Friday, March 24, 2006

A Victory for the Gospel--in Afghanistan

The photo above is posted at; it's from a "Free Abdul" rally outside the Afghan embassy in Washington.

Afghan Christian 'likely to be released soon': official

Mar 24 2:24 PM US/Eastern

An Afghan Christian facing possible execution for converting from Islam was likely to be released from jail "soon," a senior government official said following huge Western pressure over the case.

"He is likely to be released soon," the official said, adding there would be a top-level meeting on the matter Saturday.

Abdul Rahman was arrested two weeks ago under Islamic Sharia law and faced a possible death sentence in a case that has attracted widespread condemnation, especially from the United States.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday to step up pressure to free 41-year-old Rahman, who converted in Germany 16 years ago and was turned in by his parents on his return to Afghanistan.

Rice said she phoned Karzai to hammer home "in the strongest possible terms" Washington's concern over the proceedings against Rahman.

"There is no more fundamental issue for the United States than freedom of religion and religious conscience," she said.

Rice also raised the issue in a meeting Wednesday with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

President George W. Bush said he was "deeply troubled" by the case.

In Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he telephoned Karzai on Wednesday to express concern about a possible execution and "he conveyed to me that we don't have to worry about any such eventual outcome."

Karzai "assured me that what's alarmed most of us will be worked out quickly ... in a way that fully respects religious rights, religious freedoms and human rights," Harper added.

Afghanistan's Supreme Court said Thursday it was trying to find a "good solution" to the case, the first of its kind here, including persuading Rahman to revert to Islam.

Sharia law, on which the Afghan constitution is partly based, rules that conversion away from Islam must be punished by death if the accused person fails to revert.


1 comment:

hamesha: said...

Abdul Rahman is finally released and found assylum in Italy...