Christianity in Afghanistan

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The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan does not recognize any Afghan citizens as being Christians, nor are Afghan citizens legally permitted to convert to Christianity. Although there are no explicit laws that forbid proselytizing, many authorities and most of society view the practice as contrary to the beliefs of Islam.[1] There is only one legally recognized church in Afghanistan and it is located within the diplomatic enclave, and not open to local nationals.[1] There are also Christian religious facilities at the foreign military bases, such as an Eastern Orthodox church at the Romanian base in Kandahar.[2][3][4]

Many sources, however, claim that there is a secret underground church of Afghan Christians living in Afghanistan.[1][5][6] The US state department has stated that estimates of the size of this group range from 500–8000 individuals.[1] The complete Bible is available online in Dari,[7] and the New Testament is available in Pashto.[8] Printed versions can also be purchased outside of the country. There are a number of Afghan Christians outside the country, including Christian communities in the India,[9] United States,[10] the United Kingdom,[11] Canada,[12] Norway[13] and Austria.[14]

History[edit]

The Apostle Thomas and early Christianity[edit]

According to tradition, the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares was proselytized by the Apostle Thomas, who continued on to southern India, and possibly as far as Malaysia or China.

According to Eusebius' record, the apostles Thomas and Bartholomew were assigned to Parthia (which included north western Afghanistan), and India.[15] [16] Legend based on the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas and other ancient documents suggests that Saint Thomas preached in Bactria, which is today northern Afghanistan.[17] An early third-century Syriac work known as the Acts of Thomas[15] connects the apostle's ministry with two kings, one in the north and the other in the south. According to the Acts, Thomas was at first reluctant to accept this mission, but the Lord appeared to him in a night vision and compelled him to accompany an Indian merchant, Abbanes (or Habban), to his native place in northwest India. There, Thomas found himself in the service of the Indo-Parthian (Southern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India) King, Gondophares. The Apostle's ministry resulted in many conversions throughout the kingdom, including the king and his brother.[15]

Bardaisan, writing in about 196, speaks of Christians throughout Media, Parthia and Bactria[18] and, according to Tertullian (c.160–230), there were already a number of bishoprics within the Persian Empire by 220.[19] By the time of the establishment of the Second Persian Empire (AD 226), there were bishops of the Church of the East in northwest India, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, with laymen and clergy alike engaging in missionary activity.[15]

The Church of the East[edit]

In 409, the Church of the East (also sometimes called the Nestorian Church) received state recognition from King Yazdegerd I[20] (reigned 399–409), of the Iranian Sassanid Empire which ruled what is now Afghanistan from 224–579.

In 424, Bishop Afrid of Sakastan, an area which covered southern Afghanistan including Zaranj and Kandahar,[21] attended the Synod of Dadyeshu.[22] This synod was one of the most important councils of the Church of the East and determined that there would be no appeal of their disciplinary or theological problems to any other power, especially not to any church council in the Roman Empire.[23]

The year 424 also marks the establishment of a bishop in Herat.[24] In the 6th century, Herat was see of a Metropolitan See the Apostolic Church of the East,[24][25] and from the 9th century Herat was also the see of the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan.[25] The significance of the Christian community in Herat can be seen in that till today there is a district outside of the city named Injil,[26] the Arabic/Dari/Pashto word for Gospel. The Christian community was present in Herat until at least 1310.[27]

Tekuder, who was a Christian convert to Islam,[28] receives an embassy. From the Tarikh-i Jahangushay-i Juvaini by Ata-Malik Juvayni.

The Apostolic Church of the East established bishops in nine cities in Afghanistan including Herat (424–1310), Farah (544–1057),[27] Zaranj (544), Bushanj (585), Badghis (585) Kandahar, and Balkh.[24][27] There are also ruins of a Nestorian convent from the 6th–7th centuries a short distance from Panj, Tajikistan on the north bank of the Amu Darya very close to the Afghan border, near Kunduz. The complex was discovered and identified by Soviet archeologists in 1967. It consists of dozens of small rooms carved into a rock formation.[29]

