Bob Smietana of The Nashville Tennessean reports that things are looking up for Said Musa, a Christian imprisoned in Kabul, Afghanistan who is under threat of execution for his conversion to Christianity (read my earlier post). Smietana says that Said’s wife and children have already fled the country, that Said has been moved to a safer prison, and that the Afghan authorities are feeling the pressure from American officials to release Said himself. Smietana’s report appears in this morning’s edition, and here’s the latest on Said’s situation:
Musa was arrested after Afghan television aired footage of aid workers baptizing converts. Musa wasn’t in the video, but authorities learned he was a convert.
“This footage stirred up a lot of controversy,” said Aidan Clay, Middle East regional manager for International Christian Concern, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that focuses on religious persecution.
Clay, who has been following Musa’s case, said the former aid worker hasn’t been officially charged with a crime and has no legal representation. But he has been sexually assaulted and beaten, Clay said.
Clay said that Musa, 46, was moved recently to a new jail, after American officials intervened on his behalf, and there’s no immediate threat of execution. He credited media reports about Musa for the improvement and predicted more public outcry could lead to his release.
Even if Musa were to be released, however, he would remain a controversial figure and would not be safe, Clay said. Another convert, Shoaib Assadullah, 25, also has been jailed and faces death threats. Officials from the United States and other nations are trying to get both men released.
“It would be safer for them to leave the country,” Clay said.
Please keep up your prayers for Said Musa. Even if the authorities decide to release him, he will be in a precarious situation. His conversion is now national news in Afghanistan. When/if he is released, he will be exposed to a great many people outside of prison who might try to kill him for his Christian faith. So pray for Said and for a speedy reunion with his family. Pray that he would be a faithful witness for Christ no matter what happens.
When you are finished praying, it will not hurt to send up another Tweet to @BarackObama on Said’s behalf. Here are two messages that you might consider.
Mr. President, speak wisely and boldly, in private if necessary, for Said Musa, imprisoned in Kabul. http://bit.ly/g08Ci9 @BarackObama
Mr. President, please persuade the Afghan govt. not to execute our brother Said Musa. http://bit.ly/g08Ci9 @BarackObama Prov. 24:10-12
For more on Said Musa’s situation and the Twitter campaign on his behalf, read the following:
“Christian Leaders Launch Twitter Campaign to Stop Execution of Said Musa” (The Christian Post)
One of our church members is a former Muslim who converted to Christianity through the witness of an underground church in a closed middle eastern country. He escaped after enduring much persecution, including multiple beatings and a year in prison. The stories that he tells of what happens to Christians in his country are horrific. He escaped only with scars and the loss of his possessions, but others continue to face death, torture, paralyzation, and much more. In addition to praying for Said Musa, please pray for these many Christians who are persecuted without media coverage.
I’ve often wondered how to support those in these underground churches. Yes, I can pray for them, but if a monetary collection were taken up, how could I get it to them?
I think a lot about the collections that Paul took up for those churches in need, and would like to follow that model.
I read this story in the Tennessean when it came out and if true, is surely good news! It is however the first information that I have seen reported anywhere of such new info. I’m not doubting the reporters source or the info veracity, just would like to see more reports confirming this from official sources or those on the ground who have been reporting this from the beginning. We know how these things can go. I pray and hope to see him reunited with his family in a free country of their choosing. Until that time, keeping the pressure on our representatives to see it through.
Thanks for the updates. I will be praying.
BPRjam, Voice of the Martyrs is who you’re looking for.