Anti-blasphemy resolution impact brought to forefront

By October 9, 2008

International (MNN) — The United
Nations Anti-Blasphemy resolution is drawing the ire of mission groups. 

Carl Moeller with Open Doors explains
that in application, "This
anti-blasphemy resolution is mostly seen to be putting a 'chilling effect' on
Christian work and outreach around the world, and that is a very troubling
development for us."  

Free speech advocates say the
non-binding resolution is being used to intimidate believers and spread Sharia
law. Adopted in 2007, Resolution 62/145 reads in
part: It "notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of
defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim
minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001."

Despite the good intentions,
Moeller says, "The reality is that
wherever Christianity and Islam come into relationship with each other in the
culture, the net effect has been for Christian evangelism to be silenced or to
be intimidated through this act." 

Though it has little teeth in
law, the act has been reviewed and passed more than once. That gives it some kind of authority and
often emboldens militant Islamists to use it as a club against Christians. 

In effect, it is a shield for the
fundamentalists who retaliate against perceived offenses. Moeller says the resolution passes under the
guise of protecting religion, but it actually endangers religious minorities in
Islamic countries.

That's why he's urging
prayer. "The slope is so slippery
because everything that purports to criticize Islam is considered 'blasphemy.'
Anything that promotes another religious viewpoint, like Christianity, is
considered 'blasphemy.' It really becomes the ultimate weapon against free
religious speech around the world."  

Open Doors is raising awareness,
Moeller adds, because "people need to
get involved with organizations that are standing up to draw attention to the
anti-blasphemy laws…to make true religious freedom a hallmark of international
religious liberty and not a sham of anti-blasphemy laws that the UN is passing."

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