A Christian aid-worker was killed in Afghanistan yesterday – accused of trying to convert Muslims from their faith to hers- though the charity denies she was proselytising. The case has clearly touched a nerve.
So shouldn’t aid workers always separate material needs from spiritual ones? Don’t they have a duty to provide aid without setting preconditions for it? If you can’t preach or convert, shouldn’t your aid be available to all- or should you prioritise people who share your faith?
But can it ever be legitimate to ban people of religious conviction from expressing their faith? What is an aid worker to say- whether they are Muslim, Christian, Hindu- if they are asked about their religion by someone they’ve just helped? Can they really be expected to say nothing?