Afghanistan (MNN) — Christians in Afghanistan are concerned following last weeks threats on the parliament floor. According to the Associated Press, Parliamentarian Abdul Satter Khowasi threatened to execute Muslim-background Afghan believers in Christ. He was responding to television broadcast reports showing Christian men being baptized and praying in Farsi.
He says, "Those Afghans that appeared in this video film should be executed in public; the house should order the attorney general and the [intelligence agency] to arrest these Afghans and execute them."
Greg Mussleman with Voice of the Martyrs, Canada says, "This sounds like Taliban rhetoric, or something like that. But it's coming from supposed-allies of both Canada and the United States. We have soldiers who are dying in that country, supposedly to get freedom there–some democracy. So, to be hearing something like that is troubling."
VOM Canada is denouncing this, along with other groups who are advocates to persecuted Christians.
The television reports triggered protests by students at Kabul University. They shouted death threats and demanded the immediate expulsion of all foreigners accused of proselytizing.
As people make their relationship with Christ known, many from the majority religion feel threatened and make false accusations. "It's often spun in many of these places that people are being forced to become Christians that are from Muslim backgrounds, and that there's some kind of manipulation taking place."
This rhetoric may have an impact on the church, but Mussleman isn't sure how. "Sometimes it causes fear, and people don't want to come back to their church — they're afraid. In other cases, the persecution actually strengthens the church."
Mussleman says, "The positive side of this is that people are coming to know the Lord. And that's a wonderful thing. Baptisms are taking place."
Christians are being urged to pray that believers would be free of fear and would desire to stay in the country. Reports indicate national believers are hiding, fearing execution.