Ahmed Tekuder, also known as Sultan Ahmad (reigned 1282–1284) was the sultan of the Ilkhan Empire, a Mongol Empire which stretched from eastern Turkey to Pakistan and covered most of Afghanistan. Tekuder was born Nicholas Tekuder Khan as a Nestorian Christian; however, Tekuder later embraced Islam[30] and changed his name to Ahmed Tekuder. When Tekuder assumed the throne in 1282, he turned the Ilkhan empire into a sultanate. Tekudar zealously propagated his new faith and sternly required his ranking offices to do the same. The Ilkhan Empire ultimately adopted Islam as a state religion in 1295. The Church of the East was almost completely eradicated across Afghanistan and Persia during the reign of Timur (1336–1405).[31]

Early Jesuit explorers[edit]

In 1581 and 1582 respectively, the Jesuit and Spanish Montesserat and the Portuguese Bento de Góis were warmly welcomed by the Islamic Emperor Akbar, but there was no lasting presence by the Jesuits in the country.[32][33]

The Armenian Apostolic Church[edit]

There were Armenian merchants living in Kabul as early as 1667 who were in contact with the Jesuits in Mughal (modern day India).[34] It is unclear if these Armenian merchants were Christians but their presence suggests an Armenian community in Kabul in the 17th century. Kabul was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Armenian Apostolic Church Perso-Indian diocese in New Julfa, Esfahan (modern day Iran),[35] which sent Armenian priests to the community; however, no Armenian priest came after 1830.[36]

In 1755, Jesuit missionary to Lahore Joseph Tiefenthaler reported that Sultan Ahmad Shah Bahadur took several Armenian gun makers from Lahore to Kabul.[37] Anglican missionary Joseph Wolff preached to their descendants in Kabul in Persian in 1832; by his account, the community numbered about 23 people.[36] [38] In 1839, when Lord Keane marched to Kabul, the Chaplain, the Rev. G. Pigott, baptised two of the children at the Armenian church.[39] And in 1842, the Rev. J. N. Allen, Chaplain to General William Nott's force, baptized three others.[35][40]

The only reported baptism of an ethnic Afghan in the Armenian Church was said to be a robber who broke into the church through the roof and fell three times while attempting to leave with the valuable silver vessels stored there. When he was discovered, he begged for mercy and later asked to be baptized.[41] The Armenian church building near Bala Hissar was destroyed during the Second Anglo-Afghan War by British troops; the community received compensation from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for their loss, but the church was never rebuilt.

As late as 1870, British reports showed 18 Armenian Christians remaining in Kabul.[36] In 1896, Abdur Rahman Khan, Emir of Afghanistan, even sent a letter to the Armenian community at Calcutta, India (now Kolkata), asking that they send ten or twelve families to Kabul to "relieve the loneliness" of their fellow Armenians, whose numbers had continued to dwindle.[42] However, despite an initial reply of interest, in the end, none of the Armenians of Calcutta accepted the offer.[43] The following year, the final remnants of the Armenians were expelled after a letter from Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to the Afghan ruler questioning the loyalty of the Armenians.[44]

The Armenians of Kabul took refuge in Peshawar. It is worth mentioning that these refugees carried with them their religious books and ancient manuscripts. An article on this issue in the Englishman (Calcutta) dated 11 February 1907 stated: “These people in the time of the late Ameer Abdul Rahman had dwindled down to ten families. They were, for reasons unknown, banished to Peshawar and brought down with them a collection of manuscripts said to be of immense antiquity. Indeed, they are so old that none of the families possessing them are able to read them… In any case an examination by experts of the manuscripts now said to be in Peshawar, should yield some valuable results. The families themselves are unaware of the history of the first settlement in Kabul, except that it dates back to the very earliest times.” [45] Armenian Archbishop Sahak Ayvadian, after this publication went to Peshawar for a pastoral visit to these Armenians as well as to examine the books and manuscripts. On his return to Calcutta he presented some books to the Armenian Church Library, which he had obtained from the refugees.[46]

Christianity in the 20th and 21st centuries[edit]

