May 19, 2012

Hopes and Fears of Afghan Christians


II Timothy 3:12
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

For Afghanistan's tiny Christian community, a community certainly in the hundreds and probably the thousands, the Abdul Rahman case has brought both fear and hope. Mr. Rahman is starting a new life in Italy after his trial in Afghanistan for converting from Islam collapsed. He faced the death penalty if he had been found guilty.

He said, "In Afghanistan we Christians have nothing to do with politics. We love and respect everyone. We love and respect even our enemies, however they punish us."

The Christian community lives with the threat of official harassment and attack by extremists. There have been gun and grenade attacks against churches in neighbouring Pakistan.

But despite the reported hardline rhetoric of Afghan clerics during the Rahman case, the Christian claims that many Muslim friends regard his conversion as a private matter.

"Most of my friends know that I am a Christian," he said. "I have many friends who are mullahs and maulvis. Some of them say they like me more these days. Before I was a liar, I was cheating people and many other things. I don't do that now."

The reasons for conversion in such a potentially hostile environment are of course varied and personal:                    

The harsh doctrine of the Taleban were factors in the conversion of some Afghans.

There is much disillusionment. People used to look to communism, now they look increasingly to Christianity.

The compassionate actions of Christian-based aid agencies during the civil war and Taliban era in Afghanistan had impressed many Afghans.

A Christian Afghan convert stated, "I am very happy with my life and I see other Christians here very happy too,"

He added, "In the future, what God wants will happen. But Christians are always with God and if we are killed we go to God."

Friend, are you promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are you living it? Every corner of the world, every nook and cranny is a missions field. The grocery store. The mall. The neighbors. The bus stop. Every place is the right place to take the Light of the world - Jesus Christ - to the world.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  (Matt. 5:16)

Whom do you choose: God or Mammon?

I Want To Serve God!

Story excerpted from BBC NEWS:

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