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Protestant Missionaries and the Health of Nations

For some reason, no one has written a best-selling book about the real-life 19th-century missionary John Mackenzie. When white settlers in South Africa threatened to take over the natives' land, Mackenzie helped his friend and political ally Khama III travel to Britain. There, Mackenzie and his colleagues held petition drives, translated for Khama and two other chiefs at political rallies, and even arranged a meeting with Queen Victoria. Ultimately their efforts convinced Britain to enact a land protection agreement. Without it, the nation of Botswana would likely not exist today. The annals of Western Protestant missions include Nathan Prices, of course. But thanks to a quiet, persistent sociologist named Robert Woodberry, we now know for certain that they include many more John Mackenzies. In fact, the work of missionaries like Mackenzie turns out to be the single largest factor in ensuring the health of nations.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 25, 2014 - 12 comments

 

"There was no return from apostasy."

Leaving the Witness. "In one of the most restrictive, totalitarian countries in the world, for the first time in my life, I had the freedom to think." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2013 - 26 comments

And all I got was this lousy T-shirt

Forty years among the Zulus, twenty-five years in Honan, twenty-one years in India, thirty years in India, thirty years in Nyasaland, eighteen years in the Khyber, twice around the world, twenty years in the Himalaya, four years in the White North, thirty years in the Arctic regions, thirty years in Madagascar, five years in a Persian town, eight years in Iran, fifty-three years in Syria, four years in Ashantee, forty years in Burma, five years in the Sudan, thirty years in Australia, forty years in Brazil. [more inside]
posted by shii on Oct 2, 2010 - 44 comments

Missionary Position: Facing West

Pope Benedict XVI has announced the establishment of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture," secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 1, 2010 - 165 comments

Keeping it real

Linguists and Missionaries often find themselves in similar situations. The Jesus Film Project. [more inside]
posted by fcummins on Jul 24, 2009 - 17 comments

Saving Sin City

Two Christian ministries, Hookers for Jesus and JC's Girls aim to "save" Las Vegas sex workers from their professions by introducing them to Christianity. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 14, 2009 - 35 comments

Gays: Vibrating Gatekeepers to Another World

"You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers." The Dagara people of Burkina Faso. [more inside]
posted by pinothefrog on Feb 10, 2009 - 49 comments

Planting the future

Wangari Maathai discusses saving the environment in Nigeria
and how religion influenced its destruction and subesquent efforts at saving it. A beautiful portrait of a beautiful determined woman doing her part to help save the planet.
posted by specialk420 on Apr 17, 2006 - 4 comments

Repent and you'll get the supplies everyone pitched in for.

Is this what they are doing with my tsunami relief donations? From the article: "Jubilant at seeing the relief trucks loaded with food, clothes and the much-needed medicines the villagers, many of who have not had a square meal in days, were shocked when the nuns asked them to convert before distributing biscuits and water." Christopher Hitchens also exposes similiar actions in India by Christian missionaries in his book critical of Mother Theresa.
posted by skallas on Feb 9, 2005 - 59 comments

Failed Missionaries

The Wellington Valley Project. The history of a failed Christian mission in colonial Australia.
posted by plep on Nov 23, 2004 - 2 comments

Evangelism in Sri Lanka

Globalized fundamentalism versus tradition. This report for the Society for International Development describes the efforts of foreign funded Christian evangelists to gain converts in Sri Lanka, which the author views as an assault on traditional Sri Lankan culture. There is a backlash, which some say is leading to the suppression of religious freedom and state sponsorship of Buddhism. [Via Plastic.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 5, 2004 - 10 comments

the missionaries

Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy. "Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population." (from Buzzflash) God please save me from your followers!
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 30, 2003 - 47 comments

Missionaries are frank imperialists.

Missionaries are frank imperialists. But because they operate in the spiritual realm, they continue to enjoy a fuzzy kind of permission to conduct a kind of business that is largely impossible in other less ethereal spheres of life.
posted by rushmc on May 22, 2001 - 26 comments

Priests and missionaries sexually abusing nuns.

Priests and missionaries sexually abusing nuns. I'm thinking it's long past time the Catholic church re-thought the whole "celibacy" thing.
posted by dnash on Mar 20, 2001 - 22 comments

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