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Well-founded fear

Afghan Christians face growing threats and diminished protection as U.S. pullout nears 

ICC Note:

“In the midst of ongoing brutality against Afghanistan’s small Christian minority, the UN agency in charge of processing international refugees has denied protection to at least eight Afghan Christians and their families who recently fled their country and are living in India,” World Magazine reports.

By Mindy Belz

7/4/2011 Afghanistan (World Magazine) – In the midst of ongoing brutality against Afghanistan’s small Christian minority, the UN agency in charge of processing international refugees has denied protection to at least eight Afghan Christians and their families who recently fled their country and are living in India. All face deadlines for deportation back to Afghanistan, where recent episodes of violence demonstrate that they have reason to fear persecution—even death.

Amin Ali, together with his wife and four children, is one. He told officers of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in New Delhi that he converted to Christianity in Afghanistan 11 years ago but encountered problems beginning in March 2010. Government officers whom he calls “intelligence spies” began to follow him.

“There are severe penalties under Afghan law, including imprisonment and potential execution, for Afghans who convert from Islam to Christianity,” said Aidan Clay, regional spokesman in the Middle East for International Christian Concern (ICC), a watchdog group. “Aman, his family, and others whose applications were denied, will likely face a cruel punishment if they are forced to return to Afghanistan.”

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