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Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
Outlook.com

Counting Sheep?

The proselytising zeal of American missionaries knows no slack even in tsunami aid

Counting Sheep?
T. Narayan
Counting Sheep?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Are American Christian evangelists using the devastation wreaked by the tsunami to spread the word of God—their God? Disturbing stories from the region and fund-raising appeals from religious leaders in the US who want to "plant Christian principles as early as possible" in the orphans of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India have raised profound questions about proselytisation of vulnerable people in times of tragedy. Some groups send help along with Bibles—in Bhojpuri—to increase the fold in affected countries, making it harder for others to provide relief. By lacing help with questions of faith, however delicately, evangelical groups can deepen religious faultlines at a time when talk of civilisational wars rages in e-chat rooms.

The controversy surfaced earlier this month when Vernon Brewer, president of the Virginia-based missionary group World Help, told journalists he wanted to airlift 300 'tsunami orphans' from Banda Aceh to raise them in a Christian children's home. He quickly retracted when the Indonesian government banned adoptions by non-Muslim groups. From India...
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