By BosNewsLife Asia and Middle East Services with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BosNewsLife)– A growing number of Afghans, including politicians, are embracing Christianity and meet in “house churches” despite death treats and attacks by Islamic militants, according to Christians rights activists and news reports monitored by BosNewsLife Friday, May 4.
Mohabat News, a Christian news agency, quoted “informed Afghan authorities” as saying that Christianity has obtained a special place” among youth and other “layers in society.” House churches “are growing tremendously,” the officials reportedly said.
Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), an advocacy group assisting Christians living in difficult areas, explained that it learned from an “independent Shi’ite website” that an Afghan official concluded “There is evidence of widespread Christian propaganda in Afghanistan”.
The unidentified official was quoted as saying it had been proven that at least “more than 10 churches operate secretly in residential houses.”
Seperately, BosNewsLife news agency said it had been approached from Afghanistan for more information about the Bible.
CHRISTIANITY IN PARLIAMENT
VOMC also announced that reports indicate that some members of the country’s parliament have embraced Christianity.
“A Farsi news service published a report on these conversions, writing, “Evangelism and Christian propaganda is taking place in the country at a high level,” VOMC said.
“This is the first time that those who call themselves representatives of the Afghani people not only h$ave become ‘apostates’ but have joined Christian ministries to evangelize,” the group added.
Apostasy, or abandoning Islam, carries the death penalty under Afghanistan’s internationally criticized legislation and several Christians are known to have been detained.
‘SERVING MUSLIMS PEOPLE’
However, the parliamentarians “want to present their Christian services to Muslim people through parliament.”
No names were revealed, apparently amid concerns about their safety.
“While there is limited freedom to practice other religions, there is no freedom to propagate another faith or to convert from Islam,” added VOMC.
Muslims comprise the vast majority of Afghanistan’s population, with Christians accounting for just 0.05 per cent, according to several estimates.