Fears over Evangelical charities in Iraq - news from Ekklesia

Fears over Evangelical charities in Iraq - news from Ekklesia

By staff writers
22 Apr 2003

Fears over Evangelical charities in Iraq

-22/4/03

Fears have been expressed as Evangelical charities, seen as "hostile to Islam" prepare to distribute food, water, medicine and building materials in Iraq.

One of the charities, Samaritan's Purse, is run by Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham, who declared after the 11 September attacks that Islam was "a very evil and wicked religion".

About 800 of SBC's volunteers are reported to be on their way to Iraq to deliver food packages labelled with a verse from St John's Gospel, in Arabic, saying that "grace and truth were realised through Jesus Christ".

Another group is the Southern Baptist Convention, whose former president once described the Prophet Mohamed as "a demon-possessed paedophile".

Such moves are viewed by some as playing into the hands of those to whom the "war on terrorism" is a religious crusade.

But their activities appear to be supported by the Bush administration reports the Independent newspaper.

Franklin Graham, a long-standing friend of the President, was invited to participate in this year's Good Friday prayer service at the Pentagon, angering many in the Defence Department.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the invitation "sends entirely the wrong message to the Muslim and Arab world ... This kind of incident can undo any kind of bridges built by a hundred public affairs officers at the Pentagon."

After the 1991 Gulf War, Franklin Graham infuriated Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of Operation Desert Storm, by shipping tens of thousands of Arabic-language New Testaments to Saudi Arabia in defiance of Saudi law and the US-Saudi military alliance.

In his most recent book, he says that Christianity and Islam are are destined to fight each other until the second coming of Christ, which he says is imminent.

Fears over Evangelical charities in Iraq

-22/4/03

Fears have been expressed as Evangelical charities, seen as "hostile to Islam" prepare to distribute food, water, medicine and building materials in Iraq.

One of the charities, Samaritan's Purse, is run by Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham, who declared after the 11 September attacks that Islam was "a very evil and wicked religion".

About 800 of SBC's volunteers are reported to be on their way to Iraq to deliver food packages labelled with a verse from St John's Gospel, in Arabic, saying that "grace and truth were realised through Jesus Christ".

Another group is the Southern Baptist Convention, whose former president once described the Prophet Mohamed as "a demon-possessed paedophile".

Such moves are viewed by some as playing into the hands of those to whom the "war on terrorism" is a religious crusade.

But their activities appear to be supported by the Bush administration reports the Independent newspaper.

Franklin Graham, a long-standing friend of the President, was invited to participate in this year's Good Friday prayer service at the Pentagon, angering many in the Defence Department.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the invitation "sends entirely the wrong message to the Muslim and Arab world ... This kind of incident can undo any kind of bridges built by a hundred public affairs officers at the Pentagon."

After the 1991 Gulf War, Franklin Graham infuriated Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of Operation Desert Storm, by shipping tens of thousands of Arabic-language New Testaments to Saudi Arabia in defiance of Saudi law and the US-Saudi military alliance.

In his most recent book, he says that Christianity and Islam are are destined to fight each other until the second coming of Christ, which he says is imminent.

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