Despite the threats from the Taliban and other extremists, a recently publicized study by Robert Woodberry, a sociologist and professor at the National University of Singapore, showed the presence of “conversionary Protestant” missionaries helps to explain why some nations develop stable democracies.
After 10 years of postgraduate study, Woodberry concluded in a study published by the American Political Science Review in 2012:
“Areas where Protestant missionaries had a significant presence
in the past are on average more economically developed today, with
comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption,
greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women),
and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.”
Woodberry told Christianity Today, “Even in places where few people converted, [missionaries] had a profound economic and political impact.”
Pakistanis, including Muslims like Ambassador Ahmed, appreciate
their presence: “You must pay [those teachers] a compliment, and I’m a
Muslim. They taught me [while first attending Burn Hall, a school run by Roman Catholic priests in Pakistan and then Forman Christian College in Lahore] and allowed me through this education to
contribute to [my] knowledge, understanding, and play a role in bridge
building [between Christians and Muslims]. If I hadn’t been, I couldn’t
play that role.”
-from "Leaving a Legacy: A turbulent nation with growing extremism lives outside their doors, but many of Pakistan's historic mission schools thrive with support of Muslim Leaders" by Kaitlyn Speer, in World Magazine's April 5, 2014 issue. The article includes an interview of Akbar Ahmed,"a leading authority on Islam who teaches at American University and a former ambassador to the U.K."
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