Friday, February 25, 2011

Afghan convert Said Musa released!

Said Musa has been released!
After intense diplomatic pressure, authorities released Afghan Christian Said Musa, who had been in prison for nearly nine months on charges of apostasy (leaving Islam), punishable by death under Islamic law, reports Compass Direct News.

VOM sources have confirmed Said’s freedom. Praise the Lord!

A source in Afghanistan told Compass that the 46-year-old Musa (alternately spelled Sayyed Mussa) was released last week and had left the country on February 21, but the date of his release was not clear.

Musa had written a series of letters from his prison cell, the last one dated February 13, according to Compass sources. In that letter Musa, an amputee and a father of six, said that representatives of embassies in Kabul visited him and offered him asylum.

After the representatives left, according to the letter, Musa was taken to another room where three Afghan officials tried to convince him to recant his faith. They promised to release him from prison within 24 hours if he would do so. He refused and was sent back to his cell.

“I told them I cannot [follow] Islam,” he wrote in his letter. “I am Jesus Christ’s servant. They pushed me much and much. I refused their demands.”

Details of Musa’s release remained confidential in order to protect him and his family, who still remain in danger, sources said.

Praise God for Said’s release! Pray the Lord will swiftly reconnect him with his family. Pray for their safety and well-being and that Said would be encouraged to continue standing up for his faith in Jesus Christ.

Also, continue praying for fellow Afghan Christian Shoaib Assadullah, who has been in a holding jail in a district of Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan, since October. A recent letter from him suggests that his life is in danger. Assadullah was arrested on October 21 for giving a New Testament to a man who then reportedly turned him in to authorities.

Compass Direct reports that Assadullah, who has no legal representation, has also been pushed to recant his faith. Authorities have tried to build a case that he is insane in order to explain his change of faith and possibly to justify a more lenient sentence for him, sources have said. Sources said that there are diplomatic efforts underway for the secure release of Assadullah.

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