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Open AccessArticle

An American Hero: Faith-Based Emergency Health Care in Karen State, Myanmar and Beyond

School of Humanities, Tallinn University, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia
Religions 2019, 10(9), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10090503
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 24 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
This article examines the vastly expanded mobility of displaced Karen villagers in the evangelical humanitarian movement, the Free Burma Rangers. This builds on ethnographic fieldwork on humanitarian cultures in the Thai-Burmese borderlands conducted since 2007 with a Thai research team and funded by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious Diversity. While refugees are too often presented as victims, the article argues that by joining the mission, the Karen freedom fighters become ambassadors of a political ideology and evangelism. Bringing Christianity with them from their displaced homes, displaced Karen meet the evangelical humanitarian organization in the Karen hills or in the Thai refugee camps, train with them, and supply the villagers left behind with emergency health care and religious messages. Sponsored by American evangelical churches, the US military, and resettled Karen communities in the West, the freedom fighters of the Free Burma Rangers mobilize people and resources all over the globe. Recently, they have expanded their operations beyond Myanmar to places as far as Syria, Iraq and South Sudan, thus getting involved in what it presents as a global struggle between good and evil. View Full-Text
Keywords: Myanmar; war; humanitarian aid; Evangelism; ethnic minorities; emergency health care Myanmar; war; humanitarian aid; Evangelism; ethnic minorities; emergency health care
MDPI and ACS Style

Horstmann, A. An American Hero: Faith-Based Emergency Health Care in Karen State, Myanmar and Beyond. Religions 2019, 10, 503.

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