Government Of Afghanistan Persecutes Christians

Afghan convert faces hanging
Becky Yeh - 2/14/2011

A one-legged Afghan Red Cross worker faces death after converting to Christianity. Said Musa, a physiotherapist who has been jailed for eight months in Kabul, was tortured and abused by inmates and guards -- and now, Musa has been told he will be hanged for his faith. The Afghan lost his leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s and was a medical worker at Red Cross for 15 years. Despite the threat on his life, Musa says he will remain faithful to Christ.

Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, tells OneNewsNow that Musa's fate is not uncommon for many Christians in Muslim countries. "Clearly this is a case where the individual rights of Afghan citizens to freely express their own worship [are] being denied by government law," he comments.

Musa was arrested last year after seeking refuge at the German embassy after a wave of persecution fell upon Christians in Afghanistan. Moeller says that persecution is increasing despite efforts by the United States to liberate the people.

"When the U.S. liberation from the Taliban came in, there was great hope that Christianity might have an opportunity to flourish in a truly democratic and respecting-of-human-rights administration under Harmi Karzai," says the ministry leader. "Unfortunately, and progressively, the situation has deteriorated." The Open Doors president points out that instead, a more democratic government in Afghanistan elected more radical Islamists to power, thus increasing persecution of Christians.
More reports of persecution in Afghanistan, Pakistan
Becky Yeh and Charlie Butts

An Afghan Christian who has been imprisoned for his faith may face the death sentence for apostasy. Shoaib Assadullah, a 23-year-old Afghan who was arrested for giving a Bible to a man who then reported him to officials, was imprisoned four months ago and may be killed under sharia law. Assadullah's case is expected to go before a judge in the near future since the prosecutor can only hold him for 30 days.

Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors USA laments that Assadullah's fate is similar to many Christians around the world. "He is still in prison [and] has been attacked physically and threatened by fellow prisoners, especially Taliban and anti-government prisoners who are in jail,” Dykstra reports. "He has lost a mother in the last month or so, and so his fate is also uncertain."

Christian advocacy groups are hoping to turn the media attention toward Assadullah, and Dykstra hopes that response from Christians and pressure from the United States on Afghanistan will lead to Asadullah's release. "It is very encouraging to see more people get on board -- more pastors, more churches,” he says. "We just need to be sure that we have the right information so we can pray intelligently. Any time that a lot of people are challenged to come in prayer, it's a good thing."
Afghan Christian sentenced to hang, released from prison
Becky Yeh - 3/4/2011

An Afghan Christian who was incarcerated for his faith has been released after pressure from the U.S. Embassy forced a response. Said Musa, the one-legged Red Cross worker who was reportedly to be hanged for his faith, has been released from a Kabul prison. According to The Christian Post, Musa, who faced the death sentence for converting to Christianity, is now out of the country -- although his whereabouts are unknown.

Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors USA believes that pressure from the U.S. Embassy, Christians and advocacy groups along with continuous prayer paid off. Dykstra said, "The prayers of the people around the nation and the status as a prisoner in a country where our soldiers are spilling their blood -- I think that struck a chord with the Christians in the United States, and of course the tremendous prayer campaign for him in the last couple weeks."

Dykstra tells OneNewsNow that Musa gained the compassion of many groups as well as media attention. "Mr. Musa, I think, has struck a chord with both the secular and the Christian community because he was not prison, but he also was working for an international committee of the Red Cross," says the ministry spokesman, "and also he lost a leg. So he was a very sympathetic figure."
Pastors and leaders used social media outlets to plead for Musa's release, some sending out letters to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Afghan Christian celebrating prison release
Charlie Butts - 2/24/2011

An international campaign to free a Christian convert from a prison in Afghanistan has paid off, but other persecuted believers still need outside assistance. Said Musa, a physiotherapist who worked for the Red Cross in Afghanistan for 15 years, was arrested and jailed for eight months in Kabul after a television show aired a video of a baptism ceremony. He had faced the death penalty, but the worldwide Christian community's response has proved beneficial.

"Well, [we] just received confirmation that Said Musa was released and is safely out of the country," reports Aidan Clay of International Christian Concern (ICC), who is currently located in Nairobi, Kenya. Musa's whereabouts are currently unknown, but the ICC spokesman says his organization "received a letter written on February 13 from Said saying that he was visited by representatives of the U.S. and Italian embassies. Both embassies offered him asylum."

Upon those leaders' departure, three Afghan officials offered to release Said if he recanted his newfound faith -- a proposal he refused. So Clay is elated with news of the former Red Cross worker's subsequent release, but he is encouraging Christians to continue interceding for persecuted believers.

"While Said Musa has received a lot of attention lately, there's a man named Shoaib Assadullah who was arrested on October 21 for giving a Bible to a man who reported him to local authorities," the ICC spokesman notes, adding that Assadullah "is still facing charges for apostasy" and remains in prison. So Clay is asking people worldwide to shift their attention to Assadullah and contact Afghanistan's embassies on his behalf.

Conceptualclarity : Please pray for the release of Shoaib Assadullah and for Afghanistan's Christians, especially for an end to their persecution by government authorities and for the populace to grow to accept them.
conceptualclarity conceptualclarity
51-55, M
2 Responses Mar 28, 2011

The situation is not new, yes we should pray for these individuals, persecution of Christians seems to occur in countries other than the West, religious tolerance is something that is not practiced in Muslim countries, yet we here in the west tolerate all religions regardless of race or creed, not all Muslims are fanatics but anyone that takes the time to study there beliefs might get the hair on the back of the neck raised, there has always been some sanctimonious offical from the UN or the like that will wring there hands and utter useless words but do not wait for any action, the persecution will continue, we can only pray that these individuals will be granted mercy by their tormentors.

It's great to die for your belief. Though it's sad to know that he is suffering because of that too.