What do you create when you invade a country, blow it up, accidentally kill citizens caught up in the clusterf*#k that is war and then try to get them to accept your religious beliefs? My first reaction is confusion and resentment. If the people are poor and hopeless enough, perhaps even conversion–until something perceived as better comes along.
Now, add millennial hatred fomented by western “Crusaders” that invaded your lands long ago in the name of that same God–soldiers who waged war and confiscated anything remotely useful to them… people you’ve referred to as “infidels” and that your culture has demonized ever since.
Throw into the mix a ruler who called this latest invasion of your land a “Crusade,” which to you, inexorably couples this with the horrors visited upon your people by the forebearers of this very nation, conjuring up stories recorded in sacred transcripts and kept alive from generation to generation about atrocities that provoked deep hatred then and now.
What are the chances of instilling trust and winning converts given such a scenario ? My guess is that they’re not good. On top of that, such behavior reinforces stereotypes of the west and Christianity as oppressive.
So what are we doing? Exactly that. US soldiers are trying to convert Afghans to Christianity and despite regs that prohibit it, they do it openly.
As a Christian, I don’t want to shove Christianity down anyone’s throat, especially if I’m carrying weapons and wearing the uniform of an allegedly secular nation. We are guilty by association as infidels. These evangelicals are endangering the very lives of their units by this missionary outreach.
Is there anything about this that seems logical? Are we trying to be Constantine? Holy Cow, this is bats**t crazy! But they hate us fro our freedom, right? Could it be that actually they hate us because we’ve always acted like assholes around them? If we are there to help them be self-sustaining, we should expect no ideological quid pro quo. This should not be tolerated.