Peanut Gallery: What’s the difference between “Freedom of Worship” and “Freedom of Religion?”
The secularists in the Obama administration are attempting to substitute the former for the latter in official “human rights” documents – so what?
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2010 Annual Report took note of the shift, stating, “This change in phraseology could well be viewed by human rights defenders and officials in other countries as having concrete policy implications.”
As Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom, observed, this expression implies a narrower scope of the exercise of religion. “It excludes the right to raise your children in your faith; the right to have religious literature; the right to meet with co-religionists; the right to raise funds; the right to appoint or elect your religious leaders, and to carry out charitable activities, to evangelize, [and] to have religious education or seminary training,” said Shea, who previously served on the Commission.
The simple substitution of one word – “worship” for “religion” – forms the ideological basis for Christian persecution throughout the world… and most particularly in Islamic countries. It’s a big deal!
Please read the full article by Andrew Doran published in First Things
What Will Become of the Middle East’s Christians?
October 30, 2012 – Andrew Doran
In the fall of 2010, a few months before revolution swept the Muslim world, I happened to be in Yemen for work. The trip coincided with the start of the Eid holiday, which provided ample free time to see much of the capital, Sana’a.
One afternoon, en route to the hotel from the historic Old City, the driver pointed out the window at a group of men standing on a vacant corner. “Look!” he said with the excitement of happening upon a rarity. “Those are Jews.”
They were some distance away, and whatever distinguished them from other Yemeni, I could not see it through the window of an SUV. In the blink of an eye, they were no longer visible.
At the start of the last century, there were tens of thousands of Jews in Yemen; today, there are perhaps hundreds. Most were airlifted out in 1949 and 1950 as part of Operation Magic Carpet, an Israeli undertaking to rescue Arab (especially Yemeni) Jews following the pogroms that resulted from the founding of Israel in 1948. While efforts to rescue the remaining Jews have recently resumed, the whereabouts of many Yemeni Jews remains unknown.
The exodus of Jews from Yemen, where they had lived for fifteen centuries before the birth of the Prophet, was not an isolated occurrence; it was repeated across the Middle East and North Africa, as these Diaspora Jews made their way, reluctantly in many cases, to Israel. Their fight for survival foreshadowed that of the more than ten million Christians of the Muslim world, who today struggle to maintain a presence and identity in the lands where they have lived for centuries. Continue reading “” Freedom of Worship or Religion?” – What Will Become of the Middle East’s Christians? | First Things”