There is a strong relationship between international politics and American mission work in the Middle East, but the relationship is misunderstood. Politics has a substantial short-term impact on mission work by influencing perceptions of Christianity and Islam. Mission work, for its part, has little short term political impact. Missionaries do not carry decisive political weight and their evangelistic message is simply dismissed by most of the local population. At the same time, it can have lasting long-term impact, but that impact stems from its educational efforts (which enable political activism) rather than its evangelistic efforts.
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