European leaders speak out about Christians

By November 3, 2011

Europe (MNN) — Members of the European Parliament have condemned the massacre of peaceful protesters in Egypt and Syria. As part of the condemnation, they're asking those governments to do more to protect the Christian minorities in these nations. The question is: why haven't they done the same in Iraq?

President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller says, "Perhaps it's because there are still millions of Coptic Christians in Egypt and in Syria who are more of a unified voice, whereas in Iraq we've seen an incredible decimation of the Christian population in the last 10 years."

Moeller says awareness is the key, which is the reason for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Sunday, November 13. "Most Americans don't even realize there are Christians in the Middle East. The awareness factor is quite difficult."

However, Moeller is encouraged that the European Parliament has taken this action. He says it's even making its way into American presidential politics as Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is speaking out. He says, "In many cases the Arab Spring has become the Spring of Christian Persecution. We see that in Egypt. We've certainly may see that in Libya. These are very precarious times for the Christian community throughout North Africa."

While persecution of Christians is bad news, there is a silver lining: the church is growing, says Moeller. "The underground church–the invisible church, if you will–is growing very, very strongly. And despite the emigration of many Christians from these countries, we're seeing Muslims come to faith in Jesus Christ."

According to Moeller, Bible distribution is off the chart. "The number of Bibles distributed in North Africa in the last nine months through our organization exceeds the amount that we distributed in the last nine years."

Funding is needed to help purchase more Bibles for believers in these nations. He's also asking people to pray for a new campaign Open Doors is sponsoring. "We will be releasing a pledge commitment for the presidential candidates [in the U.S.] to support religious freedom throughout the world." Moeller says this will create more awareness of the plight of Christians in many of these countries.

Moeller will be the featured speaker on the Mission Network News International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Radio Broadcast on Sunday November 13. Contact your local Christian radio station to find out when the 55 -minute special will be airing in your community.

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