Last Sunday evening we came to the end of a series of sermons on Paul's letter to the Colossians. The imprisoned apostle's concluding greetings to the church included this request, "Remember my chains" (Colossians 4:18). The Epistle to the Hebrews similarly urges us to be mindful of those who have been imprisoned for their faith, Hebrews 13:3. With that in mind I emailed my Member of Parliament to highlight the plight of two Afghani converts from Islam to Christianity, who are currently in jail, facing the death penalty for apostasy.
Here is the letter,
Dear Dr. Murrison
I am writing to ask that you raise with the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary the urgent matter of a Christian convert from Islam in Afganistian, Said Musa (45), a father of six. He has been charged with apostasy for converting from Islam and is currently facing the death penalty. Said was imprisoned in May 2010 and has been tortured in an attempt to force him to renounce his Christian faith.
Similarly Shoaib Assadullah (25) has been charged with apostasy and was imprisoned in October last year. His life is at risk if he does not return to Islam.
Afghanistan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, but in practice its Islamic apostasy laws make it illegal for Afghanis to convert from Islam to other faiths.
Many British troops have lost their lives fighting the Taliban insurgency in support of Mohammed Karzai’s Government. But the current regime has done little to uphold freedom of religion. Please will you ask the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to put pressure on the Afghani authorities to intervene in the cases I have mentioned and to ensure that in the future the people of Afghanistan will be guaranteed the right to follow whichever faith they choose.
See the Barnabas Fund website for more information.
My MP replied that he will raise the matter with the Foreign Secretary. Remember the prisoners.