“Somebody, a long time ago, did it all for us.”
Good news! The Afghan convert is set to be released. Some quotes from news reports follow. Whenever we are tempted to believe our problems are too great to handle, consider this man’s plight and his bold and courageous faith in Christ.
Rahman is being held in a cell by himself next to
the office of a senior prison guard, the warden said. He showed the AP the
outside of Rahman’s cell door, but refused to allow reporters to speak to
him or see him.
He said Rahman had been asking guards for a Bible but that they did not have any to give him.
He said he was fully aware of his
choice and was ready to die for it, according to an interview published Sunday
in an Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
"I am serene. I have full awareness of what I have
chosen. If I must die, I will die," Abdul Rahman told the Rome daily, responding
to questions sent to him via a human rights worker who visited him in prison.
"Somebody, a long time ago, did it for all of us," he added in a clear reference to Jesus.
Rahman also told the Italian newspaper that his family
– including his ex-wife and teenage daughters — reported him to the authorities
three weeks ago.
He said he made his choice to become a Christian "in
small steps," after he left Afghanistan 16 years ago. He moved to Pakistan,
then Germany. He tried to get a visa in Belgium.
"In Peshawar I worked for a humanitarian organization.
They were Catholics," Rahman said. "I started talking to them about religion,
I read the Bible, it opened my heart and my mind."
An Afghan man charged with converting to Christianity is set to be released from jail while his case is reviewed.
Abdul Rahman’s case has been handed back to the attorney-general because of gaps in the evidence, an official said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that while the
attorney-general looked at the papers, Mr Rahman did not need to be
Mr Rahman, a Christian for 16 years, was charged with rejecting Islam and potentially faced the death penalty.
Afghanistan’s legal system is built on Islamic Sharia law, and Mr
Rahman could have faced execution if he had refused to renounce
The Afghan government has come under increasing pressure over the case, says the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Kabul.
Key international backers of President Hamid Karzai have called for Mr
Rahman’s release, while Muslim conservatives in Afghanistan are in
favour of his detention.
Mr Karzai has personally intervened in the case and
several top level meetings have been held over the past two days to
resolve the issue.
Details of his imminent release are being kept secret, as feelings in Kabul have run high over the case.
Earlier, Mr Rahman’s family asked the court to dismiss the case against him, saying he suffered from mental illness.
Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada told the BBC there was considerable doubt that Mr Rahman was fit to stand trial.
According to Judge Mawlavizada, Mr Rahman appeared "disturbed".
He said the accused man’s relatives had told the authorities he was
insane and that they claimed Mr Rahman had said he heard strange voices
in his head.
The judge also said it was not clear if the accused was really an Afghan or a citizen of another country.
Mr Rahman has lived outside Afghanistan for 16 years and is believed to
have converted to Christianity during a stay in Germany.