According to the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report, there are no public church buildings left standing in Afghanistan, and there are no Christian schools left either.
Shoib Assadullah, a Christian who was formerly a Muslim, has been released from prison and left Afghanistan last week following concerns about his safety.
Said Musa, the Afghan Christian who had been sentenced to death for apostasy, has been released from prison and has left the country.
Shoib Assadullah, a Christian who was formerly a Muslim, is facing the death penalty and is being ill-treated in prison, according to a letter dated 17 February 2011, which has been smuggled out.
Shoib writes: “My name is Shoib Said Assadullah. I am 23 years old. For the last four months I have been imprisoned in Qasre Shahi prison, Mazar-e Sharif for the crime of apostasy, which means I’ve changed my beliefs.
Said Musa, an Afghan Christian facing apostasy charges punishable by death, is without legal representation after the authorities blocked a foreign lawyer’s attempt to visit him in prison.
The trial of Said Musa, an Afghan Christian from a Muslim background – which was to have been held on 21 November – has been postponed again. Said remains in prison in Kabul, where he has been held since his arrest in May.
A number of people have contacted Church in Chains to enquire about a text asking for urgent prayer for Afghanistan. This is a hoax message that has been circulating for well over a year.
The text message circulated reads as follows:
Please pray for the 22 Christian missionary families that will be executed today in Afghanistan! Please spread this fast 2 as many will pray”.
The 21 surviving South Korean Christian volunteers who were held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly six weeks have recalled how they suffered at the hands of their captors. Speaking at a press conference in Anyang after leaving hospital, Yu Jung-hwa said how she and her fellow hostages felt terrified when her captors lined them up and threatened to kill them if they did not convert to Islam.
‚ÄúAll 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taliban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me…they said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras.‚Äù
The final group of seven South Korean hostages were released yesterday by the Taliban into the custody of the International Red Cross. They were reported to be in good health.
Their release follows an agreement reached earlier this week between the Taliban and the South Korean government in which the South Korean government agreed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and to ban Korean Christians from doing missionary work in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Eight South Korean hostages have been released today by the Taliban following the announcement yesterday of an agreement between the South Korean government and the Taliban.
Three women hostages were released first – Han Ji-young (aged34), Lee Jung-ran (33), and An Hye-jin (31). The women, with their heads covered by traditional headscarves, were freed near the edge of the town of Ghazni. The three, said to be in good health, wept as they were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Thay have since met with South Korean government officials.