Why is the U.S. funding, defending an Afghan government that persecutes Christians? 

It’s being all but ignored in the liberal Mainstream Media here in the states, but the reality “on the ground” in Afghanistan, according to World magazine’s Mindy Belz, is that the U.S. is spending blood and treasure funding and defending a government in Afghanistan that officially persecutes religious minorities, especially Christians.

It’s not just native Afghans who worship Christ who are officially in danger of being executed for their faith, as Bhuddists, Baihai devotees and all other non-Muslim religions are also at risk, but it’s the Christians now bearing the brunt of this official persecution, according to Belz.

People working for UN-backed NGO aid organizations in Afghanistan are also at risk, as officials with the Afghan government of President Hamid Kharzi have gone around to the groups’ Kabul offices demanding lists of employees, internal audits and other materials in an apparent attempt to identify individuals with the temerity to talk openly about their religious views.

Hundreds of Afghan Christians have fled their homes, gone into hiding, or left their native land in order to avoid being hunted down and killed. The penalty for leaving the Muslim religion – described as the crime of apostasy or treason – is often especially harsh and can include death by stoning or decapitation.

For a foreign journalist working in Afghanistan, it’s tough digging up confirmed facts and finding credible sources about the extent of the persecution or the status of its victims. Belz tells the story of “Najib,” an Afghan Christian in hiding, who upon returned home discovered that his family had sold his house and the rest of his belongings:

“Najib himself converted to Christianity in Iran almost 10 years ago, working to dig wells when he met Iranian believers,” Belz said. “‘They were singing songs and worshipping God,’ he said. ‘I thought you could only worship God with sorrow. This was good news for me.’

“Such conversions under the Taliban were punishable by death. Najib is waiting—­unbelievably—to find out whether they remain punishable under a U.S.-sponsored government, one that is a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

“Its Article 18 reads, ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.’”

That’s what the UN document says but the Kharzi government clearly couldn’t care less, and nobody in the U.S. government from President Obama down has bothered to say discuss the issue. This, of course, is the same president who goes out of his way to defend the right of American Muslims to build a 13-story mosque a mere 560 feet from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

The Afghan government’s persecution of its citizens who choose to be Christians or some other non-Muslim religion should raise all kinds of red flags for for American conservatives who have heretofore supported the U.S. war effort. How can the U.S. back a government that as a matter of official policy persecutes those who do not accept the official state religion?

Or to put it another way, isn’t it time we start practicing overseas what we preach here at home? And why shouldn’t we demand that Muslim governments supported with American blood and treasure at least abide by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, including its guarantee of freedom of religion and conscience?

Go here for the rest of the Belz story.

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