The only legally recognized church in Afghanistan today is in the Italian embassy. Italy was the first country to recognize Afghanistan’s independence in 1919, and the Afghan government asked how it could thank Italy. Rome requested the right to build a Roman Catholic chapel, which was being requested by international technicians then living in the Afghan capital. A clause giving Italy the right to build a chapel within its embassy was included in the Italian-Afghan treaty of 1921, and that same year the Barnabites arrived to start giving pastoral care.[47] The actual pastoral work began in 1933 when the chapel international technicians had asked for was built.[48] In the 1950s, the simple cement chapel was finished.[49]

Motorcade for President Eisenhower's visit to Kabul, Afghanistan. United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Afghanistan in 1959

From 1990 to 1994, Father Giuseppe Moretti served as the only Roman Catholic priest in Afghanistan,[50] but he was forced to leave in 1994 after being hit with shrapnel and had to return to Italy.[51] After 1994, Little Sisters of Jesus were the only Roman Catholic religious workers allowed to remain in Afghanistan, as they had been there since 1955 and their work was renowned.[52]

In 1959, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Afghanistan. The Islamic Center of Washington had recently been built in Washington, DC for the Muslim diplomats there and President Eisenhower requested permission from King Zahir Shah to construct a Protestant church in Kabul on a reciprocal basis for the use of the diplomatic corp and expatriate community in Afghanistan. Christians from all around the world contributed to its construction. At its dedication, the cornerstone which was carved in Afghan alabaster marble read: "To the glory of God 'Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood' this building is dedicated as 'a house of prayer for all nations' in the reign of H.M. Zahir Shah, May 17, 1970 A.D., 'Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone'."[53][54]

The Church building however was destroyed 17 June 1973.[54] On that same day Mohammed Daoud Khan seized power from his cousin (and brother-in-law) Zahir Shah and declared himself president of the newly created Republic of Afghanistan.[55]

Since the destruction of the church building, no place of worship has been authorized for Protestant Christians.

Significant events since 2001[edit]

