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Mission: Possible

Joseph Loconte

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Rebutting criticism of Christian aid organizations working in Iraq.

Numerous hazards threaten U.S. democracy-building in Iraq. They include theocratic Shia radicals, mischief and thuggery by Baath party officials, misjudgments by American officials, and--to hear some critics tell it--the presence of Christian relief organizations.

Media stories over the last several months have likened the operations of relief agencies to the tactics of the Crusaders. Editors at Time sent a memo (obtained by World magazine) to reporters worldwide to gather material for a cover story about the "radical crew of proselytizers" doing humanitarian work in Muslim countries. "Do the missionaries feel that their goals are consistent with those of the U.S. State Department?" the memo asked.

Such criticism suggests that old stereotypes of Bible-pounding, cross-waving missionaries are alive and well. In reality, most relief organizations subscribe to a "code of conduct" established by the International Red Cross to protect the rights of people receiving assistance. It includes a "humanitarian imperative," emphasizing that aid be given regardless of race, creed, or nationality...

Read this article on the Heritage Foundation website.



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