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Latest Arrest in Government’s anti-Christian Crusade

Washington, D.C. (November 30, 2010) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that another Afghan has been arrested and is being held in prison for his Christian faith. 

Shoib Assadullah was reportedly arrested on October 21st in Mazar-e-Sharif after he had given a New Testament Bible to a man who later reported him to local authorities. He is currently in a holding jail in Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan.

His family has been doing all they can to get him released and this seems to have consisted so far of negotiating with different people and the payment of various bribes,” said a Westerner closely following the case. “Every few days they are told he will be released in the next few days. So far none of these promises have come to anything. He has now been brought to the judge and his case is going through the courts.”

At some points court officials have talked about a 20 year sentence or even him being killed. He is being told he must affirm that he is a Muslim if he wants to have any chance of leniency,” said a friend of Assadullah’s.

Assadullah is currently the second known Christian being held in an Afghan prison, joining Sayed Mossa. Mossa was arrested on May 31 as part of a crackdown against Muslim converts to Christianity that followed a televised broadcast of Afghans being baptized.

The crackdown also led to the arrests of four Christians in Herat on August 9th, including a South African and a Korean-American. All four have since been released as a result of outside pressure. None of those arrested were offered due process of law.

Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “The imprisonment of Shoib Assadullah and Sayed Mossa blatantly contradicts the U.S.’s objective in Afghanistan, striking at the very foundation of the American ideals of liberty and justice. May we not silence the voices of Afghans who have been persecuted because of their religious beliefs or political affiliation in order to shield our political agenda. The U.S. should have no part in protecting a government that succumbs to the influence of Islamic fundamentalism and that enforces the tyranny that existed under the Taliban. Instead, let us amplify the voices of oppressed Afghans who are pleading for equality.”

For interviews, contact Aidan Clay, Regional Manager for the Middle East: [email protected]