  • 5 August 2001, 24 workers for the NGO Shelter Now International were arrested. The charity built homes for refugees and the poor.[56] 16 were Afghans and 8 were westerners. The workers were eventually freed after a rescue mission in November 2001. The westerners had been six women and two men, from Germany, America and Australia. The staff of Shelter Now had been accused of converting Afghan Muslims to Christianity.[56][57][58]
  • In 2002, Afghanistan adopted a new press law that contained a sanction against publication of “matters contrary to the principles of Islam or offensive to other religions and sects.”[59]
  • In 2003, Mullah Dadullah (Pashto: ملا دادالله آخوند), a top Taliban commander, said that they would continue to fight until the "Jews and Christians, all foreign crusaders" were expelled from Afghanistan.[60]
  • In January 2004, Afghanistan adopted a new constitution that provides for the freedom of non-Muslim religious groups to exercise their faith and declares that the state will abide by the UN Charter, international treaties, international conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the constitution does not extend explicit protections for the right to freedom of religion or belief to every individual, particularly to individual Muslims, the overwhelming majority of Afghanistan‘s population, or minority religious communities.[61]
  • In February 2006, an Afghan Christian, Abdul Rahman (Persian: عبدالرحمن‎) (born 1965) was arrested in February 2006 and threatened with the death penalty for converting to Christianity.[63] On 26 March 2006, under heavy pressure from foreign governments, the court returned his case to prosecutors, citing "investigative gaps" and suspicions that he was 'mentally unbalanced'.[64][65][66] He was released from prison to his family on the night of 27 March.[67] On 29 March, Abdul Rahman arrived in Italy after the Italian government offered him asylum.[68]
  • On 19 July 2007, 23 South Korean missionaries were captured and held hostage by members of the Taliban while passing through Ghazni Province. Two male hostages were executed before the deal was reached between the Taliban and the South Korean government. The group, composed of sixteen women and seven men, was captured while traveling from Kandahar to Kabul by bus on a mission sponsored by the Saemmul Presbyterian Church.[69] Of the 23 hostages captured, two men, Bae Hyeong-gyu, a 42-year-old South Korean pastor of Saemmul Church, and Shim Seong-min, a 29-year-old South Korean man, were executed on 25 and 30 July, respectively. Later, with negotiations making progress, two women, Kim Gyeong-ja and Kim Ji-na, were released on 13 August and the remaining 19 hostages on 29 and 30 August.[70]
  • In September 2008, the Afghan parliament passed a new media law which prohibits works and materials that are contrary to the principles of Islam, works and materials offensive to other religions and sects, and propagation of religions other than Islam.[71]
  • In October 2008 Gayle Williams (1974? – 20 October 2008), an aid worker for SERVE Afghanistan of joint British and South African nationality, was shot on her way to work in Kabul by two men on a motorbike. Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for her death and said she had been killed "because she was working for an organization which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan".[72]
  • In May 2009, it was made public that Christian groups had published Bibles in the Pashtun language and the Dari language, intended to convert Afghans from Islam to Christianity.[73][74][75][76] The Bibles were sent to soldiers at the Bagram Air Base. American military authorities report that Bible distribution was not official policy, and when a chaplain became aware of the soldiers' plans the Bibles were confiscated and, eventually, burned.
  • In March 2010 the remaining buildings on the leased property where the 1970 built Protestant church had stood were destroyed.[77] The buildings had been unofficially used by the international Christian community as a meeting place. The 99 year lease of the property which was paid for in gold in 1970 was not honored by the Afghan courts.[77]
  • In June 2010 Noorin TV a small Afghan television station showed footage of men it said were reciting Christian prayers in Dari and being baptized. The television station said the men were Afghans who had converted to Christianity. Two humanitarian agencies, Norwegian Church Aid and Church World Service of the United States, were suspended after it was suggested in this report that they had converted Afghan Muslims to Christianity. Later Noorin TV confirmed that there was no evidence against the two agencies and that they had been named because of the word “church” in their names.[78] The report sparked anti-Christian protests in Kabul and in Mazar-e Sharif.[79] In parliament, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a deputy of the lower house, called for Muslim converts to Christianity to be executed and Qazi Nazir Ahmad, a lawmaker from the western province of He-rat, said killing a converted Muslim was “not a crime”.[80] One of the men shown in the video, among the 25 Christians arrested was Said Musa (also spelled Sayed Mussa), an Afghan Red Cross worker, who was later sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.[81][82]
