Hard Times for Christian Aid Groups in Afghanistan and Somalia

As Christians mourn murder of International Assistance Mission workers in Afghanistan, Somalia orders out Christian groups.

It's been a bad week for Christian aid groups in two of the world's most challenging nations.

In Afghanistan, ten workers for the International Assistance Mission (IAM) were found shot in the northeastern region of Badakhshan. Beyond veteran ophthalmologist and team leader Tom Little, whose wife recently wrote for CT on the Christian call to suffering in mission, the now-identified dead include Glenn D. Lapp, who worked with the Mennonite Central Committee, and 32-year-old Cheryl Beckett, a pastor's daughter from Tennessee and a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. Out of the 1,500 aid groups registered in Afghanistan, 17 aid workers have been murdered and 19 abducted this year.

Questions are flying about the circumstances of the murders. The Taliban have claimed responsibility, saying they killed the team because they were Christian missionaries. IAM denied the allegations, insisting that its workers do not proselytize and carried no Bibles. Local police suspect bandits. Only one member ...

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