LOS ANGELES — The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish rights organization, blasted the World Evangelical Alliance for organizing an event together with the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran entitled “The Role of Religions in Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda, declared:
“It is difficult to put into words the damage done by the World Evangelical Alliance to the cause for human rights and human dignity in Iran by arranging for an opening statement by Iranian Ambassador Ali Bahreini at the United Nations in Geneva. This is a time when NGOs, including and especially those that purport to speak for hundreds of church groups around the world, should be focusing all of its efforts to stand in solidarity, and aid and abet, not providing legitimacy on the world stage to the murderous regime in Tehran, to the women of Iran who continue their heroic quest for full freedom of expression and freedom of religion.”
“The decision by the WEA to co-organize this event with Iran, Pakistan – a country that has anti-blasphemy laws that endanger religious minorities including Christians – along with the UN Human Rights Council and the Organization of Islamic Countries flies in the face of an event that the WEA hosted just last month in which they honored an Iranian Muslim woman who converted to Christianity.
“The mixed messages sent by the WEA only serves to embolden the Iranian regime to continue its assault on the Bahai and other religious minorities in Iran. In organizing today’s event, the WEA leadership have given a very powerful example about how religions can damage and degrade human rights.”
The WEA identifies itself as the largest international organization of evangelical churches. The headquarters are in Deerfield, Illinois, with UN offices in New York City and Geneva. It brings together 9 regional and 143 national evangelical alliances of churches, and over one hundred member organizations that give a voice and platform to more than 600 million evangelical Christians.