Aid organisation denies Afghan evangelisation allegations / News / The Foreigner

Aid organisation denies Afghan evangelisation allegations. Hundreds of demonstrators gather in protest. Norwegian Church Aid (Kirkens Nødhjelp/NCA) is at the centre of a row about claims of illegal evangelism in Afghanistan. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in protest yesterday, and NCA is now to face a public inquiry.

church, aid, norwegian, afghanistan, maimana, kabul, evangelism, convert, illegal, mohammad, hanif, atmar, taliban



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Aid organisation denies Afghan evangelisation allegations

Published on Wednesday, 9th June, 2010 at 13:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 9th June 2010 at 20:06.

Hundreds of demonstrators gather in protest.

Holy Bible
Holy Bible
Photo: Steve Snodgrass/Flickr


Inquiry

Norwegian Church Aid (Kirkens Nødhjelp/NCA) is at the centre of a row about claims of illegal evangelism in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in protest yesterday, and NCA is now to face a public inquiry.

The crowd was showing its discontent against what they believed to be deliberate attempts by Christians to convert Afghans. A figure symbolising the Pope was also burnt, reports AFP.

“We want the government of Afghanistan to find those people, try them, and punish them. We want both the converted and those who have converted them to be brought to justice and punished,” Abdul Karim, one of the demonstrators, told them.

Afghan law strictly prohibits religious conversion, and converting from Islam is punishable by death.

Resignation

Afghanistan’s former minister of the interior Mohammad Hanif Atmar, who had to resign on Sunday after a Taliban rocket attack directed towards a peace conference, says police have found seven places in Kabul they suspect have been used as churches.

Though there is no evidence against NCA, the organisation has already been subjected to a similar investigation by Afghan authorities earlier this year, following footage shown by a local TV station containing male converts.

Denial

Atle Sommerfeldt, NCA’s secretary-general, denies the accusations, and doesn’t believe Tuesday’s demonstration was aimed directly at them.

“Our sources say the 500-strong protest was primarily a criticism of the West. The US, Britain and Norway were mentioned in particular, and a British flag was burnt. But that doesn’t exclude any of the demonstrators shouted slogans against us,” he tells NTB.

The organisation strongly denies it conducts evangelistic activities, but has had to close their offices in Maimana and Kabul temporarily as a result of the charges. NCA has 50 employees in Afghanistan.



Published on Wednesday, 9th June, 2010 at 13:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 9th June 2010 at 20:06.

This post has the following tags: church, aid, norwegian, afghanistan, maimana, kabul, evangelism, convert, illegal, mohammad, hanif, atmar, taliban.





  
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