Christian Group Denies ‘Spreading Christianity’ a Factor in Taliban Attacks
August 8, 2010
Afghanistan (ChattahBox) – After a number of people killed over the weekend in Badakshan were found to be from an international Christian group, the Taliban claimed that they were killed for attempting to “spread Christianity”. But the group deny these claims, and say religion had nothing to do with it.
The International Assistance Mission (IAM) sent a group of Americans, Britons, Germans, and Afghans to the area to give medical assistance to residence. Specifically, the 12 were there to promote proper eye care.
They died in an attack for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility, and their official statement was that they group were carrying bibles in the native language, attempting to use medical care as an in for conversion. The Taliban says this was what led insurgents to kill them.
IAM denies this, and they told Reuters that the “accusation is completely baseless; they were not carrying any bibles except maybe their personal bibles. As an organization we are not involved in proselytizing at all.”
While there is no way of telling for sure, it is unlikely that they workers were attempting to mission to the region. While the group is a Christian funded operation, many of the members were non-religious, and the effort was a humanitarian one from the beginning. They have been in the region since 1966.
According to IAM, the twelve workers had been on their way back to Kabul when they were stopped by masked gunmen who killed all but two volunteers, both of the four Afghanistan citizens.
The Taliban’s claim that the killings were religiously motivated are unlikely to have any truth. The groups were obviously foreign, making them a prime target. The discovery of their affiliation probably provided an opportunity to send a warning out on behalf of their radical interpretation of Islam.