  • On 5 August 2010, ten members of the International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.[83][84] The team was attacked as it was returning from Nuristan to Kabul. One team member was spared, the rest of the team were killed immediately. Those killed were six Americans, two Afghans, one Briton and one German.[85] Both Hizb-e Islami and the Taliban initially claimed responsibility for the attack,[84] accusing the doctors of proselytism and spying.[86][87][88] These claims were later refuted by Taliban leaders in Nuristan and Badakhshan, who stated that they had confirmed the dead were bona-fide aid workers, condemned the killings as murder, and offered their condolences to the families of those killed.[89] The attack was the deadliest strike against foreign aid workers in the Afghanistan war.[90][91][92][93][94] The killings underscored the suspicion Christian-affiliated groups face from some Afghans and government opponents and the wider risks faced by aid workers in the country.[95]
  • In November 2010, Another man, Shoaib Assadullah Musawi, was jailed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif after being accused of giving the New Testament to a friend, who then turned him in.[96] Shoaib Assadullah was freed from prison on 30 March 2011 and on 14 April 2011 received a passport and left Afghanistan.[97]
  • In February 2011, International Christian Concern lauded the release of Said Musa (also spelled Sayed Mussa) an Afghan man who had been imprisoned for nine months for converting to Christianity.[98]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d USSD Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2009). "International Religious Freedom Report 2009". Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "Antiochian Chaplain Ministers in Afghanistan". Antiochian.org. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Letter From Fr. David Alexander to St. Anthony's Parish". Antiochian.org. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Easter service at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, 25 April 2011
  5. ^ Hussain Andaryas estimates there are 3,000 – 10,000 Afghan Christians worldwide. He bases that figure on messages sent to his ministry since it began in 1996. Even if some of those messages were not genuine, he said, the number would be more than evened out by Christians living in remote areas without access to computers.Convert Case Sparks Surge of Interest in Christianity Among AfghansTemplate:Date=March 2009
  6. ^ "Christians in Afghanistan: A Community of Faith and Fear – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International". Spiegel.de. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Afghan Bibles". Afghan Bibles. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Pashto Bible online – Index". Pashtozeray.org. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Faroquee, Neyaz (22 July 2013). "An Afghan Church Grows in Delhi" (in English). New York Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014. "In a South Delhi neighborhood, the sound of a man reciting Dari, a Farsi dialect spoken in Afghanistan, over a loudspeaker attached to a modest two-story building rose over the din of vegetable hawkers. The building was a church run by Afghan refugees who had converted to Christianity. The man was a young Afghan priest reading the Bible before a Sunday service in its basement. Between 200 and 250 Afghan converts from Islam to Christianity who feared persecution from the Afghan authorities and the Taliban have found refuge in Delhi." 
  10. ^ "Afghan Christian Fellowship, Los Angeles". Afghanchurch.net. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Mohammadi, Reza (6 March 2009). "Plight of an Afghan Christian". The Guardian (London). 
  12. ^ "Iranian Christian Churches in Canada, Iranian Christian Church in Toronto Canada, Iranian Christian Church in Montreal Canada, Iranian Christian Church in Vancouver Canada, Persian Church in Canada, Farsi Church in Canada, farsi Church in Toronto, farsi Church in vancouver, Worldwide Directory of Iranian/Persian Christian Churches – Iranian Christian Churches in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal". Farsinet.com. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  13. ^ Open doors – Norway: Many Afghans and Iranians are being Christian in Norway – Norwegian language
  14. ^ "کليسايی تعميدی افغان" [ABC About us]. Khudawand.com. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d A. E. Medlycott, India and The Apostle Thomas, pp.18–71; M. R. James, Apocryphal New Testament, pp.364–436; A. E. Medlycott, India and The Apostle Thomas, pp.1–17, 213–97; Eusebius, History, chapter 4:30; J. N. Farquhar, The Apostle Thomas in North India, chapter 4:30; V. A. Smith, Early History of India, p.235; L. W. Brown, The Indian Christians of St. Thomas, p.49-59
  16. ^ "Thomas The Apostole". Stthoma.com. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  17. ^ Merillat, Herbert Christian (1997). "Wandering in the East". The Gnostic Apostle Thomas. Archived from the original on 27 September 2004. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  18. ^ "We are Christians by the one name of the Messiah. As regards our customs our brethren abstain from everything that is contrary to their profession.... Parthian Christians do not take two wives.... Our Bactrian sisters do not practice promiscuity with strangers. Persians do not take their daughters to wife. Medes do not desert their dying relations or bury them alive. Christians in Edessa do not kill their wives or sisters who commit fornication but keep them apart and commit them to the judgment of God. Christians in Hatra do not stone thieves" (quoted in Mark Dickens: The Church of the East).
