Example of the "best intentions"


#1

****From Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda, the struggling Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, in northern Iraq:

One of the bad effects of 2003 is that it’s opened the country for new evangelical groups who have come to steal from our community and churches. They come in ignorance telling us, “We are going to tell you about Jesus Christ.” I respond by saying, “Yes, I know him.” These groups succeed because they have financial ability. I told a group from Dallas, “You are weakening Christianity here. We are weak enough here in number, and you are dividing us. If you want to help Christians, first come to my place, not to places outside my diocese to try to attract others.”

Here is the full article. It is worth reading. How sad that a 2,000 year old Christian community is being divided and weakened by those who "mean well"

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, pray for us!


#2

Unfortunately, evangelical missionaries do not "mean well" for the existing Christian communities in the areas to which they go; "meaning well" means adding to their own particular confessional group :(


#3

[quote="DaveBj, post:2, topic:287808"]
Unfortunately, evangelical missionaries do not "mean well" for the existing Christian communities in the areas to which they go; "meaning well" means adding to their own particular confessional group :(

[/quote]

As usual, ignorance flashes like lightning while the truth plods along slowly.


#4

[quote="po18guy, post:3, topic:287808"]
As usual, ignorance flashes like lightning while the truth plods along slowly.

[/quote]

With thousands of non-Christians around them, they seek to evangelize those who are already His sheep? :whacky:

Jon


#5

Another unintended consequence, and a different type of division- the war in Iraq has led to the displacement (not internal, but the kind where you leave the country) of approx. 600,000 Christians of an estimated pre-war population close to a million. Most of them don’t feel safe going back and living under the new regime, which is more strictly Islamist and especially unfriendly to women.

This really has more to do with how inhospitable Iraq now is to Christians than it does with the US military unintentionally driving them out, but history will probably remember the US for having a prominent role in it.

There is one more thing, though, if I may. While native Christians are quite prone to persecution in Iraq, this is much less the case for American Protestants who go there. Association with these Protestants- provided that they are more consistently respectful and less consistently prone to attempts at conversion of Iraqi Christians- could help make Iraq marginally more livable for all Christians while making the evangelization of Muslims more feasible and effective.

Without some kind of help, Christianity is going to pretty much disappear from Iraq entirely. Perhaps these Protestant missionaries- if they behave themselves toward the Christians still remaining- can do some things to prevent this from happening.


#6

[quote="JonNC, post:4, topic:287808"]
With thousands of non-Christians around them, they seek to evangelize those who are already His sheep? :whacky:

Jon

[/quote]

Ah, but those non-Christians might just suicide-bomb them, whereas the Catholics will simply listen. Yet, to assume that the Archbishop of a Church that has been on that exact turf for 2,000 years does not know Christ is nearing the pinnacle of ignorance, I would say. It is possible that they have been taught that Catholics are not even Christian. Archbishop Warda can give them the names of martyrs, including brother Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, abducted and murdered in 2008. Where are the Dallas martyrs, I wonder?


#7

[quote=Sixpence] There is one more thing, though, if I may. While native Christians are quite prone to persecution in Iraq, this is much less the case for American Protestants who go there.
[/quote]

Do you have anything to support this? Looking at it from the outside it doesn’t seem logical. If native Christians Iraqis are persecuted for their belief, why would they be kinder to proselytizing Christian foreigners?

[quote=Sixpence] Association with these Protestants- provided that they are more consistently respectful and less consistently prone to attempts at conversion of Iraqi Christians- could help make Iraq marginally more livable for all Christians while making the evangelization of Muslims more feasible and effective.
[/quote]

How is this so? What does association with these Protestants entails, what is it and what benefit do the native Christians get from it? How does the presence of Protestants make it better for the persecuted native Iraqi Christians?

[quote=Sixpence] Without some kind of help, Christianity is going to pretty much disappear from Iraq entirely. Perhaps these Protestant missionaries- if they behave themselves toward the Christians still remaining- can do some things to prevent this from happening.
[/quote]

What is the form of this help? Probably if it is political help where these Protestants have particular influence with the Iraqi government or the Iraqi people who persecute the Christians, then yes, it may help Christians in Iraq, though one would think a government to government intervention would be more effective due to diplomatic relation and reciprocity.

Knowing how most Islamic government operates and their dislike toward people, especially Christians, trying to convert Muslims, the more likelihood of the mission of these Evangelical Protestants would be to convert the native Christians instead.


#8

[quote="Reuben_J, post:7, topic:287808"]
Do you have anything to support this? Looking at it from the outside it doesn’t seem logical. If native Christians Iraqis are persecuted for their belief, why would they be kinder to proselytizing Christian foreigners?

[/quote]

You do not mess with Americans. That's pretty much it.

How is this so? What does association with these Protestants entails, what is it and what benefit do the native Christians get from it? How does the presence of Protestants make it better for the persecuted native Iraqi Christians?

The idea is that you don't mess with an American's friends either, and if proselytizing Americans with the support and resources of some agency behind them are able to furnish some type of tangible protection for their friends, they do that. For example, if there are some internally displaced Christians that don't really have a good place to stay at and are also lacking a social safety net that works for them (and there are quite a few of them), maybe the proselytizing American can do something about that. Or if a particular city is especially unsafe and some Christians would be better off somewhere else, a tank of gas and a secure destination can be a lifesaver.

