Christian groups are speaking out against a proposed U.N. resolution that they say can be used against Christians.
The non-binding resolution on "Combating the Defamation of Religion" is intended to curtail speech that offends religion -- particularly Islam. The resolution is backed by Muslim nations and condemns "negative stereotyping of religions."
The Christian ministry Open Doors says many believers are already living under severe laws that threaten their lives.
"Many Christians living in these countries are already severely impacted by restrictive laws - especially those living under strict Shariah law," Open Doors U.S.A President Carl Moeller told The Christian Post.
"From the right to worship freely to the ability to share the Gospel, the Defamation of Religions resolution threatens to justify local laws that already marginalize Christians."
Religious rights groups say the law could be used to legitimize anti-blasphemy laws that are used against Christians in Muslim nations. Such laws restrict Christian preaching and forbid conversion from Islam to Christianity.
Kevin Hasson, founder and president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said the resolution doesn't square with human rights law.
"The whole idea of the defamation of religion is a Trojan horse for something else," Hasson told FoxNews.com. "When you talk about defamation, you talk about people being defamed and people being libeled, but ideas can't be defamed. Ideas don't have rights, people have rights."
The resolution is a shield for Islamic fundamentalists who retaliate against perceived offenses, Hasson said. In reality, they want to make Islamic Sharia law the law of the land, he added.
*Originally published October 20, 2009