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
    • 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 13 hours ago

    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Aid in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Heavenly Father, we pray to You for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Madagali, in Adamawa state, until their town was seized by Boko Haram two months ago. We think of those who were betrayed into the hands of Boko Haram by their neighbours pointing out Christian homes or places where Christians had hidden. We bring before You those who saw their menfolk beheaded, and women forcibly converted to Islam. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for a pastor in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania whose home was attacked on 17 May; two of his children were injured. When he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family; it was they who made the accusation against him. He has faced much opposition because of his fruitful outreach to Muslims, and several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations. Pray that the sovereign Lord will help him and that he will not be disgraced (Isaiah 50:7-9). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

    • A church on Mafia Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, was attacked on 9 May by around 80 young Muslim men armed with arrows and knives. The church members, who are mainly converts from Islam, had gathered for their weekly overnight prayer session when the attackers appeared, shouting “death to ritad’i” (those who leave Islam). They set fi re to the church, leaving the interior in ruins, and then went in search of the pastor, but he was not at home. The incident followed a bomb blast at another church in Mwanza in mainland Tanzania on 5 May, in which a worker at the church rest house was critically injured. Pray that the authorities will effectively address the increasing incidence of attacks against churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

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