Loading
Canadian bishops seek action to save Afghan Christian's life
Archbishop Brendan O'Brien
Archbishop Brendan O'Brien

.- On behalf of his country's Catholic bishops, Canadian Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien of Kingston has asked his government to intervene on behalf of Musa Sayed, a Christian convert in Afghanistan who may soon be executed for the “crime” of renouncing Islam.

On Feb. 9, the archbishop – who is also the human rights chairman for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – wrote to Canada's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, about Sayed's plight. He called attention to the Afghan Christian's “urgent case,” citing reports that he is to be executed within days on charges of apostasy.

Sayed converted to Christianity sometime between 2002 and 2003. An amputee and physical therapist, he has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross for 15 years and specializes in fitting children with prosthetic limbs.

If executed, he would leave behind a wife and six young children, who have reportedly fled Afghanistan already due to fears for their safety.

Archbishop O'Brien urged his government “to express its condemnation of this religious persecution, and to intervene with the Government of Afghanistan for mercy and clemency for Mr. Sayed.”

From his prison cell in Kabul. Sayed himself has written an open letter – addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama and other international leaders – detailing the beatings and acts of sexual abuse he has suffered.

“The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviors with me, about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he wrote. “For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head, mocked me.”

“Please pray and immediately help with me and rescue me from this jail,” the letter concluded. “Otherwise they will kill me.”

Jamal Khan, the chief of staff at Afghanistan's Ministry of Justice, has maintained that Sayed's Christian conversion is clearly a capital crime under the country's Islamic legal code.

“The sentence for a convert is death and there is no exception,” Khan has stated, maintaining that defectors from Islam “must be sentenced to death to serve as a lesson for others.”

Some Christian groups are taking a different lesson from Sayed's sentence, however, as they begin to wonder what nine years of war in Afghanistan have accomplished.

“A coalition of nations has spent many billions to help Afghanistan come out from under a religious dictatorship and into some semblance of modernity,” said Jeff King, an activist who heads the Washington-based International Christian Concern.

“This case, if taken on its own, would point to a grand waste of time, money, and blood,” King observed.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
30

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Gospel
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

Saint
Date
07/29/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Homily
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: