Right to Believe Petition Defends Religious Freedom

“More than 20,000 people have signed a petition expressing support for millions of believers around the world who are denied the right to practice their faith.

The Right to Believe petition has been launched by Open Doors, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide.

It opposes efforts by an Islamic organisation to win the right for governments to choose which religious views are permissable in their country.

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is again introducing the Defamation of Religions Resolution in the United Nations this year.

Open Doors believes the terms of the resolution impose substantial limits on the freedom of individuals to express their religious beliefs. It would also criminalise defamation of a particular religion, but Islam in particular.

The organisation said that persecuted Christians were looking to believers in countries with religious liberty to “walk with them … on our knees in prayer and on our feet in action”.

A similar resolution by the OIC was adopted by the UN last year amid fierce opposition from rights groups but Open Doors believes that the resolution could be defeated this year if opposition is strong enough.” – “Thousands Sign Right To Believe Petition”, Christian Today

This posting on Christian Today was something I thought was worth sharing with everybody. Somebody needed to stand up and oppose the Islamic group that is trying to combine church and state. This is a basic principle that really should not even need to be defended in my opinion, but none the less there is an Islamic group who is attempting to give government power to determine it’s citizens’ religion. The thought of that is horrific. Christians in the Middle East are already facing enough controversy without talks like this going on.

Keep Christians in Egpyt in Your Prayers

Christians in Egypt could really use a prayer right now so please take a minute to read why, and remember to pray for them sometime today.

“Constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equality before the law are illusory under Sharia. It forbids apostasy (leaving Islam) and eliminates fitna (anything that could even tempt a Muslim to leave Islam). Sharia also establishes dhimmitude: the subjugation of Jews and Christians as second class citizens; systematic discrimination; religious apartheid.

In Egypt, as in virtually every Muslim state, a person’s official religion is displayed on their identity (ID) card. According to Sharia, every child born to a Muslim man is automatically Muslim from birth.

If a Christian man converts to Islam, his Christian children are automatically deemed Muslim. If a Muslim parent converts to Christianity they lose custody of their children. Sharia mandates that a Muslim girl may marry only a Muslim man, thereby ensuring that her children will be born Muslim. (This is the main reason why some female converts to Christianity dare to adopt falsified ID cards.)

In 2007 a Muslim-born convert to Christianity, Mohammed Hegazi (24), applied to have his ID card changed. Not only did he want to have his ID card reflect reality, he did not want his unborn child to be officially deemed Muslim from birth. When his application was rejected, Hegazi sued the Interior Ministry for his constitutional right to religious freedom (Article 46).

The court ruled against Hegazi on the grounds that Sharia prohib its apostasy. Death threats resulting from the publicity drove Hegazi, his wife and new-born daughter into hiding. In August 2008 Maher el-Gowhary took up the same fight for the sake of his daughter, Dina (14). El-Gowhary (55), who had quietly converted to Christianity 35 years earlier, wanted his true religious identity acknowledged and his ID card corrected before his daughter turned 16, when she would be issued her own ID card.

Islamic religious leaders issued fatwas calling for Hegazi’s and el-Gowhary’s blood to be shed and in September 2008 the men narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. In June 2009 the court ruled against el-Gowhary because Sharia prohibits apostasy and conversions would pose a threat to the ‘public order’.

When el-Gowhary and his daughter subsequently tried to leave Egypt their passports were confiscated. In April 2010 Dina el-Gowhary was attacked with acid, causing her jacket to ignite. Fortunately she survived unharmed.

On 5 July 2010 Maher el-Gowhary was ambushed by two men on a motorbike who abused him as an apostate, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabbed him in the neck. The seriously wounded el-Gowhary is too afraid of the authorities to go to hospital as Egyptian police are infamous for their corruption and brutality.” – “A Call to Prayer for the Church in Egypt”, Christian Today

I was surprised to read this article and find out how harsh the rules are becoming in Egypt and many other countries. Freedom of religion is allowed, but if one converts to anything other than Islam they suffer greatly for it. Loss of children is not something that anybody should have to go through to be a part of any kind of religion. The laws and rulings of the leaders over there are putting most Christians in a very delicate situation that I would not wish upon anybody. Please head over to Christian Today and read this full article, click here, and keep these people in your prayers.