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The history of missionary work in Asia and the Pacific region has not always been exemplary, as we know from the eradication by religious zealots of entire micro-cultures in the name of Christ.

Minnie Vautrin, acting president of Ginling College and witness to the atrocities committed at Nanking, was known to the Chinese whom she gave shelter to as the “Goddess of Mercy,” an allusion perhaps to the Chinese figure Guanyin. She does appear by all accounts to have been a truly saintly figure, a woman dedicated to the protection and educational improvement of those under her wing, a missionary who believed, to quote from a December entry in her diary, that “war is a national crime and a sin against the creative spirit at the heart of the Universe.”

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