Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When Bibles make headlines... look out!

I'm cutting/pasting an article I read on a US soldier's stash of Bibles being destroyed, apparently by the orders of the US chaplains...  I really can't believe that we can send our troops to a nation that commits them to a temporary battle, and not expect our outstanding young people to share a life giving message???  Really.  If they are willing to fight an earthy battle and willingly pay the ultimate price, it only makes sense that these soldiers should have the right to share their core beliefs.  It seems a little one-sided for the Afghans to have us fight for them to have a better future, and yes to help protect the entire world from terrorism, and yet not allow us to share the reason we think the world can even achieve peace... Terrorism is ultimately about a fight between good and evil, and the way we overcome this battle, is in winning the hearts of people to the Prince of Peace.  So I commend the congregation that sent the Bibles, and the young people who were willing to distribute the Bibles.


KABUL (Reuters) - Bibles in Afghan languages sent to a U.S. soldier at a base in Afghanistan were confiscated and destroyed to ensure that troops did not breach regulations which forbid proselytizing, a military spokeswoman said.

The U.S. military has denied its soldiers tried to convert Afghans to Christianity, after Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed soldiers at a bible class on a base with a stack of bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages.

U.S. Central Command's General Order Number 1 forbids troops on active duty -- including all those based in Iraq and Afghanistan -- from trying to convert people to another religion.

"I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed," spokeswoman Major Jennifer Willis said at Bagram air base, north of Kabul.

Military officials have said the bibles were sent through private mail to an evangelical Christian soldier by his church back home. The soldier brought them to the bible study class where they were filmed.

Trying to convert Muslims to another 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.

"It certainly is, from the United States military's perspective, not our position to ever push any specific kind of religion, period," chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told a Pentagon briefing Monday.

(Reporting by Peter Graff)

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