If you are providing rice, winter clothes, or emergency shelter to poor people as a relief worker in a foreign country and a grenade rolls at your feet, the first thing you should do is:
- Turn and take one giant step.
- Kick it away.
- Run like the wind.
- Hit the ground and remain facedown.
More than ever, Christian relief workers need to know the answer to such questions. Aid agency security concerns that had already risen during the past decade shot into the stratosphere after the terrorist attacks of September 11. Requests to Ventura, California-based Crisis Consulting International (CCI) for advice on crisis preparedness—and threats—have quadrupled since the twin World Trade Center towers fell, says Robert Klamser, CCI's executive director.
Terrorists now make no distinction between Western relief workers and the embassy workers or corporate executives they traditionally have struck, Klamser says.
In both Muslim and non-Muslim countries (including the United States), Christian organizations have received threats that "appear to be related" to the September 11 terrorism—Klamser declines to elaborate—or are related to U.S. retaliation, he says. Whereas hostile forces once targeted Western aid workers merely as symbols of an economic or political system, religious animosity has changed the security equation, he says.
"Whether part of the network of September 11 acts or just those who rallied to the call to jihad, that is a religious-based fervor," Klamser says. "And that puts Christians as direct targets, not as incidental targets."
About that grenade problem: you should first kick it away, according to the World Vision Security Manual. Then take a long step in the opposite direction, drop to the ground, and remain there ...1
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