International mission organizations are in a Catch-22 as they try to minister from a distance to Serbians suffering from the results of NATO bombing.
The need for humanitarian resources in Yugoslavia is growing as unemployment rises and government pensions and wages go unpaid. Adding to the problem are the 650,000 refugees remaining from previous conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia.
Requested to withdraw from the Belgrade area by NATO, organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ and World Vision are drawing fire from Serbian evangelicals who feel unsupported in their time of need.
"If they ever return, after all this is over, I am afraid they will be without the spiritual authority which is needed for ministry," Dragoljub Jovanovic, an evangelical Serbian, told the Keston News Service.
Funneling mission re sources to local Serbians for distribution has proved difficult, according to Serge Duss, a World Vision administrator. "We have aided Serbs in the past, and we are looking for indigenous organizations to partner with," he says. "The trouble is finding them."
Even the Serbian national branches of Campus Crusade in Belgrade have been affected. The Serb-staffed New Life program was asked to leave its offices at a local church because of its U.S. affiliation, and the Serbian Army published a book branding Campus Crusade as a paramilitary group.
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