Afghanistan: Growing Number of Christians Causing Unease Among Muslim Leaders
The growth of Christianity in Afghanistan is causing unrest among Muslim clerics, leading them to call for action against believers, Mission Network News reports. According to a recent report by the Mohabat News Agency, Islamic seminary students and Muslim clerics have "warned the country's government against the spread of Christianity" and called on President Hamid Karzai to "limit the number of aid workers and Christian missionaries coming to Afghanistan" to keep Afghanis from converting to Christianity. Recent turmoil began after a Kabul-based TV station reported the conversion of several Afghans to Christianity and aired photos of them praying and being baptized. This reportedly sparked anger in the parliament, and some members asked to convict believers under sharia law -- which decrees that if someone leaves Islam and converts to another religion, he or she can be executed. The Afghan church is completely underground; the last church building was destroyed two years ago and the small number of known believers risk their lives each time they gather in small house meetings.