Evangelicals In Congress Seek To Shape

Evangelicals in Congress seek to Shape Iraqi Constitution

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. have inserted provisions into the legislation that would authorize $87 bn. for Iraq, according to Knight Ridder. The legislation instructs the Coalition Provisional Authority to work to ensure that the new Iraqi constitution protects freedom of religion, especially freedom of evangelical Christians to proselytize in Iraq.

It is precisely because he is afraid the US will dictate the new constitution that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is insisting that the drafters be popularly elected. No elected constitutional convention is going to write a constitution of the sort Mssrs. Brownback and Wolf want.

This sort of maneuvering reminds me of the evangelical push in British India in the 1830s-1860s, when they became influential among officials of the East India Company and overturned decades of policy aimed at limiting Christian missionary work. In 1857 the country erupted in a massive revolt, led in part by mutinous British Indian troops of the Bengal Army, who were desperately afraid that the British intended to deprive them of their caste and ancestral religions. The British managed brutally to suppress the uprising, which they called a Mutiny. But in the aftermath Disraeli and other prominent British politicians roundly condemned the arrogance of the evangelical Christians in helping provoke these bloody events.

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