Christians have long viewed the James 1:27’s admonition about caring for “widows and orphans” as integral to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Indeed, Christians have long donated generously to foreign aid organizations. Countless Christian organizations have made it a key part of their faith mission to mitigate famine in Africa, recover from natural disasters in Asia, and protect the vulnerable during civil wars in Latin America.
Yet this laudable goal is fraught with peril. Operating in areas of conflict can result in being played as patsies for terrorists and dictators. The enormous Christian aid charity World Vision, for example, has been called out multiple times for funding and working with terrorists in Gaza, Sudan, and Lebanon. In recent years, this problem has been widely exposed; one would hope that renewed efforts on the part of Christian aid charities would ensure these kinds of mistakes didn’t happen again.