February 3, 2011
Groups work to save two Christian converts in Afghanistan
Last week, Sughar Daily reported that the U.S. government and numerous international Christian organizations are working to free two Christians in Afghanistan who have been jailed for converting from Islam. If convicted on apostasy charges, both of them could face the death penalty:
The U.S. has called on Afghan authorities to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document endorsed by Afghanistan that upholds freedom of religion. “We continue to call for their release, and frequently raise this issue with the highest levels of the government of Afghanistan, expressing our strong concern,” said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
Afghan officials have been unapologetic. “The sentence for a convert is death and there is no exception,” said Jamal Khan, chief of staff at the Ministry of Justice. “They must be sentenced to death to serve as a lesson for others.” Apostasy is a capital crime in Afghanistan, where the constitution is based on Shariah, or Islamic law.
One of the prisoners, a 45-year-old man, has worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross as a physical therapist in Kabul for over 15 years. He converted nine years ago and his family fled the country after his arrest. He says he’s been beaten and sexually abused in prison for his faith. The other convert, 25 years old, was arrested for giving a copy of the New Testament to a friend who later turned him in to authorities.
Read the entire article here. And pray for persecuted Christians in Afghanistan and around the world.
(Hat tip: Warren C.)
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