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Afghan Christian convert narrowly escapes death penalty.

After pressure from Western nations, a court in Afghanistan has released a citizen it was prosecuting for converting to Christianity.

Abdul Rahman had recently returned to Afghanistan to seek custody of his daughters when relatives reported him to the authorities for possessing a Bible. Rahman was taken into custody and charged with a capital offense under Islamic law that bars citizens from converting to other faiths. If convicted, Rahman could have faced execution.

Western nations decried the Afghan court for its actions and called for Rahman's release. The Washington Post reported that the court let Rahman go in late March after it decided the evidence was lacking. The newspaper said that Rahman made his way to Italy where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi granted him political asylum.

The U.S. Congress also weighed in on the matter, passing a March 29 resolution denouncing the arrest of Rahman as "deplorable and unjust."
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Title Annotation:Abdul Rahman
Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:May 1, 2006
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