  19. ^ http://Dickens, Mark. Church of the East www.oxuscom.com/Church_of_the_East.pdf
  20. ^ Willison, Walker (1985). A history of the Christian church. Simon & Schuster. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-684-18417-3. 
  21. ^ Sakastan
  22. ^ Sanasarian, Eliz (Summer–Fall 1998). "Babi-Bahais, Christians, and Jews in Iran". Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society 31 (3–4). JSTOR 4311193. 
  23. ^ "Christianity in Iran, a Brief History". Culture of IRAN. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c "Location of Nestorian Bishops". Nestorian.org. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  25. ^ a b "Chronology of Catholic Dioceses: Afghanistan" (in Norwegian). Katolsk.no. 15 May 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^ a b c "Asia at a Glance". Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  28. ^ A history of the crusades, By Steven Runciman, pg. 397
  29. ^ Maria Adelaide. "Nestorianism in Central Asia during the First Millennium: Archaeological Evidence". Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society: 17/34. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  30. ^ A history of the crusades By Steven Runciman, pg. 397
  31. ^ Apostolic Church of the East
  32. ^ "Jesuits in Afghanistan?". SJ Electronic Information Service. 17 June 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2006. 
  33. ^ "After 400 years, Jesuits return to Afghanistan". Australian Jesuits. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  34. ^ As cited in: M.J.Seth, Armenians in India,new Delhi-Bombay-Calcutta, Oxford & IHB Publishing Co., 1983, p 207 http://www.angelfire.com/hi/Azgaser/kabul.html
  35. ^ a b "Armenians in Kabul". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  36. ^ a b c Seth 1992, p. 208
  37. ^ Seth 1992, p. 207
  38. ^ Travels and Adventures of The Rev. Joseph Wolff, D.D., LL.D., Vicar of Ile Brewers, Near Taunton ; And Late Missionary to the Jews and Muhammadans in Persia, Bokhara, Cashmeer, etc. pg 362 1861 http://www.archive.org/stream/travelsofwolff00wolfuoft/travelsofwolff00wolfuoft_djvu.txt
  39. ^ The Rev. J. N. Allen's account of his visit to the Armenian Church at Cabul in 1842 states: "1842, 1 October.I went into the town and accompanied by Captain Boswell, 2nd Regiment, Bengal N.I. set forth to make inquiries respecting a small community of Armenian Christians, of whom I had heard from my friend the Rev. G. Pigott, who had baptized two of their children when he visited Cabul in 1839, as Chaplain to the Bombay Army under Lord Keane. After some inquirey, we discovered them in a street in the Bala Hissar, leading from Jellalabad Gate; their buildings were on the North side of the street. We went up an alley and turned into a small court on the left, surrounded by buildings and filled with the implements of their trade. A little door led from this court into their church, a small dark building, but procuring lights, I found it was carpeted and kept clean, apparently with great care.", as cited on http://www.angelfire.com/hi/Azgaser/kabul.html
  40. ^ Hughes 1893, p. 456
  41. ^ Seth 1992, p. 209
  42. ^ Seth 1992, p. 210
  43. ^ Seth 1992, p. 217
  44. ^ Seth 1992, p. 218
  45. ^ [2][dead link]
  46. ^ Annie Basil, Armenian Settlements in India: from the earliest times to the present day, Calcutta, Armenian College, n.d., p.69
  47. ^ "Asia/Afghanistan – Barnabite Fathers 70 Years of Service in Afghanistan: Kabul Mission First Step for Growth of Local Church" Says Nuncio to Pakistan, Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico". Fides. 29 September 2003. Retrieved 18 June 2006. 
  48. ^ "A "public" church in Afghanistan? The past offers hope for the present (Overview)". Asianews.it. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2006. 
  49. ^ "Mass Celebrated Again in Afghan Capital". zenit.org. 27 January 2002. Archived from the original on 27 September 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  50. ^ "The Sisters of Mother Teresa arrive in Kabul". Asianews.it. 2 November 2004. Retrieved 18 June 2006. [dead link]
  51. ^ "Afghanistan May Now Be a Priestless Nation". zenit.org. 8 November 2001. Archived from the original on 27 September 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  52. ^ "Catholic presence expanding, Jesuit NGO and Sisters of Mother Teresa to arrive". Asianews.it. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2006. [dead link]
  53. ^ "The Untold Story of Afghanistan". IAM. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  54. ^ a b Floyd McClung (1 September 1996). Living on the Devil's Doorstep: From Kabul to Amsterdam. YWAM Publishing. pp. 67–. ISBN 978-0-927545-45-7. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  55. ^ Mohammed Daoud Khan
  56. ^ a b http://www.shelter-now.org/about-shelter/our-work/ | accessdate=23 September 2010
  57. ^ http://www.aim.org/guest-column/murder-in-the-mountains/ | accessdate=23 September 2010
  58. ^ http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/57jr9e?opendocument | accessdate=23 September 2010
  59. ^ USCIRF Freedom of Religion report 2005 page 122
  60. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4997548.stm | accessdate=23 September 2010
