Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Barnabas launches campaign for Afghan co...

Email:

Barnabas launches campaign for Afghan converts to Christianity

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Barnabas launches campaign for Afghan converts to Christianity

Country/Region: Afghanistan, South and East Asia

West must intervene to secure rights to full freedom of religion

4X3-said-musa.jpg
Said Musa who is Christians currently incarcerated for apostasy
(Source: Release international)

Barnabas Aid is today launching a petition to save an Afghan Christian who is facing execution for converting from Islam.

Yesterday's Sunday Times featured on its front page the case of Said Musa (45), a father of six, whose plight Barnabas Aid has previously reported.

Until now, we have been working behind the scenes with others to secure Said's release. But high-level talks involving US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and representatives of the French and German governments have failed to move Afghan President Hamid Karzai to act on his behalf.

Said has been languishing in prison, where he has been tortured and abused, since his arrest - as part of a crackdown against converts - last May. Said is yet to stand trial and no defence lawyer will represent him. They say the case is hopeless because the prisoner refuses to renounce Christianity, or they back out after receiving death threats themselves.

Said is not the only Afghan convert to Christianity whose life is in immediate danger. Shoaib Assadullah (25) is also being held in prison and has been threatened with the death penalty for apostasy unless he returns to Islam. He was arrested last October after giving a New Testament to another Afghan.

Apostasy is a crime punished by death under Islamic law, which is upheld by the Afghan constitution. Wherever Islamic law is in force, converts from Islam are in real peril. At the end of last month Abdolreza Gharabat was hanged for apostasy in Iran after he claimed to be God.

What are we fighting for?

Hundreds of British and US troops have lost their lives fighting a violent insurgency by the Taliban, whose hard-line Islamic regime was ousted in 2001. But despite these ongoing and costly efforts to support the new government and constitution, Afghan citizens - especially converts to Christianity - are being denied the fundamental right to choose their own faith. The constitution upholds international standards of human rights in theory, but in practice the government's policy towards converts appears no different from that of the Taliban.

Western complicity?

As long as the West continues to prop up the Karzai regime and refuses to demand tougher action by the Afghan government to uphold its international agreements, it is surely complicit in the persecution of converts to Christianity such as Said and Shoaib.

This failure reflects a wider indifference among Western governments to the plight of Christians, and especially converts, in the Muslim world. Last week the European Union failed to condemn recent attacks on Christians. Baroness Ashton, the EU's foreign minister, was accused of appeasing Muslim sensibilities by refusing to name a specific religious group as the victim of the violence.

Key Western leaders, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and David Cameron, have subtly changed their vocabulary in recent months. They are now calling only for "freedom of speech" and "freedom of worship", not for "freedom of religion", which covers the right to choose and to change one's faith. Are they no longer concerned to defend this right?

Barnabas Aid is caring for Afghan Christians who have been forced to flee the country. But now we are also calling on Western governments to act in their defence.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:

Said Musa's plight can be seen as a test case for how Western governments are going to respond to the treatment of converts to Christianity in the Muslim world. I urge you to join us in putting pressure on them to use their influence to achieve for everyone the universal right to full freedom of religion.

 

Act Now

Please sign our petition and forward it to others. Sign here

Write to your political representatives and and ask them to raise this as a matter of urgency with the relevant government department (for UK readers please ask your MP to raise it with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office). We have prepared a template that you may wish to use as a basis for your letter.

Please Pray:
  • Thank God for the Sunday Times' article and other international media coverage of Said's case; pray that it will be brought to the attention of those with the power to intervene.
  • For Said and Shoaib, and other converts to Christianity who are being held in prison because of their faith, that the Lord will encourage and strengthen them.
  • That Western governments, especially in the US and UK, will use their influence in Afghanistan and elsewhere to secure full rights to freedom of religion, including the right to change one's faith.
Help us: Share this article

Email:

Barnabas launches campaign for Afghan converts to Christianity

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “We had this feeling that jihadists wanted to wipe out any trace of Christianity in the north of Mali. But God in His goodness has not allowed such an eventuality,” said Dr Yattara, the president of the Baptist Church in northern Mali, to World Watch Monitor in September. He was describing how most of the Christians who had fled the region when Islamist radicals took control in 2012 have now returned to their homes after French troops ousted the Islamists. Many church buildings were desecrated, looted or severely damaged, but the Christians are determined to resume their ministries. Praise God for the continued Christian presence in northern Mali, for the courage of the Christians and for the religious liberty that they have under the law. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 5 hours ago

    • Pray for the friends and family of Beatrice Mukashaka, an 18-year-old Christian woman, who was hacked to death in a savage attack by Muslims during an overnight prayer meeting at a church in Uganda. A group of around 20 Christians had gathered at the church in Kyegegwa district for their regular Friday night prayer session when armed Muslims burst into the building at around 2am. Please pray for all who mourn for Beatrice and that the assailants will be brought to justice. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Churches in Christian-majority Burundi are facing the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government because of a new law passed in August that requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building. Congregations have a year in which to comply with the new regulations. Although intended to reduce some scandalous practices, the law is strangely reminiscent of the strict regimes of Central Asia. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark