I find it interesting that when countries are exposed to western culture and people, even through our imperfect vehicles of military, tv, internet, missions, business interests --they pick up some of our views of freedom/civil rights --knowledge of our views, holidays and customs --you see this in Japan, India, e.g. You see this when so many want to immigrate to the U.S. --or the West in general.
Muslim societies have been very closed and rightfully critical of the worst excesses of western culture (in entertainment media, porn access, family erosion, etc.) --but it helps them to see first hand --through our finest soldiers and their mentality of helpfulness(not the worst as in Abu Graib) that we are NOT the "great satan," after all.
E.G. It takes western ideals to influence the women of Saudi Arabia to protest the treatment of women --as in the 90 lashes recently decreed for a woman who has been raped by 5 muslim men.
It takes time to bring some nations into the 21st c. -- there are elements of Indian society that are very contemporary and enlightened (the British influence from the past) and yet very backward because of their mix of religious beliefs which hold back progress--which incline them to ignore through "transcendence" the plight of those enduring bad karma. Our friend from Kenya despaired about the possibility of progress in Kenya because of the tribal traditions that hold them back, in his view.
The power of forgiveness is a great advancement to any people --my pen pal lawyer friend in India hasn't spoken to his mother for about 15 years --and they live in the same house but different rooms. I try to encourage him that forgiveness and reconciliation with parents is good for the soul --and the pscyhe --but he is adamant that ignoring her is best. In Christendom we know that "honoring parents" is good for us --even if they don't deserve it, in our judgment.
There is power in Christian parenting, missions and access to the Word of God --judeo Christian influence of centuries. There are some things westerners believe in as western ideals which make for progress --which have their root in the Bible and the Church. No good historian denies the positive influence of "the protestant work ethic" in the US.
the Chinese church is affecting that country for the better --some companies run by Christians are even allowed to have Bible fellowship in factories if it makes for better work ethics and productivity. Yet, as recently as last year, China cracked down and imprisoned some Christians and churches. I read recently of a Christian in Iran who would not renounce his faith in Christ --and was beaten and imprisoned for 5 years and died of pneumonia recenlty. Offered freedom and healthcare IF he would renounce Christ. he would not.
10:19 AM EST