Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Afghan Christians Plead for Help as they are Exposed and Threatened with Execution

Afghan Christians in exile are urging their fellow-Christians around the world to help stop the Afghan government from arresting and executing Afghan Christians. While international media and politicians are silent, within Afghanistan a dramatic anti-Christian furore has erupted, in which Afghan media and politicians alike are calling for the death of converts from Islam, in line with Islamic sharia law.
“We do not know how the whole world and especially the Global Church is silent and closing their eyes while thousands of their brothers and sisters (Body of Christ) are in pain, facing life danger and death penalty and are tortured, persecuted and called criminals,” wrote a group of Afghan Christians in New Delhi, India on 9 June.

Towards the end of last month, TV footage was broadcast showing alleged Afghan Muslim converts to Christianity, including scenes of baptisms.
Although at least two years old, the footage triggered a frenzied anti-Christian response, including death threats and demonstrations throughout the country.
The TV moderators urged viewers to find more Afghans who had left Islam and report them to the police.

On 31 May, the Deputy Secretary of the Afghan Lower House of Parliament, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, called in parliament for the public execution of the Afghan Christians shown in the TV programme. Other members called for proselytising groups to be expelled from the country.
On 1 June, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said that the president was taking a personal interest in the situation and had ordered immediate and serious action to prevent any more conversions. In the following days many Kabul homes were searched and dozens of Afghan Christians fled.
On 5 June Interior Minister Hanif Atmar said that they had been investigating the issue of conversions for the last two years. He announced that the government had a list of 23 people, Afghans and foreigners, whom they were seeking to arrest.
For the full story visit [LINK]
For the full text of the letter from Afghan Christians in New Delhi visit [LINK]
A call for change

It is time for real change by abolishing the Islamic law of apostasy and guaranteeing equality and freedom of religion to citizens of all faiths in Muslim countries, including converts from Islam to Christianity.
We call on Christians around the world to protest against the travesty of justice, peace and tolerance taking place in Afghanistan.
We call on Western governments to intervene on behalf of the persecuted Christians of Afghanistan.
We call on Muslim governments to protect their Christian minorities, including converts from Islam, and ensure the rights of all to freedom of religion.
We call on Muslim communities in the West to protest at what is happening in Afghanistan and for the law of apostasy to be abolished.
We call on Christians engaged in mission to Muslims to protect converts to Christianity by being extremely wise and discreet in all they publish and broadcast.
We call on President Obama, a Christian with family links to Islam, to help Afghan Christians.

For more information on Islam’s apostasy law, see Freedom to Believe: Challenging Islam’s Apostasy Law by Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund. (Isaac Publishing, 2009) ISBN 978-0-9787141-9-2. Copies can be ordered from www.barnabasfund.org.

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