I have no words to describe this story – A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan http://t.co/DM87Ey5fpG
— Kimberly Winston (@kjwinston11) June 23, 2014
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) June 22, 2014
— Michael Luo (@michaelluo) June 22, 2014
A Christian Convert, on the Run in Afghanistan: “My body is in prison, but my soul is free.” http://t.co/c0gecENREh
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) June 22, 2014
The New York Times’ amazing profile of a Christian convert in Afghanistan is a must-read piece of journalism, generating much attention — and deservedly so — on social media:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In a dank basement on the outskirts of Kabul, Josef read his worn blue Bible by the light of a propane lantern, as he had done for weeks since he fled from his family in Pakistan.
His few worldly possessions sat nearby in the 10-by-10-foot room of stone and crumbling brown earth. He keeps a wooden cross with a passage from the Sermon on the Mount written on it, a carton of Esse cigarettes, and a thin plastic folder containing records of his conversion to Christianity.
The documents are the reason he is hiding for his life. On paper, Afghan law protects freedom of religion, but the reality here and in some other Muslim countries is that renouncing Islam is a capital offense.
Josef’s brother-in-law Ibrahim arrived in Kabul recently, leaving behind his family and business in Pakistan, to hunt down the apostate and kill him. Reached by telephone, Ibrahim, who uses only one name, offered a reporter for The New York Times $20,000 to tell him where Josef was hiding.
“If I find him, once we are done with him, I will kill his son as well, because his son is a bastard,” Ibrahim said, referring to Josef’s 3-year-old child. “He is not from a Muslim father.”
For Josef, 32, who asked to be identified only by his Christian name to protect his wife and young child, the path to Christianity was only one segment on a much longer journey, a year of wandering that took him through Turkey, Greece, Italy and Germany, seeking refuge from Afghanistan’s violence.
As you may recall, GetReligion just recently featured this headline:
The ongoing spectacle of NYTimes contempt for religion http://t.co/XzaTRjuuGj
— GetReligion (@GetReligion) June 11, 2014
The story on the Afghanistan convert prompted this email from a reader: