Image by David Evers, licensed under Creative Commons.

Alternative ways

In 1997 I traveled to Croatia on behalf of my denomination to visit the Reformed churches and the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek. The shooting  war had stopped, but bullet holes marked the facade of the hotel I stayed in. Racial and religious hatred was palpable. We talked with Roman Catholics who blamed the Serbian Orthodox for the violence and with Orthodox who blamed the Catholics and Bosnian Muslims. During my stay Presbyterian mission worker Steven Kurtz drove me across a bridge. As soon as we passed the Croatian checkpoint he removed his clerical collar and shoved it under the front seat. "What are you doing?" I asked. "That collar gets me through the Croatian checkpoint, no questions asked," he said, "but it could get me shot, or detained for a long time, on the other side."

 

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