This is where the good news shows up. Last week Mussa was released from prison. Considerable pressure had been exerted on the government of Afghanistan through an intense campaign by the international community, including Christian activists, churches, news reporters and government officials. He is reportedly now out of the country and is safe.
These two linked stories have affected me in several ways. First, of course, there is the challenge of the testimony of Sayed Mussa. “My life is just service to Jesus Christ.” I couldn’t help but ask of myself, “is that true of me?” I want it to be, but how would I do if I was being given the choice between being released from prison or staying in jail and facing the very real possibility of a death sentence? I’d like to say I know that I would stand firm like Sayed. I think I would. But then I see how much of my interest and energy goes into serving myself in this world, and I have to say I am dismayed. What a challenge the life of Sayed Mussa is to me today to truly make my life service to Jesus Christ. I have a feeling if even half of the true followers of Jesus in this country actually lived that way it would be remarkable and it would be revolutionary.
Frankly another effect the stories had was to make me angry. American military personnel are putting themselves in harm’s way to stabilize the often sketchy government in Afghanistan. Is this what they are putting their lives on the line for? The blood of young Americans is being spilled so the government in that blighted land can put people in prison for believing in Jesus or giving someone a Bible? I find this galling at a deeply emotional level. However, being angry isn’t going to accomplish a great deal in this world other than make me feel frustrated.
Perhaps what I need to do is act. I cannot change the government in Afghanistan nor can I personally see to it that our brother Assadullah is released. But I can make my voice heard. In our American democracy I have the right to let those who represent me how I feel about what is going on. In our system of government those who are elected by the people serve at their behest. One of the best ways we can make our voice heard is to contact our Congressman, our Senators, even our President and let them know that we are upset at this unfair treatment of an innocent man. We are upset that America is supporting a government that would do such a thing. We can request that our representatives put pressure on Afghanistan not only to release this one innocent prisoner, but to stop the unjust practice of imprisoning people for what they believe. It is even possible to put pressure on the government of Afghanistan. International Christian Concern is a ministry that looks out for the interests of persecuted Christians. Their website has a link to the website of the Afghanistan embassy in Washington. One of the reasons Sayed Mussa was released was pressure from Christians like us on the government of Afghanistan. Maybe we can help Shoalb Assadullah by doing the same for him.