International (MNN) ― Several national leaders continue to seethe after Iranian President Ahmadinejad inappropriately made anti-Semitic remarks at a United Nations conference on racism.
The dispute over Iran's and Israel's issues caused such a distraction that more pressing matters which should have been addressed in a discussion about racism were dismissed. David Harder of the Christian satellite television network for the Middle East and North Africa, SAT-7, notes the discrepancy from the conference.
"One of the things that's overarching is that by bringing up issues that Iran has with Israel, they was able to completely neglect the treatment of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa."
The topic of Muslim subjugation seems to be brought up quite often in international circles, while the persecution of the Christian minority in the Middle East and North Africa is very much ignored. "There are Christians that live in every country in the region and they suffer; they have difficult times," says Harder. "Sometimes the pressure is very overt, and sometimes it's very subtle. Unfortunately, those things weren't dealt with."
Christians in hostile areas are at even higher risk now that many of their leaders feel contempt toward the West, due to some Western delegates walking out of the UN conference.
"Whenever there is animosity towards the West in general, unfortunately the Christian believers in other countries throughout the region are often targeted because many people view Christianity as a Western religion. They don't realize that it truly is a Middle Eastern religion."
Harder notes that many people in the West seem to forget this, too, and often do not think about Christians living in the Middle East or North Africa. Although they may be a minority, their presence is still vibrant.
To help brothers and sisters in Christ in these areas, Harder encourages you to find and support a ministry that works there. SAT-7 creates television programs to encourage these believers, as well as to reach out to unbelievers. The ministry has seen a great deal of transformation in the region and continues to watch people in countries such as Iraq and Jordan come to the Lord, especially as a result of recent SAT-7 Easter programs. To help SAT-7 reach more for Christ, click here.
Above all, these persecuted Christians need prayer. Pray for their safety and protection as tensions rise toward the West. Pray that they would be free to worship as many of other religions are able.