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Faith-Based Travel Myths Debunked

Faith-Based Travel Is at the Very Heart of Raptim

Faith-based humanitarian organizations alleviate suffering for many people in need, but it continues to be a point of discussion in the humanitarian world. Persistent myths cloud the debate surrounding this subject while it should focus more on the effects on those being assisted instead of the values of individual persons and organizations.

The value of faith-based travel

Roughly 50,000 U.S. churches have faith-based travel programs. These programs offer a wide array of possibilities, such as service-based, humanitarianism and mission trips. Organizations such as Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit Refugee Service, and Church World Service are adhering to international standards of neutrality when it comes to providing humanitarian aid. Even though there are countless noble efforts initiated by compassionate organizations, faith-based initiatives are still surrounded by some myths. The Humanitarian Practice Network debunked some of the most tenacious myths on their website.

The ultimate humanitarian traveling list

One of the central myths is that religious approaches create conflicts, rather than solve them. A case study by the Conflict Transformation Working Group showed that all the main conflicts have a complex, multifaceted political economy that goes far beyond any single issue, such as faith; but, conflicts which are openly defined by religious differences, having an ear for religion is preferable to being religiously tone deaf. World Vision has been able to work effectively with Muslim communities, including in areas suffering ongoing Muslim-Christian violence. They also are active in sub-Saharan countries and the North Maluku region of Indonesia. Muslim and Christian humanitarians work closely together in communities divided along religious lines — an inspiring example of how humanitarianism builds bridges between different religions.

Another myth concerns the idea that faith-based organizations can’t carry out neutral or impartial humanitarian assistance because their real intent is religious conversion. This proves to be fundamentally untrue. Faith-based organizations use their spiritual vision to support the neutral and impartial humanitarian way of life when they focus on the context of their religious texts. For example, loving ones’ neighbor is a Jewish and Christian commandment. Assisting the poor is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a sacred task for Buddhism and a divine injunction for other religions. This concludes in the understanding that humanitarianism is a task that unites religions, as opposed to dividing them.

Our relationship with faith-based humanitarians is at the very heart of Raptim. Today our work still extends to church groups, missionaries, and clergy besides volunteer organizations and NGOs. Want to learn more about the faith-based work we do for church groups, ministers, and clergy? Please look at our collection of other blog posts with a new addition every day. 

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