Camille's editorial: An evangelical voice at the UN

This week on InfoChrétienne, we told you about the appointment of Gaétan Roy and Wissam Al-Saliby, who respectively become representative of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) to the United Nations in Geneva and director of the Geneva office. They thus take over from Michael Mutzner, who has held this position since 2012.

Through this office, the organization is uniquely positioned to represent an evangelical voice within the United Nations “on matters of concern to the Church”. It is also useful to remember that the WEA represents 600 million evangelicals in the world!

While it is encouraging to know that Evangelicals are represented in this sphere of influence, one wonders what their concrete role is?

Yesterday I had the chance to meet, in person, Wissam Al-Saliby and Michael Mutzner who explained to me in more detail the nature of their work. A complex, exciting and above all extremely important work!

I will try to show it to you.

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The AEM office is above all dedicated to research. To be able to best help the national evangelical alliances and present relevant requests to the UN, they must have irrefutable and serious proof of the problems they are advancing.

This is a long-term task that is only possible with the help of local evangelical alliances or local Christian organizations. They work for example with Portes Ouvertes.

Advocacy 

The second activity of the office, once they have gathered credible evidence, is to go to the UN with the representatives concerned to enlighten them in a concrete way on the situation of Christians in a given country. We can, for example, take the case of Algeria, which has seen the closure of many churches in recent years. Reports written by members of the EAJ office have been integrated by the United Nations expert on this country.

Represent 

The role of the office of the WEA is also, quite simply, to display an evangelical presence at the UN, to represent them. It is also, driven by this desire that Michael Mutzner created the WEA office in Geneva in 2012, when he realized that, unlike many religions, evangelicals were not present at the UN. .

This role of representation is a benevolent role. The goal is not to cry out loud and clear about the problems that exist, but to also take into consideration what the evangelicals are going through in their context and to listen to what the local alliances want, on what they want to be made public or not.

India, a concrete example 

Let us now take a concrete example with India. In India, there is an upsurge in hate speech, hostility and violence against religious minorities.

In particular, Dalit Christians and Muslim minorities continue to face discrimination. To help them make their voices heard, the AEM office has taken the initiative to create links with other minorities to give more strength to their words.

The World Evangelical Alliance is part of a Coalition for Minority Rights in India alongside several organizations (including one Muslim and one Hindu). While the country will be examined next November, for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (an examination to which all countries are subjected every 5 years), this Coalition thus intends to propose concrete recommendations, for the respect of human rights. rights, the rule of law and the promotion of equality, freedom and the protection of minority groups in the country.

For English speakers, a webinar on this subject is organized on October 3.

In addition, be aware that the AEM is interested in all countries, and even in France... The office is currently working closely with the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF), in view of the next UPR in France.

Finally, I encourage you to pray for this small team who works hard every day to give a voice to evangelical churches around the world (and who relies solely on donations to operate!).

As Luc Ferry says, “human rights is secularized Christianity”, so we can also see in their work a way of reflecting the love of Jesus!

Camille Westphal Perrier

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