Pope’s request for release of Muslim convert to Catholicism

Source: FSSPX News


On March 25, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, head of the Vatican press office, released the request by Benedict XVI addressed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretatry of State, to the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, concerning the sentence of Abdul Rahman. Aged 41 and imprisoned for converting to Christianity 16 years ago, the accused is punishable under Sharia (Islamic law) which stipulates the death penalty for whoever abjures Islam.

 “In a letter dated March 22, it is stated that the pope’s appeal was inspired by a ‘profound human compassion and respect for freedom of conscience and of religion for all people,’” the Vatican Press Office communiqué read. “I am certain, Mr. President, that to abandon the sentence against Mr. Rahman would confer a great honor on the Afghan people and would inspire the admiration of the international community,” it said. “This would thus contribute significantly to our joint mission to promote mutual understanding and respect between the different religions and cultures of the world.”

 On March 28, the Afghan authorities announced the release of Abdul Rahman, on mental health grounds (!), without specifying in which country he had been granted asylum.