Bribes and Extortion on the Mission Field

“Once when the police in Africa pulled us over, my three-year-old offered him a stick of gum. The guy took it and waved us on with a broad grin. I was caught somewhere between being aghast and relieved. Did my preschooler just bribe the police?”

You’ve heard all the words – bribes, extortion, pre-tip, processing fees, thank you gift – but what do they look like in practice, does the Bible make distinctions between them, and what do you do when you come face to face with these occasions? Here are the best answers we have found:

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Outline of Issues Related to Bribes

  • Definition of words – bribe, tip, pre-tip, extortion, processing fee, gift, payoff, kickback, etc.
  • Verses and passages related to bribery.
  • Common situations where the expectation of a bribe arises.
  • How missionaries have dealt with situations involving bribes.
  • Legality of bribes in business around the world.

Additional Related Articles, Resources, Topics

Editor’s note – if you know of other good articles, books or podcasts about bribes and missions, please let us know at

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