Evangelical aid groups have come under some criticism for preaching the gospel alongside providing aid to the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami. "Some evangelical groups are mixing Christian missionary work with humanitarian aid in countries ravaged by the tsunamis and earthquake, a provocative approach shunned by the majority of faith-based relief organizations," writes The Baltimore Sun. "Spreading faith this way can antagonize the people they're trying to help, and there's evidence of concern among Muslims, Hindus, and others."
The Sun relies on anonymous e-mails and Web postings as "evidence of concern." It even says e-mails and postings "exaggerate or sensationalize" the truth. Most religious aid groups defer to the local culture, writes The Sun, but some missionary groups are not culturally sensitive, upsetting locals.
Apparently, Christians can be motivated by Jesus to provide relief but shouldn't share that motivation with those receiving aid.
Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, is cited as one of those spreading the gospel behind relief dollars. He told The Sun aid should "share the love of Christ. I would hope that they would come to know the God I know."
Other groups, like World Relief, refrain from sharing the gospel at first, writes The Sun. But once they have established a relationship with a group, they return to the scene years later and begin planting churches. World Relief however disputes The Sun's portrayal of them as developing relationships after a disaster only to exploit those relationships in order to plant churches. According to the aid organization, "It is not the duty of World Relief to move beyond its mandate of enabling local churches to respond to suffering - World Relief ...1
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