Wednesday, March 22, 2006

All Eyes on Afghanistan

In a country that is moving toward democracy, with Shar'ia law still in place, Afghanistan must now answer: Is there still a death penalty for converting to Chrsitianity?

And this question is being asked right now (link).

A quote:

Abdul Rahman, 41 years, was imprisoned two weeks ago, denounced by his family as a convert. The man had left Islam 16 years ago, when he worked for a Christian NGO in Peshawar (Pakistan). He later migrated to Germany, where he lived until 2002. When the Taleban regime was overthrown, he returned to seek custody of his children. Now he risks the death penalty under the Shar’ia Islamic law, the foundation of the Afghan Constitution.

The bad news:

“Afghanistan is still in the hands of the mullahs and the Shar’ia has the last word about everything.” The sources – who chose to remain anonymous for security reasons – said “the country’s evolution needs a very long time, because religion is too deeply engrained and the decisions by mullahs, many of who are very ignorant even about religious law, are untouchable.”

The source continued: “That power is still in the hands of Islamic integralists is an objective fact: who won the elections? Who is sitting in parliament? Former mujaheedin and war lords. The judges are ulemas; the man heading the Supreme Court of Kabul – the institution charged with guiding all the national court apparatus – is a super-fundamentalist: Hadi Shinwari, leader of reactionary Afghan clerics.”

Rahman has stood firm:

Afghan websites are covering parts of the trial that is also being broadcast on national television. During one sitting, the prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, in a “very hard” tone, called for the “maximum penalty” – hanging – for the accused. Rahman, who was offered the chance to save himself by recanting, replied: “I accept (the penalty), but I am not an infidel or an apostate. I am a follower of Christ.”

This is a moment suspened in time. As the nato allies made their stance clear:

The reaction of the international community was swift and strong. Four NATO allies that have troops in Afghanistan – Italy, the United States, Germany and Canada – yesterday sent direct messages to Kabul, defending freedom of worship and demanding that Rahman be saved.

For a change there are stories on:

I've heard people say, "It is law in some places that you can't be Christian?" or "They can kill someone for this?"

And I want to say:

Glad you're finally waking up. Have some breakfast and take a deep breath...because Afghanistan is not the only place.

May our prayers be with Mr. Rahman and all who suffer.

1 comment:

Egypeter said...

Man! How awesome is this guy?!!

How precious is this man! Talk about a guy with guts!! I'm so proud of him :)

It's so funny when you think about how blessed we are to be able to practice here in America w/o a care in the world. While our brothers in Christ are willing to lay down their lives for their faith. Makes me feel like a wimp :)

I hope the Holy Spirit, The Comforter, brings peace into his heart and courage to his soul!!

Take care D