
John Palmer, treasurer of the group in Yeovil, said he was disappointed in the decision, adding that the AA was started in the 1930s by Christians. The Serenity Prayer is vastly popular within AA and is traditionally said at the end of meetings.
“It’s a ridiculous decision,” Palmer said. “They’ve removed us from the ‘Find a Meeting’ section of the AA website, which will prevent new members from finding us. In other words, we’re being shut down.”
The controversy started after a meeting where AA administrators in Somerset said the Yeovil group was “lovely but not (run) along AA guidelines.”
In the administration meeting minutes, it was noted that someone in a Yeovil group meeting had said the “only way to recovery is through Jesus.”
“They have gone against the traditions,” the meeting minutes said. “Nothing wrong with talking about Jesus, but this is not AA.”
The administration said that the group “must be kept separate.”
But Palmer said the group believes in its “traditional roots.”
“We aren’t happy-clappy, and nor do we press Christianity on people,” he said.
AA did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Mail.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said in a statement that there is “radical transformation” among alcoholics in AA after “encountering the hope and healing found in Jesus.”
“Separating and punishing Christians so they cannot attract new members for sharing the gospel message of hope is disturbing and ludicrous.
“It is sad, but not surprising in our world of cancel culture, to hear that the gospel message, which is rooted in the Christmas story, is no longer appropriate for AA and must be kept separate.”
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.