Afghan Detained By Afghan Police For His Christianity

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by kiriath_jearim, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. kiriath_jearim

    kiriath_jearim
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    Here's a Reueters news article dated 3/19/06:

    Story

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    Afghans detain man suspected of abandoning Islam

    Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:23 PM IST

    By Sayed Salahuddin

    KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan police have detained a man for converting from Islam to Christianity, a judge said on Sunday, adding the man could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.

    Islamic sharia law proposes the death sentence for Muslims who abandon the religion. Afghanistan's new constitution says "no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam".

    Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said the suspect, Abdur Rahman, was arrested after members of his family informed police of his conversion.

    He would be charged in coming days with abandoning Islam, Mawlavizada said.

    "The prosecutor says he should be executed on the basis of the constitution," Mawlavizada said, who added that Rahman could come back to Islam.

    "If he does not ... he will be punished," he said.

    Afghanistan is a conservative Islamic country and 99 percent of its more than 25 million people are Muslim.

    Several legal officials said they could not recall a previous prosecution for abandoning Islam in Afghanistan.

    Mawlavizada said the 40-year-old suspect had previously lived in Pakistan.

    Millions of Afghans have been living in neighbouring countries over decades of conflict in their homeland and some Afghans are known to have converted to Christianity while abroad.

    The Taliban arrested five Western aid workers including two Americans in 2001 on suspicion of promulgating Christianity among Muslims.

    Some Taliban urged they be put to death but the five were rescued by U.S.-led troops who overthrew the Taliban in late 2001 after the Islamists refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, architect of Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

    An Afghan court sentenced two journalists to death for blasphemy three years ago but they escaped from detention and have sought asylum abroad.

    Another journalist was put in prison for several months for allegedly making blasphemous comments about Islam but was pardoned last year after a court accepted his denial.
     

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