A Christian charity in the U.K. has responded to media reports that it decided to remove Bible references in its latest version of the Nativity story in order to present a more accessible story for a largely unchurched population of youths.  “Whilst we’re grateful that our plans to share the real Christmas story with thousands of children have pricked the interest of many, it’s a shame that some of the information about our new book, The First Christmas, has been misunderstood,” Scripture Union of England and Wales wrote on Sunday in a Facebook post.

Jennifer Babb, church and community fundraising manager at Scripture Union, said the decision to remove explicit Scripture references was aimed at taking “that barrier away — it makes it more of a simple story,” according to The Telegraph.  “When we realized that children don’t even know the basics of what they are celebrating, then the traditional, simple story is the best way,” Babb said. According to The Telegraph, previous versions of the Scripture Union’s Christmas book contained Bible references and asked children to explore the Gospels. Also, the newly published book does not feature visits of the shepherds and the wise men. READ MORE