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Q: Christianity ( No Answer,   8 Comments )
Subject: Christianity
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: mongolia-ga
List Price: $7.77
Posted: 25 Mar 2006 14:57 PST
Expires: 24 Apr 2006 15:57 PDT
Question ID: 711892
During the period of the Soviet occupation of Afganistan, if a 
muslim living in Afganustan decided to convert to Christianity what 
would the outcome have been:
- nothing
- fine
- imprisionment
- execution 

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Christianity
From: geof-ga on 25 Mar 2006 15:53 PST
The history of Afghanistan is excruciatingly complex, but I don't
think that there was ever any Soviet occupation as such, with the USSR
governing the country. However, the USSR intervened in support of an
Afghan government that was trying to introduce reforms, and was
regarded as non-Islamist, So one might suppose that at the time of the
Soviet intervention, the official penalty for a convert to
Christianity would been less harsh that under the present regime,
where the official legal system is based on Islamic (Sharia) law. On
the other hand, central governments in Afghanistan have never had much
influence over what goes on in outlying regions of the country; and
one would not have given much for the chances of any Muslim in such an
area who announced his conversion to Christianity.
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: archae0pteryx-ga on 25 Mar 2006 18:35 PST
I heard on NRP just today, while driving around, about a man who is
currently on trial for his life in Afghanistan for having converted to
Christianity 16 years ago when he was part of a medical team.  The
Pope has written a letter to Afghanistan's head of state to plead for
clemency for the man on humanitarian grounds; under their current
laws, his action of 16 years ago is a capital offense.

(not a researcher)
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: pafalafa-ga on 25 Mar 2006 19:09 PST
I don't think the outcome would very likely have been Cheers, though
all the other items on your list seem like possibilities.
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: archae0pteryx-ga on 25 Mar 2006 20:40 PST
Sorry, I meant NPR.
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: frde-ga on 26 Mar 2006 01:46 PST
The USSR realized that 'Moslemification' was a potential problem back
in the late 1970s.

Stupidly the West financed and armed the 'freedom fighters'

Sensibly the USSR retired back into its cerebellum (Russia) and
retained resources that will make it extremely wealthy in the near
(The ByloRussian election was probably not fraudulent, and the Ukraine
will vote for self interest)

After that rant, realistically, as Geof-ga pointed out, the USSR did
not 'occupy' Afghanistan, they attempted to help out a border country
that was in danger of becoming unstable. Not for altruistic reasons -
they just knew that the rot would spread.

The 'assisting USSR' and the local Government (Cities only) probably
regarded anyone who proclaimed themselves 'Christian' as certifiable,
but harmless nutters.

Mostly, I reckon that this little controversy is a public relations
scam dreamt up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (them who run
the BBC World Service, who have been bruiting the tale), but they do
have a point.

My view is that anyone who espouses a religion is a fool
- if it is a pacifist religion then they are harmless fools
- if not, be they militant Christians, Moslems, Hindus or Buddhists,
then they need to be classified as 'non social beings' and deprived of
any form of social protection.

I don't care if people are daft, but if they start talking about
killing other people then they deserve rapid perfusion
- which ... kind of puts me in a difficult position :-} .

On the other hand, there is the argument of self defense
- and that is what we are being reminded of.

However, there is the alternative British approach, let people show
themselves as idiots - better an overground idiot, than an underground
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: myoarin-ga on 26 Mar 2006 04:46 PST
This site is probably not unbiased, but it gives information that is
probably correct.

Another site gave the population of Christians and Bahai as 1%.

It is extremely unlikely that a Muslim living in a predominantly
Muslim country would convert to Christianity.  Abdul Rahman and others
all seemed to have converted while in exil, surprisingly many while in
Pakistan, it seems, although it is also a Muslim country.

Here is a CCN report:

President Karsai, it is report now, has said that Rahman will not be
executed, presumably because he won't sign the sentence, though it is
interesting to speculate if his statement will influence the court's
decision.  It could find that Rahman was not in full command of his
senses or that he converted under duress.
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: mongolia-ga on 30 Mar 2006 17:53 PST
Many thanks for all the comments. It would appear to me (and some may
wish to disagree :-)) that in light of the Rahman case, Afghanistan
was a much more
liberated society during the Soviet intervention than it is now under
so called western "freedom".


PS PAFALAFA-GA Seems like my sign off has caused problems before
See quesation  198434 !!   :-)
Subject: Re: Christianity
From: myoarin-ga on 31 Mar 2006 02:09 PST
Well, "more liberated society":  Prior to the Russians coming into
Afghanistan, the country was much more liberal in religious matters
than it has been since.
The burka was in Kabul the exception on the streets.  The Islamic
activism was a response to the Russians, who were, of course, noted
for supressing Islam in the Central Asian satellites to the north. 
Recalling the minimal Christian population and the fact that a church
was only built fairly recently, I expect that there was no missionary
activity and so few Christians that there would have been no impulse
to convert, as there certainly is not now.

Now in Mongolia ... :-)

Cheers, Myoarin

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