The Religion Page.
13:32 2001-07-24 http://Pravda.RU
TALIBAN SOLDIERS BEAT TO DEATH AN AFGHANI FOR CUTTING HIS BEARD
The Taliban soldiers beat to death an Afghani at a checkpoint near Kabul for the fact that he had his beard cut.
Taliban soldiers were checking the passengers of a mini-bus that headed from Dzhelalabad to Gradez through Kabul. Among the passengers they noticed a man with a short beard. The soldiers dragged him out of the bus and beat him with the butts of their assault riffles. With his head smashed, the Afghani was delivered to the hospital Dzhamhuriet where he died without coming to.
After the Muslim fundamentalists come to power in 1996, all the male population of Afghanistan must wear long beards - just like Mohamed--and are completely forbidden to cut them.
Specially established police of Muslim Morals strictly oversee the fulfilment(sic) of all the orders issued by Mullah Mohammad Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban movement.
Published: Sunday August 5, 7:24 PM Posted on 08/05/2001 13:45:41 PDT KABUL (Reuters) - The ruling Taliban on Sunday shut down an international aid agency operating in Afghanistan and arrested 24 of its international and local staff, accusing the group of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. A senior Taliban official, quoted by the official Voice of Shariat radio, said the eight foreign staffers of Shelter Now International had "confessed to the crime" and asked for pardon.
Earlier, the official news agency Bakhtar said authorities had found Bibles in a house of the agency's Afghan staff. Among eight foreigners arrested, six were women and two men while the rest 16 were Afghans, it said. The nationalities of the foreigners were not given.
A U.N. source in Islamabad, capital of neighbouring Pakistan, said Shelter Now was an international non-governmental organisation supported by various Western countries and engaged in humanitarian work. Taliban radio said the agency's foreign staffers were arrested while trying to convert members of an Afghan Muslim family by showing them material about Christianity through a computer.
It quoted the deputy of the Taliban religious police, Salim Haqqani, as saying the staff had "confessed their crime without any compulsion, regretted their act and asked for pardon...".
Earlier, Bakhtar said Taliban security officials found two Shelter Now computers and two computer discs containing material on Christianity.
The Taliban, a purist Islamic movement, issued an edict last year prescribing the death penalty for any Muslim converting to any other religion or those involved in such conversions. –30-
"We are least among the brotherhood and our spiritual power is weakened
because we have insolated ourselves from the suffering
that would make us more complete."
(Jamah, a friend of the Desk)
St. Paul saw things that way... from inside a Roman prison under sentence of Death.
Ghandi thought oppression made him stronger.
Martin Luther saw the corruption of the Official Church and stood against it.
Chief Joseph used the White Man's greed and short sightedness to take his people on a journey that is still unbelievable.
Mother Theresa used every waking minute of her life to live an example of love and charity that was a marvel to those of any faith... or no faith at all.
However I am not one of those people. I complained about the price of gas and how far it was to drive to church in an air conditioned car.
Most of the Christians I know would wilt under the first threat of official oppression. Even the idea of stormtroopers outside the door would make them cry like children.
But think of it... the few Pauls and Ghandis.... Is there a Luther among us? The one Chief Joseph that might emerge. If a little oppression of the Church in America would bring just one Mother Theresa to the surface. Wouldn't it be worth it?
The Heros of the Faith of Our Time, they could stand with those Saints and Martyrs of Old and not be ashamed.
I pray we do not see such oppression... Then I pray that we might.
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering."
2 Thessalonians 1 : 3 - 5