Ivory Coast Presidential Story Shows Media's Disrespect For Christianity

By: Ryan Atkins 0 Comments   4/25/2011

In this installment I will take on the debate of the Ivory Coast situation being a religious battle between the Muslim north and the Christian South.

The allegations have come from both Pro-Ouattara and Pro-Gbagbo sides that each side has had supporters killing Muslim or Christians for no reason other than being Muslim or Christian.

I first realized a great deal was being made about Former President Gbagbo being Christian and President Ouattara being Muslim, when I ran across a headline asking “Why The Christian right supports Gbagbo.”

I have read numerous articles and spoken with individuals whose families continue to reside within the battle zone of the Ivorian Capitol, Abidjan.

Following my research, I agree with Ivorian and SCSU student Elischeba Balle that the media and bloggers may have exaggerated the extent that the religious differences between Gbagbo supporters and Ouattara supporters had within the Ivory Coast conflict.

“The media is making a bigger deal about the religious issues than the citizens of the Ivory Coast,” Balle said. “Muslims and Christians got along.”

I understand the media’s responsibility as a watch dog, finding stories and presenting stories, so the public has truth at their disposal.  However, the fear of a Muslim takeover has penetrated the blogosphere, filling hearts with fear, leading premature judgmental accusations and exaggerations of truth to infiltrate the words which we speak.

I understand an angle of the Ivory Coast story is the religious component, yet do we need to release our fears to the masses?

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

The first commandment is to love God and the second commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Matthew 22:37-39

Are we truly loving God and our neighbors by creating a story about Muslims that is greater than the truth? Yes the Muslim angle is an important angle and worthy to investigate, yet numerous angles are being neglected as the media has created a story greater than reality, which I believe is based upon fear.

I am saddened by the amount of Internet sources that are describing President Obama and the United Nations were taking down a Christian President so a Muslim one can step in. What has been followed by this is fear of a world takeover by Muslims.

If this fear is coming from Christians do we not have an eternal perspective, nor a trust in God that even if the world rejects Christ, He’ll never reject us.

I have been bothered by the press towards Pat Robertson, Glenn Beck and Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. They have become vilified because they support former President Gbagbo, a Christian, now being known as a tyrant because he didn’t give up office as the United States asked.

Yes, Gbagbo appears as a control freak dictator, however where are the stories that speak about the fact that President Ouattara was barred from previous elections due to his parents not both being from the Ivory Coast. Where are the stories of former President Gbagbo asking for a recount? (Which we take seriously in the United States, but apparently not within other countries.) Where are the stories that Senator James Inhofe has evidence of voter fraud against President Ouattara? What about the possibility that the reason President Gbagbo delayed elections was due to the North, Pro President Ouattara territory, did not disband their weapons as they had promised they would, but never did before an election? Where is the story in the US media how Russia was strongly against France and the United Nations taking sides?

The list of angles could go on and on, all of which gives Robertson, Beck and Senator Inhofe credibility in their fight, compared to the media poking fun at their Christianity and making a story where no story exists.

I have come to the final two parts of this series. Part four will describe the lives of SCSU students who are from the Ivory Coast while the fifth and final part will detail what the Ivory Coast situation has done to these individuals faith in God.

Stay tuned... Here is part 4

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