Arab Spring One Year Later: Minority Religions Face Huge Challenges
SANTA ANA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2012) – Since December of 2010, numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa have undergone a significant amount of change through the upheaval of governments called the “Arab Spring.”
At the beginning of Arab Spring, some Christians thought the revolts would be a positive development in countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Over a year later, it has become apparent that the outcry for reforms has not benefited everyone. For many religious minorities in these regions, it has become an “Arab Winter,” as they have seen their religious freedoms eroded even more.
Open Doors USA and The Simon Wiesenthal Center will host a free webinar on Arab Spring and the effect it is having on religious minorities. The taped webinar can be viewed at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org starting Thursday, Jan. 19.
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Director of Interfaith Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Dr. Carl Moeller, Open Doors USA President/CEO, will address such issues as Sharia law and its effect on Christians, what the revolts mean for religious minorities and the future of religious freedom in the Middle East in 2012.
“We are very thankful to be working with The Simon Wiesenthal Center to address the important issue of the erosion of religious freedom for some faith groups in the Middle East and North Africa in the past year,” said Moeller. “The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a valuable resource on the issue of persecution of minority groups.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global Jewish human rights organization based in Los Angeles. The center hosts the Museum of Tolerance, which challenges visitors to confront bigotry and racism and understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts.
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Emily Fuentes at 949-413-6721 or email EmilyF@odusa.org).