Have Shelter Now workers endangered other missionaries and aid workers?
Now that they have been welcomed back to the United States as heroes, Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry are already being removed from their pedestals. Several publications seem eager to issue a verdict in the trial the Taliban never finished: did the Shelter Now workers illegally engage in evangelism?
"Now that Curry and Mercer and the six other Shelter Now relief workers are safe, a different story can be told," says Beliefnet's Deborah Caldwell. "The Taliban was partly right. Curry and Mercer did spend time in Afghanistan evangelizing—in violation of Afghani law. More significantly, they are part of a widespread and rapidly growing effort among American Christians to convert Muslims around the world. They are warriors, in other words, in what can fairly be described as a Christian jihad against Islam."
A Christian jihad against Islam? Is Caldwell serious? Personally, Weblog likes the phrasing of Matthew 28:19 better.
Curry, by the way, is nuancing their activities "We weren't trying to convert them, we were just sharing our faith," she said on NBC's Today show.
The Washington Post reports that the Shelter Now workers' story is expected to motivate a new generation of missionaries. "Their story is extremely inspiring, and Christian college students will look to their experience as something to follow," says Nathan Dunn, communications director for Campus Crusade for Christ. (Wait. Campus Crusade? Gosh, maybe this is a jihad against Islam.)
The problem, reports the Post, Beliefnet, and several other media outlets, is that their story also endangers aid and missionary work. Fuller Seminary professor J. Dudley Woodberry says Muslim governments will probably be ...1
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