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

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Almighty God, we pray that You will protect Your people in the Holy Land. We pray especially for the congregation of a church in Gaza City, whose church compound was attacked with a small explosive device on 26 February. We give You thanks that the church, school, nursery and pastor’s house were undamaged and that a fi re that was lit under the pastor’s car was extinguished when Christians came outside to investigate. We pray that the congregation may stand firm for You in the face of the threatening message that was written on the wall facing the church gate: “We’ll get you soon, O worshippers of the cross.” We ask that there will be no further attempt to attack this church or others in the area. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

    • Taliban militants attempted to attack a Christian-run day-care centre in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 28 March, saying it was “a church used to convert Muslims to Christianity”. The attackers mistakenly targeted the next-door building, which houses workers on an agricultural and de-mining project, instead; two Afghan civilians, one a young girl, died in the crossfi re. All five Taliban bombers were also killed in the raid on the heavily-secured compound. The day-care centre that they were attempting to target, which is used by expatriates, is said to hold Christian worship services on certain days. Ask the Lord to change the hearts of those who plan and carry out terrorist attacks against Christians and other targets in Afghanistan; pray that they will turn instead to Him. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “He was always a light for Christ and he had a love and commitment that he expressed for the Afghan people because of that love for Christ.” The widow of Dr Jerry Umanos, an American doctor who was shot dead at the Christian-run hospital where he worked in Kabul, Afghanistan, spoke of her husband’s faith and ministry. Two visiting American Christians, father and son Gary and John Gabel, were also killed on 24 April when an Afghan security guard opened fire on the staff he was meant to be protecting. Pray for comfort for the grieving families of the three men, and ask the Lord to safeguard the future of the hospital, which provides much-needed medical care and also trains Afghan doctors and nurses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “We ask all Christians and members of other faiths to reconsider their own beliefs and join Hinduism.” Krishna Hari Baskota, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister in Nepal, was speaking about the application process for a new identity card that will show citizens’ religious affiliation. Christians and members of other minorities will be subjected to greater scrutiny before obtaining the official documents and will be asked to reiterate their faith. One Christian rights activist said that the government is trying to discourage people from converting from Hinduism. Pray that the Nepalese authorities will not discriminate against Christians but will treat them on equal terms with the Hindu majority. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Lift up to the Lord a group of Christians in Pali village, Jharkhand state, India, who were attacked by Hindu extremists on two consecutive days in an effort to force them to convert to Hinduism. On 4 March, the offenders stormed into the home of Pastor Tilas Bedia, beat the Christians present and threatened to kill them if they continued to follow Christ. The following morning, a mob dragged 15 Christians from their homes, told them to convert back to Hinduism and beat them. The pastor and two others were paraded half-naked to the outskirts of the village. Adding insult to injury, a case of forcible conversion was subsequently registered against the pastor and three other Christians. Pray that the Lord will give them all the strength to stand firm in the face of such opposition. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

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