On Jan. 3, a judge told Shoaib Assadullah he had one week to renounce Christ or he would be sentence to death or face up to 20 years in prison. Shoaib was arrested on Oct. 21, 2010 when he gave a man a Bible in Mazar-e-Sharif, the fourth largest city in this war-torn country. The man reported the gesture to the authorities and he was arrested. Since then Shoaib has been imprisoned in northern Afghanistan anxiously awaiting his faith.
Even though the judge has offered him freedom in exchange for his denial of Christ, Shoaib, a Muslim convert to Christianity, has remained true to the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. VOM contacts say he has been listening to Christian radio programs while in prison and thoroughly appreciates hearing the Scriptures. He is concerned about his family, but he remains strong in Christ and even sends greetings to other Christians in Afghanistan.
“I want people to know my faith is strong,” Shoaib told VOM contacts. “Please pray that I can stand well. I am not afraid of death.”
Shoaib is imprisoned under the apostasy law in Afghanistan. The law prescribes to a strict interpretation of Islam that says leaving the religion is an action punishable by death. In 2006, Abdul Rahman, another Muslim convert to Christianity faced the death penalty but was released because he was found not mentally competent to stand trial. Authorities around the world, including the United States Congress have protested against Afghan’s apostasy laws.