Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Wednesday 22 February 2012
Lent Prayer - Afghanistan
Project(s): 01-998, 01-901
Country/Region: Afghanistan, Central Asia
Choosing to give your life to Christ is a highly dangerous decision in Afghanistan. The government have threatened to use the death penalty against those who convert from Islam to Christianity, and sometimes the Taliban and other illegal armed groups gruesomely murder new believers. Early in 2011 a video was circulated showing the beheading of Abdul Latif by the Muslim Taliban in Herat Province. These dangers constantly hang over the estimated 1,000 to 3,000 Afghan Christians, all of them converts from Islam.
|Street scene in Kabul
Source: isafmedia, Flickr
Even though the country’s 2004 constitution guarantees religious freedom, sharia is effectively the law of the land. Afghan jurists and government offi cials interpret a clause stating that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam” as superseding all other provisions.
Some rare good news from Afghanistan came this year when two Christians, Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah, who were both in prison facing possible execution for apostasy, were released. Shoaib was arrested in October 2010 for giving a New Testament to another Afghan. Said was detained in May 2010 together with 19 other Christians following a broadcast showing Afghans being baptised. The programme elicited a storm of anti-Christian persecution; President Karzai stated that his government would track down converts. Many were soon released, but Said was detained in a Kabul prison for six months, where he was subjected to torture and abuse. Dozens of Afghan Christians fl ed the country following the crackdown.
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This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.