  61. ^ USCIRF Freedom of Religion report 2009 page 144
  62. ^ "Extraordinary Missions present at the Solemn Funeral of Pope John Paul II". Vatican.va. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  63. ^ "Afghan clerics want convert sent back". aljazeera. 4 April 2006. [dead link]
  64. ^ "Afghan Christian Convert Finds Sanctuary". MSNBC. Associated Press. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  65. ^ Constable, Pamela (23 March 2006). "For Afghans, Allies, A Clash Of Values". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  66. ^ Munadi, Sultan M. (26 March 2006). "Afghan Case Against Christian Convert Falters". New York Times. 
  67. ^ "Monday, March 27". CNN. 28 March 2006. 
  68. ^ Vinci, Alessio (29 March 2006). "Afghan convert arrives in Italy for asylum". CNN. 
  69. ^ "Korean Missionaries under Fire". Time Magazine. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2007. 
  70. ^ Shah, Amir (29 April 2007). "Taliban to free 19 S. Korean hostages". Associated Press. Retrieved 29 August 2007. [dead link]
  71. ^ USCIRF Freedom of Religion report 2009 page 145
  72. ^ UK charity worker killed in Kabul, BBC News, 20 October 2008
  73. ^ "US burns Bibles in Afghanistan row". Al Jazeera. 22 May 2009. Archived from the original on 26 May 2009. 
  74. ^ "Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan". CNN. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009. "'This was irresponsible and dangerous journalism sensationalizing year-old footage of a religious service for U.S. soldiers on a U.S. base and inferring that troops are evangelizing to Afghans,' Col. Gregory Julian said." 
  75. ^ "U.S. Military Accused of Handing Out Bibles in Afghanistan". Fox News. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  76. ^ "Bad Faith Efforts at Bagram". The Forward. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2009. "“These special forces guys — they hunt men basically,”... “We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down.”" 
  77. ^ a b USCIRF Freedom of Religion report 2010
  78. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/world/asia/01afghan.html | accessdate=23 September 2010
  79. ^ http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2010/June/Afghans-Protest-Christian-Aid-Groups/ | accessdate=23 September 2010
  80. ^ http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2010/06/05/afghan-lawmaker-calls-for-execution-of-christian-converts-from-islam.html retrieved 23 Sep 2010 | quote="Those Afghans that appeared in this video film should be executed in public, the house should order the attorney general and the NDS (intelligence agency) to arrest these Afghans and execute them." | publisher=RAWA | accessdate=23 September 2010
  81. ^ http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260050/america-quiet-execution-afghan-christian-said-musa-paul-marshall# retrieved 26 May 2012| quote="There are reports that Said Musa, whose situation I described at Christmas, will soon be executed for the ‘crime’ of choosing to become a Christian. Musa was one of about 25 Christians arrested on May 31, 2010, after a May 27 Noorin TV program showed video of a worship service held by indigenous Afghan Christians; he was arrested as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy. He converted to Christianity eight years ago, is the father of six young children, had a leg amputated after he stepped on a landmine while serving in the Afghan Army, and now has a prosthetic leg. His oldest child is eight and one is disabled (she cannot speak). He worked for the Red Cross/Red Crescent as an adviser to other amputees. | publisher=National Review | accessdate=26 May 2012
  82. ^ Matiullah Mati (21 November 2010). "Afghan Christian faces trial for alleged conversion from Islam". CNN. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  83. ^ Gannon, Kathy (8 August 2010). "British aid worker killed in massacre in Afghanistan". The Herald. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  84. ^ a b Nordland, Rod (7 August 2010). "10 Medical Aid Workers Are Found Slain in Afghanistan". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  85. ^ Gannon, Kathy (7 August 2010). "Afghan medical mission ends in death for 10". Associated Press. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 
  86. ^ "Killing of British doctor in Afghanistan 'a cowardly act' says William Hague". The Daily Telegraph (London). 8 August 2010. 
  87. ^ "Foreign medical workers among 10 killed in Afghanistan". BBC News. 7 August 2010. 
  88. ^ "Eight foreign medical workers killed in Afghanistan". Reuters. 7 August 2010. 
  89. ^ The Afghanistan Analysts Network: Ten Dead in Badakhshan 6: Local Taliban Say it was Murder
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  91. ^ Partlow, Joshua (8 August 2010). "Taliban kills 10 medical aid workers in northern Afghanistan". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
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Sources[edit]

  • Hughes, Thomas P. (1893), "Twenty Years on the Afghan Frontier", The New York Independent 45: 455–456, retrieved 26 July 2009 
  • Seth, Mesrovb Jacob (1992), "Chapter XVI: Armenians at Kabul – A Christian colony in Afghanistan", Armenians in India, from the earliest times to the present day: a work of original research, Asian Educational Services, pp. 207–224, ISBN 978-81-206-0812-2 

External links[edit]