Recent actions by the U.S. Air Force Academy could appear as if commanders are on a mission to rid the institution of Christian influence, but a nearby pastor says the actions are the result of intense pressure from one man.

The most recent flap involved a lunchtime announcement and subsequent email encouraging cadets to participate in Operation Christmas Child, an annual program of Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse relief organization.

“Please consider spending some of your valuable time and money to love on a kid around the world,” the email said.

Commanders initially said there was nothing wrong with the academy’s involvement in the program, but when pressed further, they apologized and assigned the project to the academy’s chaplains who can legally recruit for religious endeavors, The Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

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