Religious defamation efforts raise red flags

By October 29, 2009

International (MNN) — The
Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 56-nation bloc of Islamic countries,
has a long game in view. For 10 years, they've pressed the United Nations to
adopt non-binding resolutions condemning the defamation of religion. 

Carl Moeller with Open Doors says the
danger comes in the longevity of the non-binding resolutions. It would be easy, he says, for the OIC to
come before the UN and cite longstanding support for the defamation of religion
ideology.

A further push toward changing
protocols and charter would not be unexpected and would have devastating
results for non-Muslims living in OIC nations.

Moeller explains: "The laws
that have been used by these nations to prevent Muslims from turning to Jesus
Christ in faith, or to prevent the practice of Christianity openly, will be validated
by the United Nations." 

With the support of the UN, it
will be difficult to protect believers who are already being targeted under the
blasphemy and anti-conversion laws. "Pray on behalf of the 100million
Christians around the world who would be impacted directly by this UN resolution
becoming part of the UN charter and protocols."

Open Doors is not alone
in its opposition. The Obama administration came out strongly against efforts
by Islamic nations to bar the defamation of religions, saying the moves would
restrict free speech.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton said, "The protection of speech about religion is particularly
important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views
on religious questions. These
differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of
discourse."

The U.S. State Department also
released its annual report on international religious freedom. In years past, it criticized Saudi Arabia,
Uzbekistan, Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and Sudan for violating
religious freedom.

Those eight nations are
designated "countries of particular concern" for abuses of religious
worshippers. The Obama administration is currently reviewing the designations,
which can be accompanied by sanctions.

More than politics, it's an issue affecting the spread of the Gospel and the freedom to follow Christ. Moeller is
representing Open Doors in speaking out on behalf of believers against the resolution. Its
message is insidious. "The validation of these anti-conversion laws will
be just a horrible reality for Christians to have to face. Imagine a government
saying, 'We can persecute you, and the UN says everything we're doing is okay.'
That's really what we're here to fight against."

The resolution is likely to be brought up for a vote within a month. You can help. Open Doors has a
petition available to sign. Click here.

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