Tuesday, January 08, 2008


The following are excerpts from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

AFGHANISTAN'S ISLAMIC COUNCIL CALLS FOR CRACKDOWN ON TV STATIONS...Clerics who are members of Afghanistan's influential Islamic Council reportedly met with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on January 4 to demand a clampdown on a burgeoning private television industry that they say is spreading "immorality and un-Islamic culture," Afghan and international media reported. "The unrestrained programs on television have angered and prompted the [council] to react," the conservative council said in a statement to Karzai, according to a copy released to the news media. The statement pointed to the MTV-style "Afghan Star" show on Tolo TV that is modeled on the "American Idol" show as an example, alleging that "'Afghan Star'...encourages immorality among the people and is against Shari'a [Islamic law]." Over a dozen privately run television stations have sprung up in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, which banned television as un-Islamic during its rule from 1996 to 2001.

...AND WARNS AGAINST MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES --During the meeting with President Karzai, the Afghan clerics also expressed concern over the activities of some international nongovernmental groups that in their eyes are trying to spread Christianity among Afghans. The council warned in its statement of what they termed "catastrophe" if these activities are not prevented. "The council is concerned about the activities of some missionary and atheistic organs and considers such acts against Islamic Shari'a, the constitution, and political stability," the statement said. Ahmad Ali Jebrayeli, a member of both the council and the Afghan parliament, told Reuters on January 5 that reliable sources tell him that Christian missionaries are using NGO offices in Kabul and in other provinces as bases to convert the local population, alleging that "some NGOs are encouraging them [to convert], give them books [Bibles], and promise to send them abroad." In July 2007, Taliban militants took some 23 South Korean Christian missionaries hostage, killing two of them before releasing the remainder (see "RFE/RL Newsline," August 31, 2007)."


Therefore, please pray for:
1. President Karzai to remain physically safe from jihadist assassination attempts.
2. President Karzai to remain committed to democracy and religious freedom for all Afghanis.
3. Followers of Jesus Christ in Afghanistan to be strong and courageous in the face of intense opposition and persecution.
4. More Afghanis -- especially the poor and widows who feel all alone -- to find hope and freedom through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.