Updated 2/24/2011*: Today the U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirmed the release of Said Musa from prison in Afghanistan. He is out of the country and safe, to our knowledge. Please continue to pray for Musa, as the Afghan authorities and their citizens continue to operate under Islamic Sharia law and will no doubt continue to threaten the lives of Said and the Musa family.
Twenty-three-year-old Shoaib Assadullah remains imprisoned, in much the same situation as Musa. Assadullah’s case, brought upon by simply giving out a Bible, will be judged under Islamic Sharia law. Please pray for authorities to release Assadullah and for him to persevere as he faces persecution within the jails of northern Afghanistan.
Original Story Below
Said Musa’s letter was smuggled out of an Afghan prison. The father of six who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion has been imprisoned, tortured, beaten, spit upon, deprived of sleep, and sexually abused.
He was arrested in May 2010. No lawyer will take his case. His family is not allowed to see his legal files.
His wife fled the country with their children. The oldest is eight, and one is mentally disabled.
His crime? Converting to Christianity.
Last year, a TV network aired images of Afghan Christians being baptized. Outraged protesters demanded they be punished. The case became a political weapon, a litmus test of Islamic zeal among politicians. Musa sought asylum at the German embassy but was arrested after the deputy secretary of the Afghan parliament demanded the public execution of the baptized Christians.
President Hamid Karzai ordered immediate actions to stop any more conversions. Homes were searched and Christians fled the country.
Recently, a judge told Musa he’d be executed by hanging in a matter of days – unless he converts back to Islam.
Musa declines to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ. He told the Daily Mail, “My body is theirs to do what they want with. Only God can decide if my spirit goes to hell.”
Another Christian man, Shoaib Assadullah, was arrested in October for reportedly giving a New Testament to an Afghan. He also faces execution if he does not convert to Islam.
Godfrey Yogarajah, executive director of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission, tells the Christian Post that “apostasy” is not a crime in Afghanistan. And Musa’s trial violates several provisions of the Afghan Constitution, including limiting courts from relying on Sharia (Islamic law). But he concedes that the constitution says that no law can be contrary to “the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.”
Musa’s smuggled letter has simple requests. Pleas for prayers. For international intervention. Strikingly, he does not ask to be released. That hope seems too grand, too beyond reality for this humble man. He asks to be moved to a different prison. And for forgiveness if his writing is hard to understand.
Certainly we can be more bold on his behalf.
Polite letters – with no political opinions – can be sent to President Hamid Karzai at email@example.com.
Here is Musa’s letter, courtesy of Barnabas Aid, a ministry to persecuted Christians. For ease of reading, spelling and grammar are corrected, and names are removed for legal and security reasons.
“To the international church of world and to the President Brother Barak Obama President of the United States and to the head of ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] in Afghanistan!
“My name is Said Musa, 45 years old. I have been working since 15 years as a Physiotherapist in I-C-R-C [International Committee of the Red Cross] orthopaedic centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. About four-and-a-half months before, by security force of Afghanistan I [was] captured, due to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. One person ____ he is spy of ____ [a] leader in Afghanistan. He told about me [to] the Government’s officials, ‘He’s believer, He’s head of church in ____.’ He showed my house to the security force. Since that time I am in jail. The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviour with me about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head, mocked me ‘He’s Jesus Christ,’ spat on me, nobody let me for sleep night and day. Every person spat on me and beat me. Also, the prosecutor wrote something wrong against me. He told from himself something wrong against me on my file.
“He is stimulating every day the prisoners against me, ‘He is also in jail due to spy for Iran country,’ to reveal the church in Kabul. I’m in a very and very bad condition in the jail.
“I agree with long imprisonment about my faith even for long life. Because I’m the sinnest person in the world. Because sometimes they treated for died I refuse my faith due to died. Sometimes I tolerate the persecution, but immediately I acknowledge my sin before Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Don’t refuse me before your holy angels and before your Father.’ Because I am very, very weak and sinful man.
“Nobody could accept my defender before the court. If I say I am a Christian man, he immediately spat on me and abuse me and mock me! I am alone between 400 handlers of terrible values in the jail like a sheep. Please, please, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ help me. Please send a person who should supervise my document and my file, what I said in it. My prosecutor has told something wrong to the judge because he asked [for] money but I refused his request. Please, please you should transfer me from this jail to a jail that supervises the believers. I also agree with died on cross of my pride. I also agree with the sacrifice [of] my life in public, I will tell the faith in Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, and other believers will take courage and be strong in their faith. Hundred percent I am stable to my word. I have family of seven – one wife, three daughters, and three sons. My big son [is] about eight years old. One of my daughters can’t speak, she has some mental problems.
“This is a request from me to all over the world, people please help me. I could not have any person to help. For [the] sake [of] Lord Jesus Christ please pray and immediately help me and rescue me from this jail. Otherwise, they will kill me, because I know they’re very, very, very cruel and hard-hearted!
“Your destitute brother in the world.
“Please my English writing is not enough good. If I did some mistake, please forgive me! From Kabul Provincial jail.”