Chuck Colson

But, you see, this is a pattern. In numerous crises, America, the beacon of hope to the world, has sent its troops into harm?s way to save persecuted Muslims. It happened in Bosnia, Albania, Kuwait, Afghanistan, in African nations, and is happening today in Iraq. But I have yet to see a case where a Muslim country has tried to help a Christian nation.

This speaks volumes about the worldviews of Christian and Muslim nations and the way we carry out our religious convictions. Right now there is a raging debate going on in Kuwait over whether more individuals should be giving charitable assistance to the people in southeast Asia. Some leaders in Kuwait are arguing that the government has an obligation to give more to southeast Asia because most of the country?s 1.3 million foreigners come from that region. They are the servants and the nannies and housemaids for the Kuwaiti rich. Editorials in Kuwait are even suggesting that it really is all right for Muslims to give aid to non-Muslims?a subject of hot debate in the Middle East.

What happened in southeast Asia is a terrible tragedy, and we should grieve with the suffering people and help them. But this is also an apologetic opportunity: Let the world see the kind of compassion we have for all people, not just fellow Christians. At the same time, the world can plainly see the limitations of a religion like Islam?theocratic, closed, indifferent, and unconcerned about the needs of others, even in its own Muslim family.

For further reading and information:

Partial list of organizations ministering to tsunami victims: World Relief ; World Vision ; Youth for Christ Asia/Pacific ; Compassion International ; Salvation Army ; Catholic Relief Services ; Samaritan?s Purse ; International Aid ; Habitat for Humanity in India ; National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka .

Learn more about U.S. support for earthquake and tsunami victims at the White House website.

Stephanie Strom, ? Tsunami Followed by Another Kind of Flood: U.S. Citizens? Dollars ,? New York Times, 30 December 2004 . (Free registration required. Article costs $2.95 to retrieve if more than two weeks old.)

Robert L. Jamieson Jr., ? It takes our people to reveal nation?s heart ,? Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3 January 2005 .

Paul Dillon, ? Scope of destruction in Indonesia remains unclear ,? USA Today, 29 December 2004 .

Malcolm Brown, ? Former US presidents head fund-raising drive for tsunami victims ,? Channel NewsAsia, 4 January 2005 .

Peter Grier, Faye Bowers, and Amanda Paulson, ? Profound shift in US culture of giving ,? Christian Science Monitor, 5 January 2005 .

Sonny Evangelista, ? Christians and Muslims pray for tsunami victims ,? Asia News, 4 January 2005 .

Rudy Carassco, ? Tsunami Blog: World Vision?s $50 Million Goal ,? Christianity Today, 4 January 2005 .

Manpreet Singh, ? India?s Christians Prominent in Casualties and Aid ,? Christianity Today, 30 December 2004 .

Ajith Fernando, ? Disaster Prompts ?Neighborly Love? ,? Christianity Today, 30 December 2004 .

Jeremy Branston, ? World: Are Muslim Nations Doing Enough for Tsunami Relief Efforts? ? Radio Free Europe, 4 January 2005 .

Allen Hertzke, Freeing God?s Children (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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