Updated: May 5, 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
The US military denied on today it has allowed soldiers to try to convert Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with bibles translated into local languages.
General Order Number 1 from the U.S. military’s Central Command forbids active duty troops – including all those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan – from trying to convert people to their religion, considered a crime in many Muslim countries.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed footage of a church service at Bagram, the main US base north of the Afghan capital Kabul, in which soldiers had a stack of bibles in the local languages, Pashtu and Dari.
Trying to convert Muslims to any other faith is a crime in Afghanistan. An Afghan man who converted to Christianity was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2006 but was allowed to leave the country after an international uproar.
US troops urged to share faith in Afghanistan
US soldiers in Afghanistan have been filmed with local language Bibles and urged to be “witnesses for Jesus” despite anti-proselytising rules.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports.
US army rejects ‘conversion’ claims – 04 May 09
The highest ranking military officer in the United States says it’s not the military’s position to ever push any specific form of religion, in response to an exclusive Al Jazeera report that showed a group of US soldiers in Afghanistan in possession of Bibles translated into local languages.
The troops discussed giving the Bibles to Afghans as gifts – despite military directives banning soldiers from spreading religion, as Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports.
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