Barnabas Fund is calling for Western governments to intervene on behalf of an Afghan convert from Islam to Christianity who has been tortured and abused in prison because of his faith.
Said Musa (45), a father of six, was arrested in late May as part of a crackdown against Afghan converts to Christianity and was due to stand trial this week. Observers say he is likely to be charged with apostasy from Islam – a crime that is punished by death under Islamic law. Some leading political figures in Afghanistan called earlier this year for the execution of converts. (Read Afghan Christians Plead for Help as they are Exposed and Threatened with Execution – 18 June 2010)
In a heart-rending handwritten letter, which he passed to a Western supporter who visited him in jail last month, Said appealed for help and prayers from his brothers and sisters around the world.
"To the international church of world and to the President Brother Barak Obama President of the United States and to the head of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in Afghanistan!
"My name is Said Musa 45 years old. I have been working since 15 years as a Physiotherapist in I-C-R-C (International Committee of the Red Cross) orthopaedic centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. About four and a half months before by security force of Afghanistan I (was) captured, due to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. One person (____) he is spy of (____) [a] leader in Afghanistan. He told about me (to) the Government's officials, 'He's believer, He's head of church in (____)'. He showed my house to the security force. Since that time I am in jail. The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviour with me about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head, mocked me ‘He's Jesus Christ', spat on me, nobody let me for sleep night and day. Every person spat on me and beat me. Also the prosecutor wrote something wrong against me. He told from himself something wrong against me on my file.
"He is stimulating every day the prisoners against me, ‘He is also in jail due to spy for Iran country', to reveal the church in Kabul. I'm in a very and very bad condition in the jail.
"I agree with long imprisonment about my faith even for long life. Because I'm the sinnest person in the world. Because sometimes they treated for died I refuse my faith due to died. Sometimes I tolerate the persecution but immediately I acknowledge my sin before Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Don't refuse me before your holy angels and before your Father.' Because I am very very weak and sinful man.
"Nobody could accept my defender before the court. If I say I am a Christian man he immediately spat on me and abuse me and mock me! I am alone between 400 handlers of terrible values in the jail like a sheep. Please, please, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ help me. Please send a person who should supervise my document and my file, what I said in it. My prosecutor has told something wrong to the judge because he asked for money but I refused his request. Please, please you should transfer me from this jail to a jail that supervises the believers. I also agree with died on cross of my pride. I also agree with the sacrifice of my life in public, I will tell the faith in Lord Jesus Christ son of God and other believers will take courage and be strong in their faith. Hundred percent I am stable to my word. I have family of seven - one wife, three daughters and three sons. My big son [is] about eight years old. One of my daughters can't speak, she has some mental problems.
"This is a request from me to all over the world, people please help me. I could not have any person to help. For the sake of Lord Jesus Christ please pray and immediately help me and rescue me from this jail. Otherwise, they will kill me, because I know they're very very very cruel and hard hearted!
"Your destitute brother in the world.
"Please my English writing is not enough good. If I did some mistake please forgive me! From Kabul Provincial jail."
Said was arrested following a television broadcast in Afghanistan on 27 May of a baptismal service, which led to a frenzied anti-Christian response including public demonstrations and government threats. Said, who has previously had a leg amputated, was one of around 25 believers subsequently detained. At least one other Christian may also remain in jail, possibly many more.
Barnabas Fund calls on Western governments to put pressure on the Afghan authorities to release Said and uphold the country's commitment to freedom of religion.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
The West can no longer turn a blind eye while the Afghan regime that it fought to put in place imprisons and tortures ordinary Christians and is calling for them to be killed simply because of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Please write to your elected representative and ask them to raise this as a matter of urgency with the relevant government department (for UK readers please ask your MP to raise it with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office).
That the Afghan government will come under increasing international pressure to release Said and uphold the right to religious freedom throughout the country.
That the Lord will strengthen and uphold Said who, despite his ordeal, is determined to proclaim his faith in Jesus.
Labels: Afghanistan, persecution