Spreading the Gospel in Muslim countries

The South Koreans travelling to Afghanistan must have miscalculated the consequences of their action. Afghanistan is still – at least in parts- in the grip of fundamentalists sympathetic to the Talibans. For them to decide to work in a country that is still insecure even for its inhabitants is a big adventure. They have chosen to walk on a mined land where every steps means risking getting blown up.

The hostages held there are likely to get bad publicity among the Afghans still loyal to the Talibans and to the Al-Qaeda. They must be seen them as crusaders using humanitarian aids and projects just to spread their faith as long as the funds come from a church or they work for it.

It’s true that many Afghans are in dire need. The Taliban is a reality. Aids to the areas where they operate should be through their consultation and their commitment to protect volunteers and aid donors.

In Muslim countries, it is still dangerous to spread the word as there people are born Muslims and they can’t change their religion without running the risk of being sent to prison in stable countries or merely killed in unruly ones. In some Muslim countries, you can adopt a Western life style in all aspects, there is no punishment for that. But just saying I’m not a Muslim can have dire consequences.

Turkey was tried by the EU about human rights, among which is freedom of religion. Although missionaries can get to Turkey, a secular state, they have very few followers. Some missionaries were killed there.

So it’s better to let the Muslims alone. What is needed is dialogue between different faiths on the basis of respective understanding. Those choosing to change religion had better move to a country where there is freedom of religion. There are other levels that can unite people in the spirit of cooperation. Religion should be put aside when it is likely to cause just trouble and pain.

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