Relaymedia

Missionaries discover risk in e-mail communication

( [email protected] ) Mar 16, 2004 07:43 AM EST

USA - The Internet has changed the way missionaries and supporters are communicating today. In most cases e-mail has helped facilitate a great relationship, and has even fostered short-term mission trips as churches feel more connected.

However, e-mail has also caused some problems, says OC International's David Daum. "In creative access or restricted access countries in certain parts of Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa -- lots of places where they really don't want any type of missionary work to be going on, it's a very sensitive issue to have e-mail flowing back and forth with Christian information in (it)," says Daum. He says it can have negative implications. "It can get missionaries kicked out of the country. If it has enough information it can get nationals put in jail or even worse, sometimes," he says.

Daum says if you're in contact with a missionary via email be careful. "You can never guarantee a 100-percent security in these things, so we just tell people not to talk about stuff that's going to get people in trouble. Just refrain from going into a lot of detail and using a lot of Christian or divisive words," says Daum.

Daum is encouraging people to contact your missionary and ask them what words you should be using and what words you shouldn't be using. He asking Christians to pray for wisdom as they communicate to missionaries in the field and for safety of those who receive these e-mail communications.