Cultural Revolutions

"Adopt a Refugee"

"Adopt a refugee," the church bulletin urges. This Protestant church is encouraging each of its members to donate money, clothing, and personal items to the ethnic Albanian of his choice. On a marquee in front of an ornate Catholic church outside O'Hare Airport are the words, "Father, protect the refugees, in Jesus' name. Amen." An ad in the Rockford Register Star announces an evangelical rock band's "Concert for the Kosovar Refugees." And church leaders—from local priests and pastors to heads of synods, traveling speakers, and televangelists—seem to agree with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair that Slobodan Milosevic is the latest incarnation of Hitler. American Christians, it seems, are "sending a message" of their own to the people of Serbia.

It is a message not readily understood by Serbian Orthodox immigrants to America. "Don't they know the KLA is an Islamic terrorist group?" they ask. "Don't they realize that the Serbs are their Christian brothers and sisters?" Persecuted Christians from around the world are also puzzled. "Where was the outrage concerning Rwanda?" "Why are American Christians indifferent to the hostility faced by their brothers and sisters in China and India?"

American believers who back NATO are not self-consciously "social-gospel" liberals. Many are members of the Christian...

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