Afghanistan (MNN) — For 15 years, Sayed Mossa worked for the
Red Cross in Afghanistan (ICRC) assisting Afghan amputees.
Then in May, footage of a baptism service aired. The trigger: these were Muslim converts to
Christianity. Protests erupted and led to a crackdown
against Christians. During the wave of
arrests, police took the 45-year-old Mossa into custody.
Voice of the Martyrs USA, International Christian Concern,
and Compass Direct News all report that Mossa has yet to see formal
charges or a trial. Worse yet, despite
his time with the ICRC, they've done little on his behalf. In fact, VOM's Todd Nettleton says, "If you
go to the Red Cross Web site and look for Sayed Mossa, or look for what they've
said about his arrest, they haven't said anything. It's a deafening silence."
The message coming from the humanitarian aid group is mixed. "It
seems like they're sacrificing one of their long-term employees in order not to
ruffle the feathers of the Afghan government. So they are obviously trying to protect their
work and keep the doors open that they need to have open."
A smuggled letter from the jail revealed that there have
been others arrested for becoming Christ-followers recently. The beatings Mossa has endured and the fact
he's been denied representation are cause for alarm. Nettleton says last week, "We are told he is facing
apostasy charges, but so far, there is no Afghan attorney who has been willing
to represent him. A foreign attorney
went to try to represent him and was turned away by the Afghan officials."
According to Compass Direct sources, there is no date set
for a court hearing although it could be any day and without warning, making it
that much more important to bring attention to his case.
Voice of the Martyrs urges prayer, not only for Mossa but for other believers who are now at risk. "The very clear message to Afghan
Christians is: ‘You're not welcome here.' It creates a fear of Christianity, or a distrust of Christianity, that
makes it harder to spread the Gospel."
Nettleton also says they've launched a letter-writing campaign. The Voice of the Martyrs Web site can help translate an
encouraging note into Mossa's language. But if he's being denied representation, will jail officials allow him
to receive mail?
That's a fair question, says Nettleton. Even if Mossa never receives the letters,
officials will know international eyes are watching, which also benefits him. "What
we hope to do is insure that he is provided some protection, that there is some
pressure brought to bear, that if the rest of the world is watching what happens
with this guy, at least make sure he survives long enough to have his trial."
Pray for Sayed Mossa, that God will sustain him and protect
him while he is in prison. Pray for justice in his case. And pray that
other believers would not be intimidated into silence.