Tag Archives: State Department report

State Department report on religious freedom in Afghanistan: Deteriorating

A State Department report on religious freedom in Afghanistan: deteriorating. Two quotes from the report:

Respect for religious freedom deteriorated during the reporting period, particularly for Christian groups and individuals. Residual effects of years of jihad against the USSR, civil strife, Taliban rule, popular suspicion regarding outside influence and the motivations of foreigners, and still weak democratic institutions remained serious obstacles. There were cases of harassment, occasional violence, and inflammatory public statements made by members of parliament and television programming against religious minorities, particularly Christians, and Muslims who were perceived as not respecting Islamic strictures. Negative societal opinion and suspicion of Christian activities led to targeting of Christian groups and individuals, including Afghan converts to Christianity. The lack of government responsiveness and protection for these groups and individuals contributed to the deterioration of religious freedom.

and

The right to change one’s religion was not respected either in law or in practice. Muslims who converted to Christianity risked losing their marriage, rejection from their family and village, and loss of jobs. Following the May 2010 suspension of two NGOs on suspicion of proselytizing, some parliamentarians advocated violent responses toward the alleged apostates, including public execution. [emphasis mine]

This report actually came out in November, 2010, but I hadn’t known of it until now. It is worth reading. Though there are clearly some positive signs, overall the state of religious freedom in Afghanistan appears abysmal.