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Christian presence, missionary activity, not wanted in Afghanistan

ICC Note:

The protest of Muslim clerics against Christian missionary activity is reportedly already causing visa refusals and harsh restrictions on missionaries or organizations that reference Christian activity in any way.
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By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

1/15/2008 Afghanistan (ANS) Reports of restrictions on Christian missionary activity in Afghanistan are now coming in as a result of the Muslim clerics who protested the presence of Christian missions in Afghanistan, first reported on ANS on January 6, (www.assistnews.net/Stories/2008/s08010042.htm) .

“All missions web sites are being scrutinized and if they refer to any Christian activity, wherever it occurs, then visas are refused. This does not mean those doing evangelism, but just their presence is not wanted,” writes a correspondent in-country who wished not to be named for security reasons.

“It maybe a phase and restrictions relaxed at a later date or it may be a way of tightening up generally. Often governments must be seen to be acting and so these could just be temporary gestures,” the writer says in an e-mail to ANS.

The writer says:”Christian money and expertise has gone a long way to rebuild the country, nurses, doctors and technicians have served the land well and, of course, soldiers of many nations have sought to bring safety for all. Schools have been built, hospitals, clinics, and many other developments have been the result of Christians serving the country.”

The author continues:”An old Afghan proverb says ‘bae laeq saeg daerya murdar naeme sae (waed)’ which, loosely translated, means ‘A river is not contaminated by having a dog drink from it.’ Christians must maintain their good character in spite of any accusations.”

The correspondent concludes:”The pacification of Helmand province is slowly taking place and suicide bombings have increased in Kabul itself as a result of Jihadists being pushed out. The modernization of Afghanistan is at stake and that process cannot be stopped. It will only lead to other pressures and realities taking place.”