press

Crisis in Afghanistan

June 24, 2010

24rd June 2010

Contact:
Godfrey Yogarajah, Executive Director – Religious Liberty Commission; wearlc@sltnet.lk
Sylvia Soon, Chief of Staff – WEA; sylvia@worldevangelicals.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA RLC) is deeply disturbed over the recent developments in Afghanistan, calling for the death of converts from Islam to other religions. The anti – Christian reaction followed the airing of a controversial television documentary on 27th May 2010, on ‘Afghan Christian Converts’ by a local television station in Afghanistan wherein they revealed the identities of a some supposed Afghan Christian converts.

WEA RLC is also deeply troubled by the statements made by Afghanistan Officials including the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E. Hamid Karzai. It is reported that the President has instructed government officials and the Afghan intelligence agency to take immediate and serious action to prevent further conversions from Islam.

The events of the past few weeks where Afghan Officials suspended two church based aid organizations on alleged charges of proselytizing and the crack down on converts from Islam are further disturbing developments which signify a non tolerant atti
tude toward religious freedom.

“We do not know how the whole world and especially the Global Church is silent and closing their eyes while thousands of their brothers and sisters (Body of Christ) are in pain, facing danger to their lives, death, torture, persecuted and called criminals” stated an Afghan Christian leader who fled to safety, in an appeal to the WEA RLC.

WEA RLC calls on the worldwide church to pray for Afghanistan that there will be respect for the freedom of religion and that the government of Afghanistan will take a all necessary action to safeguard the lives and the rights of all Afghans and expatriates working in Afghanistan.

“It is a cause of serious concern that the mere accusation of converting from Islam has resulted in such strong and violent reactions by the Afghan authorities and the public. While we recognize the challenges faced by the Afghan government in rebuilding and restoring peace in Afghanistan after decades of war and division, we urge the Afghan government to take urgent and immediate action to protect the lives of all Afghans” states Godfrey Yogarajah, Executive Director of the WEA RLC.

Godfrey Yogarajah

Executive Director - Religious Liberty Commission
World Evangelical Alliance

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.