IMB criticized for sending missionaries for dangerous countries

By April 9, 2004

International (MNN/IMB) — The Southern Baptist International Mission Board is being second guessed by friend and foe of mission outreach. That second guessing is coming in the wake of the deaths of eight missionary workers killed in action.

Many are saying missionaries should be sent to safe locations and that they shouldn’t be put in harms way. While the IMB wants missionaries to be safe, leaders say that notion would limit work on EVERY continent. The IMB wouldn’t be able to send workers to war zones, violent or chaotic regions, or places where the government opposes Christianity or mission work. If that prohibition was in place, it would limit work in the Muslim and Hindu worlds.

It would also limit Since there’s too much suffering and death in Africa, that too would be off limits. The bombings in Europe would also limit work there. And, in the wake of 9-11 and the Oklahoma City Bombing, ministry in the United States could be viewed as too dangerous.

“Nowhere is ‘safe,'” observed Wendy Norvelle, associate vice president of the International Mission Board. “We’ve got people who use the Madrid subway. We’ve got people in Haiti. We’ve got people in Africa. Almost anywhere there’s violence or unrest, we’ve got people there.”

The IMB says, “not to be in places of potential risk, however, is disobedient to Christ. He is there, working through His followers to heal the hurting and give hope to the hopeless.”

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