BOONE, N.C., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Volunteers at a North Carolina-based charity shipping gifts to children around the world have been told to remove any toys relating to Harry Potter or Pokemon.
Operation Christmas Child, a project from Boone-based Christian charity Samaritan's Purse, expects to ship about 2.4 million shoe boxes filled with gifts to children in more than 100 countries for the holiday season, but none of this year's boxes will include Harry Potter or Pokemon toys.
The Hogwarts wizard and Japanese pocket monsters have been listed as "inappropriate items" alongside liquids, breakables and "melt-able" chocolates.
The toys are all donated by members of the public, so it's up to volunteers to seek out and remove the "inappropriate" items.
"We reevaluate the inappropriates every years, so that's the standard for this year," Lindsay Tunnell of Operation Christmas Child told WCNC-TV.
The group released a statement to further explain the omission of the popular toys.
"Operation Christmas Child works with church partners in more than 100 countries from a number of denominations and realizes that not every partner has the same views," the statement read.
Joey White, assistant director of Operation Christmas Child, said some Christian groups consider Harry Potter and Pokemon to promote pagan beliefs.
"There are some references that may be questionable," White told the Charlotte Observer. "There's a possibility [Potter and Pokemon] could interfere with our ministry to share the love of Christ with kids around the world."
Not all of the children who receive the gifts are Christian. Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, is on this year's list of recipients, and Samaritan's Purse head Franklin Graham said previous years have seen boxes sent to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Sudan.
Graham, who has previously declared Islam to be a "wicked" religion and came out in favor of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's proposed ban on Syrian refugees entering the United States, said the children of refugees will be receiving gifts this year.
"A lot of these boxes will be going to refugee children -- you know, these kids coming out of the Muslim countries, coming to Europe," Graham said.
While the supposedly pagan toys are banned by the charity, the group does not stop donors from including Christian materials in their gift boxes.
"We leave that to the donor," White said.