Persecution Groups unsure about new U.S. president

By January 21, 2009

USA (MNN) — History was made yesterday, when Barak Obama was sworn into office as the first African-American president of the United States. While many are excited about the change an Obama administration brings, some Christian organizations are concerned.

President of International Christian Concern Jeff King says it could be a new day under an Obama administration. "Bush, no matter what you think of him, was a great friend of the persecuted church. He stood up for them. He would intervene. He would talk to government leaders of other countries. With Obama, I'm not so sure."

King expects to see hate speech legislation pushed through congress. "While these laws on the surface sound good and they sound like they're going to tap down hatred, the whole point is it's going to be a tool to shut down Christians. We will no longer be able to speak our mind [or talk about what the Bible teaches]."

King says hate speech isn't their only concern. He says access to lawmakers and other government leaders could be at risk. "Bush was a great friend, and that filters down through the state department, through the halls of Congress, [impacting] the ability for groups like ours and others to get attention on cases of persecution. With the new president, I'm not so sure, and I'm a little worried about hate speech laws."

While the situation isn't encouraging, King says we need to pray, because this isn't someone crying "wolf." He says, "It is an absolute danger. Most people are asleep on this. The Christian community probably doesn't know it's coming. The threat has been that in the first 100 days, this will be pushed through."

Pastors have been arrested and tried in Australia under hate speech
laws for simply teaching Christians about Islam and helping Christians
to be more effective in sharing their faith with Muslims.

Pray that God would give wisdom to the Obama administration and that he would allow religious freedom to continue in the United States.


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