As an American evangelical raised in a conservative Bible-believing church, I was taught that the United Nations (UN) was to be viewed with great suspicion and fear.
Today, I encounter many American evangelicals who still view the UN this way.
My own experience of involvement in the UN has been surprising and humbling.
With all its shortcomings in a variety of areas, I have found the leadership and the work of the UN to be doing much of what Christ commanded His followers to do. A quick glance at UN numbers reveals that it provided 90 million people from 80 countries with food last year and assisted almost 40 million refugees fleeing war, famine and persecution. The UN’s work on poverty impacted 420 million rural poor and was the mechanism that helped deliver $22 billion in humanitarian emergency aid. The UN vaccinates 58% of the world’s children saving 3 million lives each year.
The UN is also where Christians and others have an opportunity to raise their voices over religious persecution, as they recently did on the violence in Syria and Iraq.
My dream is that the Church, the Body of Christ, would be so committed to loving our neighbors (and enemies) in tangible ways that we would eliminate the great needs of our fellow man that the UN is addressing every day.
My personal observations from travelling abroad and seeing first-hand the work that the UN is doing and the positive relationships that I have with people from all levels within the UN give me pause each time I meet a brother or sister in Christ who criticizes (and even despise) the UN. In many cases, they have never visited or even prayed for the UN and those who serve in its many facets.
When I read the Gospel accounts of Jesus Christ and those He reached out to in love and grace, I ask myself “how are Christ’s followers measuring up with our interaction and involvement at the UN?”
I am reminded of the Good Samaritan, the unlikely hero who rose up to the occasion to meet needs that others did not meet themselves. (Luke 10:25-37)
As Christ’s follower, will you pray for the leaders at the UN in New York and Geneva and for the UN workers and peacekeepers who face great challenges and risk their lives in conflict areas?
These are challenging times for UN leaders and those whom they guide. They grieve for the suffering of our world that they are faced with and also need the grace of God upon their lives as they seek to help their fellow man.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior”
Deborah Fikes is the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). WEA is a global ministry working with local churches around the world to join in common concern to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus in their communities. WEA is a network of churches in 129 nations that have each formed an evangelical alliance and over 100 international organizations joining together to give a world-wide identity, voice, and platform to more than 600 million evangelical Christians.