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Africa-Themed Vacation Bible School Plan ‘Updated’ After Outcries of Racism

The Colorado Christian company behind a controversial Vacation Bible School curriculum has updated racially-insensitive parts of the lesson after initially defending having children pretend to be slaves, referring to Africa as a country, and misrepresenting an African dialect.

“We’re thankful for VBS leaders who have alerted us to several concerns in Roar VBS that could be considered insensitive. We sincerely apologize, and offer these modifications to help your Roar experience be the very best for all your children and community,” reads a document listing changes made to the “Roar” Vacation Bible School curriculum.

Roar Vacation Bible School Plan
(Photo: Courtesy Group Publishing, Inc.)

As Faithfully Magazine reported, Group Publishing, Inc. provides churches with ministry-related resources, including Vacation Bible School curricula for elementary-age students during summer break. The Loveland, Colorado, company released “Roar” as one of its summer 2019 Vacation Bible School themes, and describes it as an “epic African adventure.”

The recent “Roar Updates” implemented by Group Publishing, Inc. under Group VBS specifically address:

  • The “Sing & Play Roar Leader Manual” on page 43, addressing Maasai dance;
  • The “Sing & Play Roar Leader Manual” on page 57, addressing the continent of Africa
  • The “Sing & Play Roar Leader Manual” on page 71, addressing the click/Xhosa language experience
  • The new Day 1 “Wild Bible Adventures” experience, addressing Israelite role-play
  • An updated “Spotlight” VBS script for Day 1
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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at)

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