There’s an international dilemma developing for UNESCO, criticized as the”delusional” U.N. agency that designated Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, considered the site of Jewish temples that existed more than 2,000 years before Muhammad, as “Islamic.”
UNESCO is being asked to recognize sites that are significant to the Christian faith.
Recently, the U.S. and Israel dropped out of UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
UNESCO also has ascribed to “Palestine” Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the site of the ancient Jewish fortress at Betar and Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs. And an expert warned that it likely was going to designate Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found there as “Palestinian.”
Now Global Christian News reports a proposal that UNESCO designated several Japanese islands where Christians were persecuted and killed as heritage sites.
The Japan Times reports a preliminary review panel for UNESCO has suggested adding sites linked to Japan’s history of persecution of Christians to the world’s cultural heritage list.
“Japan says the assets, located in Kyushu, show how Christians upheld their faith despite persecution by the Tokugawa shogunate,” the report said.
The Times said the issue will be discussed at a meeting of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee June 24 to July 4 in Bahrain.
It said if the Paris-based international body agrees to list them, it would bring the total number of Japanese items on the world’s cultural and natural heritage lists to 22.
Among the sites are Oura Church, a Catholic church in the city of Nagasaki designated as a national treasure and the oldest surviving church in the country.
“The other locations include the village of Sakitsu in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture, where Christians practiced their faith in secret despite persecution for most of the Edo Period (1603-1868) under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate.”
Christianity was banned in Japan during the Edo period, also known as the Tokugawa Shogunate, as the authorities saw the faith as a foreign threat to the state.
“Hundreds of Japanese believers and missionaries were killed, including 26 martyrs who were crucified in 1597, and a further 205 martyrs who were executed for their faith between 1598 and 1632. The 26 martyrs were canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1862, and the 205 martyrs were beatified by him in 1867. Later, in 1987, Pope John Paul II canonized a further 16 martyrs who died between 1633 and 1637,” the report said.
When religious freedom was restored in 1871, an estimated 30,000 underground Christians came forward, the report said.
The warning about the claim to Qumran comes from Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The Jerusalem Post reported he spoke at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem during a panel on the denial of Jewish history.
At the time the U.S. cut funding for UNESCO, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert explained the move was based partly on the need for fundamental reform at the agency and its continuing anti-Israel bias.
President Trump’s administration has been highly critical of the United Nations in general and in particular of its anti-Israel bias. A petition is encouraging Congress and the president to defund the U.N. and expel its headquarters from the U.S.
WND reported a prominent supporter of Israel said the United Nations has turned “delusional.”
Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, was responding to UNESCO’s vote on the Hebron site.
“This recent UNESCO resolution is another delusional U.N. decision which disregards the historical truth and the Jewish people’s deep connection to Hebron,” said Staver at the time.
Staver also is president of Christians in Defense of Israel and founder of Covenant Journey, all in support of Israel.
“To refer to Hebron as ‘Islamic’ denies thousands of years of Jewish history as well as Christian ties to the site. The biblical patriarchs Abraham and Isaac, as well as the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are believed to be buried there, and to deny that is another move toward the Palestinian Authority and Hamas renaming the entire land to Palestine and denying Israel’s right to exist,” said Staver.
There are many sites and antiquities that the Palestinians likely will try to claim at the U.N., and Samuels said the next likely targets are the scrolls and the Qumran Caves in which they were discovered.
The international organization stirred controversy earlier with its adoption of resolutions that call the Temple Mount and the Western Wall by the names adopted by Muslims, al-Haram al-Sharif and the Buraq Plaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier issued a statement on Facebook he titled “The theatre of the absurd continues at the UN”:
Today UNESCO adopted its second decision this year denying the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site for over three thousand years.
What’s next? A UNESCO decision denying the connection between peanut butter and jelly? Batman and Robin? Rock and roll?
Is it any wonder the UN has become a moral farce when UNESCO, the UN body tasked with preserving history, denies and distorts history?
The U.N. group’s claims about Islam and heritage sites largely have been debunked by award-winning filmmaker Pierre Rehov. His “Unveiling Jerusalem” documentary features testimony from experts, historians and archaeologists” regarding Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple.
The trailer is here:
The film explores “whether the temples are merely legends concocted, as the Palestinian Authority claims, or whether they did exist on what used to be called the Temple Mount, as described in Jewish, Christian and Muslim scriptures.”
Rehov, born in Algeria, previously released “The Road to Jenin,” “Silent Exodus,” “Suicide Killers,” “From the River to the Sea” and “The Path to Darkness.”
In the Glazov interview, Rehov explains the UNESCO fiasco was not the first time the U.N. had adopted anti-Semitism as a policy, as it also had declared Jerusalem an “occupied” city.
“I was outraged, really,” he told Glazov, so he made his film to explore whether “there actually was a Temple there in the past.”
His movie website explains: “Animated reproductions in three dimensions of the two Temples and their interior, a meticulous investigation, and the accompaniment of famous historians and archaeologists, make it possible to answer this question in a spirit of tolerance and peace.”