Mission workers in India take precautions with their communiques.

By April 6, 2004

India (MNN)–Security issues are becoming a key problem for one group working in India.

Mission agencies are finding themselves facing an interesting conundrum with words. Dave DeGroot is with Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He says with the rise of radical Islam, they’ve had to be very careful about word choice when communicating with their teams in India. “There’s four words that seem to trigger the extremists and get them moving on searching to find out who we are. The word ‘evangelism’, for quite a while has been a word that puts us in the political arena. Lately, the words ‘conversion’, and ‘baptism’ have also been very sensitive.”

MNI team members noticed a spike in hostile response whenever these terms were used in information regarding their work.

Further, the office fielded several calls from people looking for specific names, places and work of those within India. The unusual nature of the queries raised red flags at MNI. The teams are now watching their incoming and outgoing information for terms that incite violent response.

In spite of the challenge, DeGroot says ministry will go on. “Our people in India aren’t changing the way they work, due to this. They’re continuing on; this is not hampering our work. It is effecting the way we communicate. I think other Christian organizations are starting to find this too. We have to be very careful about the words we use, even though the actual outreach procedures are the same.”

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