Christians in the Cross-hairs
The Taliban Edict
By C. Eldon McNabb

Monday, January 8, 2001

KABUL (AP) – Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers Monday imposed the death penalty for anyone who converts from Islam to another religion.

"Any non-Muslim found trying to win converts will also be killed," Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar said on Taliban-run Radio Shariat.

Omar accused followers of other faiths – particularly Christians and Jews – of trying to convert Muslims and seeking to demonize the harsh brand of Islam practiced by the Taliban.

"The enemies of Muslims are trying to eliminate the pure Islamic religion throughout the world," Omar said.

It might be easy for us to believe that this severe action on the part of the Taliban is a phenomenon peculiar to them. However, it is not a rare thing at all among the followers of Islam. It is especially common among the nations in which Islam had its early beginnings, and the percentage of Islamics is upwards of 85%. That includes some countries in particular in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, to name only two.
I offer a quote from God Is One: The Way of Islam, by R. Marston Speight, 1989. On Page 58, he said, "Because the subject of penal law is not fully treated in the Qur’an (Koran), its details have had to be worked out by legal specialists, basing rules on principles, and, in some cases, on specific prescriptions contained in the Qur’an and the hadith. Capital punishment is prescribed for those who forsake Islam, called apostates." He went on to say, "The rule regarding apostates has now become obsolete." Apparently it has been revived.
As Mr. Speight pointed out, it is in their "Holy Books," and is therefore the law of Islam. Unfortunately, for much of the history of Christianity, some Christian churches behaved as if God had given them a mandate to kill "the heretic." Sadly, as a result, millions of murders were committed in the name of the Christianity. But for those martyrs we hear the words of The Living God, "The death of His saints is precious in His eyes." Any religion which is spread or sustained by shedding the blood of its detractors – and those who forsake it – is at best a corruption of the way of the God of all creation.
How dear to the hearts of the believers in Jesus Christ is the parable of the prodigal son. The son left for a long time and wasted all of his inheritance from his father. Not only did his father not kill him, but he received him with open arms and threw a party for him when he came to his senses and returned home. That is the way of the Almighty God and of His Son: Jesus Christ of Nazareth; who allowed Himself to be martyred by His own nation, which had corrupted the way of God, so that we could live and not die. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
Jesus said, in Mark 16:15-16, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." The religions of the world, in every age, have posed the same kind of threat to those who have dared to obey this commandment of our Lord and Savior. Jesus knew that was what faced them. Therefore, He said, in Matt. 10:20, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
We are near the end of this age of grace, and the anger and the fury of "That Old Serpent" shall soon be a force to be dealt with, even in this land of peace in which we dwell. True Christians are "strangers in a strange land," whatever the name of that land may be. The faithful who have that testimony acknowledge that they seek a country. We seek the kingdom of which Jesus spoke in Matt. 21:43. I beseech you by the mercies of God that you all walk worthy of that kingdom.
As Paul said, we have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. However, they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Jesus endured great contradiction of sinners and overcame. We are but his servants. God bless you and keep you in His grace. Amen.