Creative Access

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“Some workers serve in countries that are considered creative access, countries in which the public proclamation of the gospel is restricted. Evangelistic efforts in these countries can pose dangers to one’s life, well-being or freedom.” Urbana for God’s Global Mission

Supporting a Worker in a Creative Access Country: Communication Guidelines

Adam and Rebecca

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Bryan and Tammy

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Keith and Jenna

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Keith and Julie

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Jason and Wendi

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Marie

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Mark and Lena

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Matt and Katherine

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More about Creative Access Countries

There are countries where it is not possible for an expatriate (or foreign) missionary to get a visa. There are countries where church activities are greatly restricted. There are some countries in the world where open evangelism by Christians is unlawful. Churches in areas where they have to meet in secret are sometimes referred to as Underground Churches. Some people have been tempted to think that these countries – many of which have Islamic or communist governments – are unreachable.

While fulfilling the Great Commission in those countries can be challenging, it is not impossible. Closed to missionaries does not mean closed to the gospel. That’s where the use of the phrase “creative access” comes in. Because the Good News spreads most easily through relationships, there are opportunities for evangelism in even the most difficult of circumstances. Relationships in which the gospel can be shared can be developed by:

– Students from those countries who go to study in another country
– Christian business people whose job has taken them to those countries
– Teachers whose particular specialty is in demand in those countries
– Christian students who go to those countries to study
– Tourists who are able to develop contacts during brief trips to those countries
– Internet contacts
– Literature
– Christian workers imported from third-world countries to do menial jobs
– Christian radio and television broadcasting from nearby countries

Some years ago we talked about various places as “closed” countries. On the surface, it did look like those places were unreached by missionaries. Today’s mission strategists use phrases like limited access, restricted access, or creative access areas since, as has been noted, no country is really closed. Even though a country may be on someone’s list of “closed countries,” the gospel can get in through a variety of ways.

Howard Culbertson, professor of missions and world evangelism, Southern Nazarene University

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