by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The 2020 Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and the Muslim countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, may benefit not only Jewish communities in traditionally hostile Middle Eastern nations, but also other faith minorities in the region, including Christians, International Christian Concern reports.
In its report about the impact of the Abraham Accords, ICC notes in the first instance that the decisions by Bahrain and UAE to normalize relations with Israel reflect the extraordinary lengths Sunni Arab states are willing to go to in standing against Iran’s expansionist efforts in the region.
At the same time, ICC says, the accords are having a positive impact on minority Jewish communities in the region, enabling them to exercise greater freedom of their faith-based lifestyle. “Essentially, the normalization of relations with the State of Israel indicates that the governments of Bahrain and the UAE understand that by signing the Accords, they are making a public statement that they are showing no hostility or distrust for their local Jewish populations as well,” ICC said.
According to ICC, this expression of religious tolerance has increased the confidence of Christians in the region to live out their faith more freely as well. Moreover, ICC said the expression of tolerance “increases the confidence of countries such as the United States and Canada to look at Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates as beacons of liberal values in a region often hostile to religious freedoms.”
Nevertheless, ICC points out, other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, still actively persecute Christians among other minority faith groups. Asserting there is work for the West to do in the alleviation of persecution, ICC said in its report: “The West has an important role to play if it chooses to do so, in spreading awareness of the ongoing persecution of religious minorities, and by allocating more resources to fighting religious persecution and promoting freedom of religion worldwide.”
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