Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Afghan Christians in Danger at Home and Abroad, ‘Whoever Changes His [Muslim] Religion Should Be Executed’

Afghan Christians in Danger at Home and Abroad, ‘Whoever Changes His [Muslim] Religion Should Be Executed’

Islamic militants preparing to behead Afghan Christian

Islamic militants preparing to behead Afghan Christian

By Aidan Clay – “The following urgent message from Obaid S. Christ, an Afghan Christian living in New Delhi, arrived in my inbox two weeks ago:

‘I just received a warning call from a person who introduced himself as an [official at the Afghan embassy]… If I don’t go to the embassy in two hours to meet him, he will arrest [me] and present me to the embassy through the Indian police… Please pray and be in contact, and if in case something happens, my wife will contact you. He was claiming that I convert people from Islam to Christianity.’

The calls continued throughout the day. ‘They were very angry and saying that they will hit me by knife and kill me,’ the exile, who changed his name after fleeing Afghanistan in 2007 when an Islamic court issued an arrest warrant for his conversion, told me in reference to the third call he received late that night.

Threats against Afghan converts to Christianity should not be taken lightly. Conversion is viewed as a serious crime in Afghanistan and Christians are frequently targeted by both the government and extremists. Earlier this year, a video was released of the beheading of an Afghan man, Abdul Latif, by four Islamist militants near Herat. The militants, who claim to be the Taliban, read a passage from the Hadiths before executing the victim: ‘Mohammad (peace be upon him) says, ‘Whoever changes his religion should be executed.’’

Neither are Afghan Christians safe outside their homeland. In September, an Afghan convert was scalded with boiling water and acid at a refugee processing center in Norway. ‘If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you,’ his attackers reportedly told him.

For Obaid, the menacing calls were not the first time he felt threatened since arriving in India. ‘Our community is a persecuted and rejected community,’ he told me last April. ‘We left behind all our belongings in Afghanistan just to save our lives by leaving Afghanistan. Here in India, we are receiving no legal and physical protection from the UNHCR Office or Indian government. We are harassed, attacked, insulted and persecuted by Indian Muslims and Afghan Muslim refugees in this city.’ ” Read more.

Study: Christians are one of the most persecuted groups in the world – “Eritrea, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, the Maghreb states and the Middle East top the list of the most oppressive countries. Analysts cite the unstable political and economic situation, the rise of fundamentalism and extremism in these nations as the main cause for growing xenophobia… Analysts believe that if xenophobia is not stopped right now, Christianity will only feature in history books in [the] future. The 21st century will thus signify not only the end of Christian history, by the twilight of the whole of civilization.” Read more.

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