Ideas Have Consequences
US Foreign Policy often affects believers in Africa and the Middle East:
A Trail of Betrayal
During the 4 years of the presidency of Jimmy Carter, 13 countries fell to communism. In most cases, they did not just fall to communism, but were actually betrayed into the hands of communist revolutionaries. It was a high foreign policy goal of Jimmy Carter's presidency to force the people of Rhodesia to hand over to Robert Mugabe's ZANU terrorists.
Americans removed Jimmy Carter from the presidency over 32 years ago. However, the long suffering people of Zimbabwe are still stuck with Carter's legacy in the form of Robert Mugabe's murderous Marxist dictatorship.
A Legacy of Liberty
No countries fell to communism during the 8 years of Ronald Reagan's presidency. In fact countries started to be freed from communist oppression. Ronald Reagan put freedom on the offensive, supported resistance movements in communist countries and helped win the Cold War that brought down the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. The collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe in 1989, brought about a new era of religious freedom and Missionary activity that had previously been inconceivable.
Strength and Weakness
As one politician observed: "There is nothing they despise more than weakness; there is nothing they respect more than strength!" America was plainly despised in the days of Jimmy Carter. However, America was respected under Ronald Reagan.
During the Clinton era, we witnessed and experienced a steady increase of violent persecution of Christians in the Muslim world. It was in the 1990s that radical Islamic regimes, such as the National Islamic Front in Sudan, began systematic terror bombing campaigns of churches, hospitals and schools. It was at that time that I experienced artillery and aerial bombardments while ministering in churches in Sudan.
A Dramatic Decline of Bombings
However, as America began fighting back after the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, toppling the radical Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the bombing of churches in Northern Nigeria and South Sudan stopped. We enjoyed a period of relative peace and stability as radical Muslim regimes went on the defensive.
An Explosion of Persecution
However, since Obama became president of the USA, there has been an unmistakable escalation of violent attacks on Christians worldwide, particularly in the Muslim Middle East. Literally hundreds of churches have been bombed and burned throughout Northern Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq in the last 4 years. Just in Northern Nigeria alone, there have been 70 attacks on churches so far this year.
American Foreign Policy Affects Lives
I'm sure that most Americans do not think foreign policy when they vote for their president. However, believers in Africa and the Middle East would earnestly entreat our brethren in America to seriously consider the foreign policy implications of their votes. Lives are at stake.
There is no doubt that millions of people died throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East because of the foreign policies of Jimmy Carter. Tens-of-millions continue to suffer to this day as a result of the Carter foreign policy legacy, including the people in Iran. It needs to be remembered that the Shah of Iran was one of America's closest allies in the Middle East when Jimmy Carter's State Department actively worked to betray their ally and push Iran over to the ayatollahs. The end result of that has yet to be seen as Iran continues to be a volatile part of the extremely violent Middle East.
However, as I wrote in my article: Ronald Reagan Saved Lives in Angola, there are many millions of people alive, and free, today, because of the far-sighted and courageous foreign policies of President Ronald Reagan.
An Urgent Call to Prayer and Action
Ideas have consequences. What we sow, we reap. There are consequences for every action. We continue to pray that our Christian brethren in the United States will be in much prayer and seek the wisdom of God as they approach this critical election, 6 November.
Back to the Bible for Reformation and Revival
May we all be Faithful to God's Word and effective in His service as we seek to reclaim our countries for Christ, laying solid Biblical foundations for Reformation and earnestly praying for Spiritual Revival.
May the Lord continue to be your strength and shield.
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
4 November is International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted