Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard published a new online newsletter for their fans and supporters, but critics are not too happy about it. In their latest “Dillard Family Update” blog written by Jill, the Counting On couple excitedly shared what they’ve been up to in the recent months.
Jill wrote one short paragraph about their two sons, 2-year-old Israel and baby Samuel. The bulk of the newsletter, however, is about the couple’s ministry. Now that they’ve decided to stay in the United States for good, Jill and Derick are trying to reach out to international students at the University of Arkansas.
The newsletter talked about how Derick organized a “Thanksgiving dinner in an American home” at the Duggar family house, which was attended by 20 foreign students, mostly Muslims. Jill also shared her encounters with Muslim women through her weekly “Arab ladies English class.”
Many noticed that the entire blog seemed to focus on how Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. At one point, Jill even wrote how they are praying to “save their souls.”
“One of the Ph.D students from an Arab country brought her husband and child. Her husband seems very open to the gospel and even said if they were going to be in the area longer, that he would’ve loved to visit our church!” Jill Duggar narrated in their latest newsletter.
“We are praying for him as Derick and others continue to befriend him that God will save his soul.”
Many Duggar watchers took umbrage at how Jill and Derick are befriending Muslims just so they could try to “convert” them later on. According to many critics who commented on Jill’s Instagram account, this is downright disrespectful and culturally insensitive.
“I can’t express how offended I got as a Jewish-American reading this update,” one wrote. “People don’t need to be saved, they need their beliefs to be respected. Approaching people while they are living their daily lives to try to convert them is deeply wrong.”
“Respect is a two-way thing, Jill. And asking someone who is wearing a burka about the Bible is not respect and showing understanding, it’s moral imperialism.”
“This is disgusting. You can’t just do a nice thing for people, you have to use it as an opportunity to convert them?” another commented.
Meanwhile, Derick Dillard responded to a few comments as if to defend his actions. When asked if he would be willing to go to a Muslim’s home to read their own religious texts, Derick replied that he has already done that “on many occasions.”
“We actually have a copy of the Quran,” the 28-year-old former reality star added.
Jill and Derick concluded their newsletter by asking prayers from their supporters. In past seasons of Counting On, the couple was featured going to El Salvador and staying there for two years. At the time, they were also criticized for ironically choosing a Catholic country as their mission field.
Meanwhile, Derick Dillard will no longer appear on the new season of Counting On next year. After Derick posted numerous anti-transgender tweets against TLC and I Am Jazz, TLC confirmed that the network has cut ties with the Duggar son-in-law. However, Derick insisted that he wasn’t fired from the show as many people believed.
“For the record, I was never fired. I just felt it best for my family to cut ties months ago, as we are heading in a different direction,” he tweeted on Dec. 16. He also seemed to confirm that Jill Duggar will not appear on the show anymore.
Counting On will air a brand-new season in spring 2018, TLC confirmed.