Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The assumed risk of missionary efforts

The murder of four Christians by Somali pirates is a tragedy. Some will call for governments to get tough on the pirates, and governments should be forceful in protecting travel and commerce on the seas. But Christians must temper our anger in this case, remembering,

+ Missionaries assume the risk of serving in dangerous, even hostile environments.

+ It does not honor Christ to preach in his name, then call for violence against those who reject the message. He chastised his followers for suggesting such an approach.

+ Many missionary efforts have become most fruitful in the wake of martyrdoms. In Uganda, martyred missionaries and converts "bought the road with their blood." The early Christian Tertullian said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."

+ Some in our overheated, polarized world will use this to push the "clash of Islam and the West" theme, but in this case the pirates were likely nominal culture-Muslims (pretty much the dominant religious stance in Somalia) and the missionaries were probably not known to be such when seized as hostages.

Scott and Jean Adam, Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle. Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

1 comment:

Matt Perkins said...

Amen Fr. Fountain. I agree with your assessment.