.- The starting point for any inter-faith dialogue must be a discussion of the willingness of Islamic governments to stop the persecution of non- Muslims, says Christian Freedom International president Jim Jacobson.
“As long as almost any criticism of Islam is met with violence, a serious dialogue between Christians and Muslims is impossible,” he says in a recent press release.
According to the press release, violence continues throughout the Muslim world in response to Pope Benedict’s recent remarks about Islam. Some Christian churches in Iraq have posted letters stating their disagreement with the Pope in an attempt to avoid attack.
Jacobson recognizes that the history of the Church is not perfect but says the Church has come to realize that violence has no place in promoting the Gospel message. However, the problem of Islamic violence, persecution and discrimination against non-Muslims continues today, he observes.
“The bias against Christians is pervasive across the Muslim world,” says Jacobson. “Of course, some countries are freer and more tolerant than others. Nevertheless, it is virtually impossible to find a Muslim-majority nation in which Christians are not oppressed, while it is similarly hard to locate a Christian-majority state in which Muslims are victimized.
“Freedom of conscience is a prerequisite for religious faith, and it must be protected for everyone,” says Jacobson.