Greetings in the name of the LORD Jesus Christ!
As I did my TV show yesterday my heart was a bit heavy because early in the morning I received my 11th death threat in the past week. These threats are normal but they have increased due to the recent events in Kabul.
Most of you must already know about the recent developments among Afghan followers of Jesus Christ. There has been a great threat in Afghanistan with many accusations about Afghans choosing to follow Jesus.
While listening to Afghan National TV today I heard remix of one of the most beautiful songs. It was originally in the Pashto language but now it includes Dari as well. Find the words below and a YouTube version of it with English subtitles. As I was listening to this song, my wife came in my “garage studio” and asked me; “what has happened to you, why are you crying?”
I told her, “If you watch and hear this song, you will know exactly why I am crying?
The Dari version asks the question; Shinware Lawangina; “why are you not coming home… your mother, sister is asking the question, why are you not coming home?”
I wept a lot because most of the same sisters and mothers and fathers and brothers are my countrymen who are calling me a traitor because I am a follower of Jesus Christ – I call my self a follower of Jesus.
I have been sleepless and praying for the lives of my fellow Afghan followers of Jesus, who are either running for a hiding place or they are in jail. There no international reports about Afghan followers of Jesus being denied their human right to choose their own faith. The only person in the recent past who openly come out as a follower of Christ is the Afghan (Abdul Rahman.) He was really fortunate because he received so much media attention eventually Abdul Rahman was declared insane by the Afghan officials and he was air-lifted to Italy never to be heard from again.
Today’s Afghan followers of Jesus are in jails and in hiding for their lives, yet they have no one crying out for them or saying anything to defend their freedom to choose their own faith. At the same time we have hundreds of Western troops risking their lives for the freedom of Afghan people.
These Afghans are not traitors, they are followers of Jesus. They have of their own free will chosen at great personal risk to confess their sins and acknowledge Jesus as the way the Truth and the Life. The have chosen salvation in Jesus, yet their government has the legal right to execute them according to their religious law.
The 18th Article of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” has been signed by Afghanistan. Look carefully at what Afghanistan has agreed to.
Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Some of my Muslim Afghan countrymen wrote to me in language that is so grotesque it smells of cannibalism. He and others threaten to cut me into many pieces. This deeply grieves me because these are my countrymen.
The fact is that there are many Muslims from all over the world who are coming to the United States making a good life here. They take advantage of the opportunity to freely go to their places of worship (mosques), preaching about. Yet, these same people are protesting about accusations that an American preaching about Jesus in a Muslim country.
After all, if the Quran speaks of (إنما يعمر مساجد الله) – So if Muslims have been commanded by Allah to build mosques, should I as a follower of Jesus not have the same right? No one is even being accused of trying to build a church building in Afghanistan. They are just being accused of privately meeting in their own homes to worship Jesus Christ, the faith of their own choosing.
We have been commissioned to by our Lord Jesus Christ:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19, 20 Please also see Acts 1:8
I am an Afghan, and my forefather were Afghans. But the people of Afghanistan were not always Muslims. The Buddhas of Bamyan are a great testimony to this fact, that those people were equally the people of this land now called “Afghanistan.
So what is the problem? Why are Muslims afraid of Afghans choosing to following Jesus? Doesn’t Quran say: “there is no compulsion in religion.” If you force a person at gunpoint to come on the TV and deny Christianity and revert to Islam, do you think that you can also change his heart? After all, only GOD knows the heart.
We have the famous Dari saying; “از دل انسان تنها خدا خبر داره” Only God knows the heart of a man. This brings me to another saying in Dari; “نی به دينم، نی به دنيا، ضرب سوته يا خدا” Yes I have changed the last word a bit. You simply cannot force someone’s heart to change. It is a matter of faith and choice to repent of sins and chose to follow the only path God has given for forgiveness, that is Jesus the Messiah.
What is that message of the followers of Jesus that is so offensive? Is it love your neighbor? Or is it Love your enemies? Love your wife? Respect your father and mother? Do not provoke your children? Do not gossip? Do not lie? Do not kill? Do not take revenge? Are they afraid of the message, If you don’t love you do not know God because God is love? Which one of these messages of Jesus is most offensive? I could write verse after verse from the Old and New Testament that speak of helping fellow human beings, giving to the poor and needy which Christians do. And yes followers of Jesus must preach the GOSPEL (Good News) as well because Jesus has radically changed our hearts. Jesus freed me from being a man full of anger and hatred to all people who were different than me. I hated those who were not from my ethnic group. I hated those who were not Muslims. I hated those who were not Afghan, but Miraculously God Freed Me through my faith in Jesus Christ. He freed me to truly understand how to love God and love my family and love my fellow man.
So the question is for my Afghan Muslim brothers and sisters, can’t we as human being live together and share our faith with each other with love, dialogue and politeness and humility and grace and bearing one another and without anger or force. After all, God gives breath of life even to those who totally deny His very existence and yet God gives them chance so that they can find out and know about God. Are we bigger than God? No! Let us therefore learn from God who even when every human being everyday does against His law and yet he graciously extends days of our lives so that we can honor Him in finding about Him. Otherwise if God starts to think that, Okay they don’t obey Me? I am going to teach them a lesson. And if that happens brothers and sisters, what do you think will happen? Yes, we all are no more. So if God wants everyone to live and search for Him, can’t we who are His creation do the same and respect everyone to share our hearts and reason and find about who God is? Why then it is that my fellow Afghan followers of Jesus brothers and sisters are being hunted and tortured and put in prison and forced to accept a religion that is not of their choosing?
May I beg you to please recognize in DEED the rights of those who want to choose to follow Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, AND Jesus Christ? And LET God decide between us.
We love you with the love and commandment of Jesus Christ:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven… Matthew 5:43… (for full passage, please click here)
Here is my prayer:
O dear God, please provide wisdom for our leaders to acknowledge you.
O dear God, please bless Afghanistan with your goodness – the Good News of Jesus Christ.
O dear God, please bring to Afghanistan the Peace that surpasses all human understanding.
O dear God, please humble our people so that they can be blessed by You.
O dear God, please forgive the enemies of Afghan believers in Christ for they do not know what they are doing.
O dear God, please help our people to respect each other even if they disagree with each other.
O dear God, Afghanistan is Yours and the fullness thereof and let every thing that has breath in Afghanistan bless Your Holy name.
In Jesus’ name. Amen