Evangelical Christians On the Front Lines

April 4, 2003

Source: The Guardian

On April 4, 2003 The Guardian reported that "poised behind the troops, waiting for a signal that Iraq is safe enough for them to operate in, are the evangelical Christians - carrying food in one hand and the Bible in the other... All the groups, generously funded by American churchgoers, are likely to do a magnificent job in offering water, food, medical help and comfort to a traumatised population. But they are causing alarm among Muslims, who fear vulnerable Iraqis will be cajoled into conversion, and Christians, some of whom warn that the missionaries will be prime targets in an unpacified Iraq... Muslim worries have been heightened because the man leading the charge into Iraq is the Rev Franklin Graham, who delivered the invocation at President Bush's inauguration. The son of Billy Graham and a fierce critic of Islam, he is on record as calling it a 'wicked, violent' religion, with a God different from that of Christianity. 'The two are different as lightness and darkness,' he wrote... He runs an organisation called Samaritan's Purse, whose workers are in Jordan, waiting to move into Iraq. It has a strong record of charitable help built up over more than 30 years, but its official aim is clear: 'The organisation serves the church worldwide to promote the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.'"