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Faith-based groups urge the United Nations to fight bias against all faiths.

By February 4, 2005

International (MNN)–It began as a quiet campaign from the Vatican, but grew to a clamor that has been picked up by Non-Government Organizations, human rights groups and Christians.

Church leaders are pushing the United Nations to recognize ‘Christianophobia’ as an evil equal to anti-Semitism or ‘Islamophobia’. Persecution of Christians may have been heightened because of the war on terrorism, however, it has always existed.

Documentation from human rights watchdog groups details a fervent campaign in many countries to stamp out Christianity.

Baptist World Alliance’s Wendy Ryan wants believers in the West to pay attention, saying it’s more than a human rights issue. “If there’s a lack of religious freedom in any one place, it has an impact on every place. The person in the local pew should be really concerned that if freedoms are lacking in other parts of the world, who knows? There could come a day where we might have to fight for our freedoms.”
Ryan explains religious freedom, which includes the right to evangelize, is deteriorating. Take, for example, believers in places like Saudi Arabia. The Christians there are free to meet, but not to share what they believe. A similar scenario repeats itself in countries like China, Indonesia and Eritrea.

“We are mindful,” Ryan says, “that there are restraints and the question then comes, if you are in a position where you are free to meet, but you are not free to openly share the Gospel, what do you do? That is a part of religious freedom, and that’s something for which we also fight.”

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