Defending a Lack of Freedom in Afghanistan

The United States has sacrificed some of our brave soldiers in the battlefields of Afghanistan.  Americans like to think of our military defending freedom.  As Americans one of our chief freedoms is the freedom to worship.  So how do we respond when the nation in which our men are fighting and dying tramples on this cherished freedom of worship?

The government of Afghanistan has suspended two foreign aid groups from operating in the country.  Why?  Because of charges of proselytizing.  Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid are forbidden from providing humanitarian services while they are being investigated based on reports of trying to convert Muslims.  It is illegal in Afghanistan and many other Islamic countries to try to convert somebody.

Not only is it illegal to try to convert somebody, it is illegal to convert.  If a Muslim citizen of Afghanistan decides to become a Christian, they are in violation of the law.  What is the penalty for breaking this law?  DEATH.  That’s right — death.

The current issue centers on a video of men being baptized and reciting Christian prayers.  A deputy in the Afghan government has called for the execution of these men.

Those Afghans that appeared in this video film should be executed in public, the house should order the attorney general and the NDS (intelligence agency) to arrest these Afghans and execute them.

–Abdul Sattar Khawasi

Another lawmaker has invited vigilante justice against these men by stating that killing a converted Muslim is not a crime.

Even the president of the country, Hamid Karzai, has taken a serious interest in this issue.  He has instructed leaders of his government to investigate and “strongly instructed them to take immediate and serious action to prevent this phenomenon.”

This “phenomenon” is an amazing moment.  As a Christian I rejoice that these men have found new life in Christ.  It is amazing that they have chosen to identify with Christ even at risk to their life.  May God give them strength.

I think that our government should apply strong pressure to the Afghan government with regard to this.  Surely it is a Human Rights violation to execute somebody for becoming a Christian.  What do you think?