Iraq's Impending Invasion
By Malcom Lagauche (Jeff Archer)
December 29, 2003
The Iraqi people have still to regain a semblance of normalcy after the invasion of its country in March by the U.S. and its stooge allies. Plans are now afoot for a new invasion, this time by God.
Because of the current chaos in Iraq and the impending transfer of rule of the country next June, American Christian ministries are accelerating their work for Iraq in what has been declared a "war for souls." They have affixed a six-month period for the invasion, considering that under an Iraqi regime, no matter how beholden to the U.S., they would not be as welcome.
Last year, the U.S. put a time frame on when a military invasion would be possible, hence the relentless and unstoppable decision to invade before the weather became too hot in Iraq. The missionaries are using the same formula for their invasion as the U.S. administration did in creating a "window of opportunity."
According to John Brady, the head of the Middle East and North Africa sections of the International Mission Board (the missionary function of the Southern Baptists), "Southern Baptists have prayed for years that Iraq would somehow be opened to the gospel. Southern Baptists must understand that there is a war for souls underway in Iraq."
The mindset of the people involved in "liberating" the Iraqis from Mohammed may not sit well with the indigenous population, of which 97% practices Islam. According to Jerry Vines, former head of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Prophet Mohammed was a "demon-based pedophile." Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and the director of Samaritan's Purse, has described Islam as a "very evil and wicked religion." Jon Hanna is an evangelist from Ohio who recently returned from Iraq. Last month in Baghdad, he met with two other American missionary teams. Hanna described his dilemma: "A U.S. passport is all you need to get in, until the new Iraqi government takes over. What we thought was a two-year window, originally, has narrowed down to a six-month window." Hanna, as well as many other Christian missionaries and activists, has described Islam as "false."
He added, "The Muslim religion is an antichrist religion."
Hanna has high goals in Iraq. The last time he visited, the country, his group took 8,000 Arabic Bibles. He added, "In future missions, the goal is one million."
Where were these people during the devastating 12-year embargo that killed two million Iraqis? Why didn't they try to help the Iraqis then? There are no official figures, but an educated guess would say that most supported the embargo as well as the two wars waged against Iraq by the U.S. Conservative Christian leaders were regularly seen on TV knocking the Iraqis and denigrating Islam from 1991-2003.
Not all religious people or groups are as crass as those who want to "save Iraqi souls." During the embargo, many a pastor visited Iraq to attempt to bring humanitarian goods there. However, the mission was humanitarian, not recruiting. The group Voices in the Wilderness is religiously-based, yet it helped Iraqis during the embargo. The people did not concern themselves with converting Muslims - only bringing food and medicine to Iraq. In addition, they chose to break U.S. law in "violating" the embargo, putting themselves in a position of possible imprisonment. Some Voices in the Wilderness members were human shields during the March invasion.
History has shown us that missionary work devoted to changing a culture's religious beliefs has been a disaster. It works hand in hand with imperialism. One promotes state-sponsored devastation, while the other promotes religion-sponsored devastation. Christianity's missionary zeal has killed millions of Native Americans, demoting great cultures to prisoners on out-of-sight reservations. In Africa, millions died because Christians made the natives wear clothing. The natives' immune systems could not handle the changes. Islam is not exactly squeaky clean either. For centuries, Muslims brought their message to Africa and southern Europe. Along the way, they killed many infidels.
Today, Islam is not an imperialistic religion. Christianity, in theory, is not either. However, some Christians are convinced that it is time to bring Christ to the world, whether the world wants it or not. In 2000, in Amsterdam, Billy Graham told 10,000 Protestant ministers that the world has but one century to be completely Christian. He then told the ministers to get out in the field and make it happen. If a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or an atheist, made the same statement about their beliefs, he/she would be publicly vilified and condemned as a bigot. Why can Christians make the same statements and be considered astute leaders? When I asked an 18-year-old student that question as he was trying to "save" me, he stated, "Because we are better than anyone else."
I, as an atheist, do not pretend to be an expert on Christianity or any other religion. However, I have one name for those who want to "save Iraqi souls": vultures.