Afghan government seeks way to drop case against Christian convert

The Court system in Afghanistan has dropped its case against Abdul Rahman, who was charged with converting from Islam to Christianity, a "crime" that may be punishable by death in the Muslim state. The court sited lack of evidence. Since Rahman claims he was prepared to die for his faith in Christ, it seems that someone could just ask him for a confession of faith if they needed more evidence. In other related news the court also considered claiming that Abdul was mentally unfit to stand trial in apparent desperation to find some reason to dismiss the case.

One now wonders what will become of Afghanistan's most famous apostate. If even his family turned him over to be executed (didn't Jesus say something about that?), I doubt he will be welcome anywhere in that country. No doubt he could go on a speaking tour in the Bible Belt for a while if he knows any English.

But I hope that the Bush administration, and leaders of other Western nations, the UN and other Human Rights advocates will not celebrate this dismissal as a victory for Human Rights. It may have been quite the opposite. In siting "lack of evidence" Afghanistan avoided the whole issue whether people are free to convert - it never went to trial, and so as far as the law is concerned, they still are not. This decision then may only pave the way for more persecution of Christians in the future, perhaps when the government is less directly dependent upon the US and other Western nations who are paying to rebuild its infra-structure after the much-forgotten war in Afghanistan.

One other related thought: the only reason that this man appears to have gotten off is that his country was dependent upon Western aid money. So before we gripe about giving away so much foreign aid to undeserving countries - or on the other hand before we pat ourselves on the back for being so generous to the rest of mankind - let us remember that financial aid given to foreign countries = influence over their policies. The same applies to Federal dollars given to State governments (or to "Faith-based Organizations" for that matter).

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