"Remember the prisoners as if you were in prison yourself" Hebrews 13.3
At least 52 Iraqi Christians were killed and over 60 injured in a terrorist inspired bloodbath at Baghdad's Our Lady of Deliverance Catholic Church. U.S. special forces troops, together with Iraqi security forces, launched a deadly attempt to free the Christian being held hostage by the terrorist captors.
The Al Qaeda-linked "Islamic State of Iraq" claimed responsibility and threatened to "exterminate Iraqi Christians." This shadowy jihad terror network justified the savagery on religious grounds, claiming that the church was an "obscene nest of the polytheists [infidels]" and a "base for their struggle against the religion of Islam."
Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, more than half of Iraq's Christian population has been forced by targeted violence to seek refuge abroad or to live away from their homes as internally displaced people.
Meanwhile, officials in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea continue to see Christianity as a threat to their philosophy of state control. While North Korean authorities deny imprisoning, torturing and killing Christians -- in the same way they denied working on a nuclear weapon -- Christians living North Korea have suffered government-sanctioned persecution since the brutal communist regime came to power.
The Christian human-rights group Open Doors reports that North Korea is number one on its annual World Watch List (WWL), which "ranks countries by the "intensity of persecution that Christians face for actively pursuing their faith." However, North Korea and Iraq are not the only countries whose Christian population are mistreated, abused and killed on a daily basis.
As if the United Nations' failure to address the persecution of Christians weren't bad enough, that international body's resolution called "Defamation of Religions" will lay the legal ground work for a country to legalize persecution of their citizens if they believe in a different religion than the state. Such a resolution would be of great assistance to Muslim, communist and socialist nations who view the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible impediments to their political or theological goals.
Few should be surprised that the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), an inter-governmental organization of 57 states with majority or significant Muslim populations, has been working for several years through the United Nations system to justify and advance the Defamation of Religions Resolution. The Resolution, introduced in the UN, seeks to criminalize words or actions that are deemed to be against a particular religion, especially against Islam.
Although proponents justify the "defamation of religion" concept as protecting religious practice and promoting tolerance, it really promotes intolerance and human rights violations of religious freedom and freedom of speech for religious minorities in these countries.
The Defamation of Religions Resolution has the effect of providing international legitimacy for national laws that punish blasphemy or otherwise ban criticism of a religion.
The Muslim members of OIC are expected to propose to the UN General Assembly another "defamation of religions" resolution to be voted on late November/early December of this year.
Now the officials at Open Doors -- a Christian ministry that reaches out to those in prison, helps defend those without advocates and protects defenseless Christian families -- has initiated a campaign to halt the U.N.'s threat to religious freedom and tolerance.
Called Free to Believe, its goal is to generate support against the anti-Christian U.N. resolution that will lay the legal ground work for a country to legalize persecution of their citizens if they believe in a different religion than the state.
Few know of the growing violence against Christians in places like India today. Believers are cut off, out of sight, and forgotten, according to Open Doors officials. It's time for Christians in the United States to help in protecting their brothers and sisters overseas.
You can check out the new Open Doors' website site here: www.freetobelieve.info.
Nathan Tabor organizes and educates Christians on their role in Politics. To learn more, visit Faith, Family, Freedom Alliance. Nathan Tabor writes a weekly column, regularly appears on radio, and is writing a book for Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Nathan received his BA in psychology from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and his MA in public policy from Regent University.
In 2004, Nathan ran for Congress (NC5) in an eight-way primary