Open Doors USA affiliate encouraged President Obama to advocate religious freedom

By June 5, 2009

Middle East (MNN) — In keeping with a campaign promise, President Obama addressed the Muslim World from Egypt yesterday.

Obama had promised during his campaign that he would speak to the Muslim world from a Muslim capital within his first few months in office. He delivered on his promise yesterday, speaking of “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims” from Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt.

However, several days before President Obama gave his talk, Carl Moeller, Open Doors USA President and CEO, urged him to cover several issues.

“Speaking on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world, I encourage President Obama to address the issue of freedom of religion and other basic human rights in the Muslim World. Islamic governments should allow people to practice their faith, without retaliation,” Moeller said, according to Open Doors.

Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, wrote the book "Secret Believers," encouraging believers “to go to Muslims with humility and share Christ,” Moeller said.

However, he also said believers support these “secret believers” in the Muslim World, who could lose their lives for their faith.

Thus, Moeller challenged President Obama to acknowledge these believers and charge the Muslim World to advocate religious freedom to all, not just those practicing Islam.

In his speech, President Obama addressed seven “sources of tension” between the U.S. and the Middle East. Among these, he dealt with the topic of religious freedom.

“People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, and the heart, and the soul,” Obama said in a quote from his speech. He referenced the “tradition of tolerance” within Islam and urged them to practice this today and allow Christians and people of other religions other than Islam to freely practice their faith.

He also criticized the tendency for Muslims “to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s.” In doing this, Obama did address the topic Moeller challenged him to address.

Pray that Obama’s address will make a difference in the way Christians are treated in the Middle East and that their Muslim neighbors will be more willing to let them practice Christianity. And in this, pray they will become more receptive to the Gospel, as they allow Christians to worship freely.

Click here for more information on his speech, or here to read his speech.

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