In Afghanistan, NGOs Await Ruling on Proselytizing Charges

Formal investigations into the suspension of two church-based aid groups operating in Afghanistan on charges of attempting to convert Muslims is taking longer than usual, a spokesman of the Ministry of Economy said.

“We have sent letters to the Attorney General’s Office [AGO], the Ministry of Interior [MoI] and the National Directorate of Security [NDS] calling on them to complete their investigations as soon as possible,” Sediq Amarkhil, spokesman of the Ministry of Economy, which oversees the operations of non-governmental organizations in the country, told IRIN.

The Afghan government suspended the operations of Church World Service and the Norwegian Church Aid more than a month ago after a private Afghan television channel accused the two organizations of proselytizing, which is punishable by death in the Asian nation.

The National Directorate of Security was looking into 14 cases of proselytizing, two of which involved international NGOs, an official of the directorate said.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.