Of course, you'd want to get humanitarian aid to everyone who needs it. But let's be honest, Iraqi Christians need it more than others. And really, nearly every single Iraqi citizen just wants stability. They want their lives back. Most of the people that are killing people came from outside the country and are messing up someone else's neighborhood. So anyone who comes in and attempts to provide some measure of stability is (more) likely to be tolerated. For example, what Iraqi is going to kill an American doctor who's saving the lives of his countrymen? American doctors have been in Iraq for a good number of years now, and while you do hear about medical personnel getting killed sometimes, it would be a real challenge to find a story on someone like that who was killed for religiously motivated reasons due to proselytizing.

What is the form of this help? Probably if it is political help where these Protestants have particular influence with the Iraqi government or the Iraqi people who persecute the Christians, then yes, it may help Christians in Iraq, though one would think a government to government intervention would be more effective due to diplomatic relation and reciprocity.

It'd probably be in the form of humanitarian aid. And it would also have to do with promoting religious freedom in general.

Knowing how most Islamic government operates and their dislike toward people, especially Christians, trying to convert Muslims, the more likelihood of the mission of these Evangelical Protestants would be to convert the native Christians instead.

You really make them sound like cowards and backstabbing hypocrites at the same time. Based on what you think is most likely, of course. Please do find out what the trends actually are. It's a bit of a mixed bag, and Catholicism has some spotty history of its own there. It may be hard, but Protestants are committed to getting better at evangelizing to Muslims. We aren't always as good as we want to be, but we're always trying. We don't all try as consistently to be sensitive to very ancient Christianity, but some of us do- and in a situation where the continued presence of the Assyrian Church in Iraq is threatened, I think most of us understand the importance of helping preserve it. It's not our goal to eliminate denominations until there's only one left, you know.

Also, you might do well to go on a Muslim forum and find out the extent to which they feel like Protestants are shying away from proselytizing Muslims in Iraq. I bet you get all kinds of stories.

christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2003/apr25.html


#9

[quote="Sixpence, post:8, topic:287808"]
You do not mess with Americans. That's pretty much it.

The idea is that you don't mess with an American's friends either, and if proselytizing Americans with the support and resources of some agency behind them are able to furnish some type of tangible protection for their friends, they do that. For example, if there are some internally displaced Christians that don't really have a good place to stay at and are also lacking a social safety net that works for them (and there are quite a few of them), maybe the proselytizing American can do something about that. Or if a particular city is especially unsafe and some Christians would be better off somewhere else, a tank of gas and a secure destination can be a lifesaver.

Of course, you'd want to get humanitarian aid to everyone who needs it. But let's be honest, Iraqi Christians need it more than others. And really, nearly every single Iraqi citizen just wants stability. They want their lives back. Most of the people that are killing people came from outside the country and are messing up someone else's neighborhood. So anyone who comes in and attempts to provide some measure of stability is (more) likely to be tolerated. For example, what Iraqi is going to kill an American doctor who's saving the lives of his countrymen? American doctors have been in Iraq for a good number of years now, and while you do hear about medical personnel getting killed sometimes, it would be a real challenge to find a story on someone like that who was killed for religiously motivated reasons due to proselytizing.

It'd probably be in the form of humanitarian aid. And it would also have to do with promoting religious freedom in general.

You really make them sound like cowards and backstabbing hypocrites at the same time. Based on what you think is most likely, of course. Please do find out what the trends actually are. It's a bit of a mixed bag, and Catholicism has some spotty history of its own there. It may be hard, but Protestants are committed to getting better at evangelizing to Muslims. We aren't always as good as we want to be, but we're always trying. We don't all try as consistently to be sensitive to very ancient Christianity, but some of us do- and in a situation where the continued presence of the Assyrian Church in Iraq is threatened, I think most of us understand the importance of helping preserve it. It's not our goal to eliminate denominations until there's only one left, you know.

Also, you might do well to go on a Muslim forum and find out the extent to which they feel like Protestants are shying away from proselytizing Muslims in Iraq. I bet you get all kinds of stories.

christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2003/apr25.html

[/quote]

Thanks. It looks like a picture of strife in a war torn country where the strong is feared. Evangelicals are perceived as the strong because of its connection and therefore prevailed. Maybe that's the situation for now. The Americans are going to withdraw and it will be different scenario when that eventually happens.

Even though the oppressed Iraqis are grateful to the Americans for liberating them from the former regime, they are still hated by the opposing side. While the military might of the Americans prevails, considering the deep opposition to them, wouldn't that make their friends to become new targets of greater hate? I think, yes, that would, the only reason for the restrain would probably they will incur bigger loss at the hand of the Americans.

The more common scenario is if “I can't get at you, I will get your friends who are weaker. I wouldn't do it now, but I would when it permits me to”. So it's a matter of time for that repercussion to take place on the Iraqi Christians because the undiminished hatred for them and the Americans but rather intensified by their presence as a symbol of occupiers rather than liberators.

But maybe I am looking at a worse scenario and hopefully the missionaries are successful with the humanitarian aid, which is a very commendable undertaking.


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