US troops told ‘to be witnesses’ for Christ in Afghanistan

22
684

jesustroopsBy David Edwards and Ron Brynaert

A video broadcast on Al Jazeera shows US troops stationed in Afghanistan being advised by a chaplain ‘to be witnesses’ for Christ.

“The U.S. military denied Monday it has allowed soldiers to try to convert Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with bibles translated into local languages,” Reuters reports.

More from Reuters:

General Order Number 1 from the U.S. military’s Central Command forbids active duty troops — including all those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan — from trying to convert people to their religion, considered a crime in many Muslim countries.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed footage of a church service at Bagram, the main U.S. base north of the Afghan capital Kabul, in which soldiers had a stack of bibles in the local languages, Pashtu and Dari.

     

 

A military chaplain was shown delivering a sermon to other soldiers, saying: “The special forces guys — they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down.”

But a U.S. military spokeswoman, Major Jennifer Willis, said the comments from the sermon were taken out of context and chaplains were told to make clear to soldiers that they could not proselytize while serving.

She said the bibles had been mailed to a soldier by a church back home in the United States and were never distributed “as far as we know.”

From the Al Jazeera report:

The footage, shot about a year ago by Brian Hughes, a documentary maker and former member of the US military who spent several days in Bagram near Kabul, was obtained by Al Jazeera’s James Bays, who has covered Afghanistan extensively.

In other footage captured at Bagram, Sergeant Jon Watt, a soldier set to become a military chaplain, said during a Bible study class: “I also want to praise God because my church collected some money to get bibles for Afghanistan. They came and sent the money out.”

It is not clear that the Bibles were distributed to Afghans, but Hughes said that none of the people he recorded in a series of sermons and Bible study classes appeared to able to speak Pashto or Dari.

Hughes said: “The only reason they would have these documents there was to distribute them to the Afghan people and I knew it was wrong, and I knew that filming it … documenting it would be important.”

At The Huffington Post, author Jeremy Scahill notes that “the center of this evangelical operation is at the huge US base at Bagram, one of the main sites used by the US military to torture and indefinitely detain prisoners.”

Scahill adds, “This is certainly not the first scandal where US military forces or officials have been caught on tape promoting an evangelical Christian agenda. Perhaps the most high-profile case involved Lieut. Gen. William Boykin, who was a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Bush. Boykin was part of Donald Rumsfeld’s inner circle at the Pentagon where he was placed in charge of hunting ‘high-value targets.’ Boykin was one of the key U.S. officials in establishing what critics alleged was death-squad-type activity in Iraq.”

ATTENTION READERS

We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.
Previous articleAn invention that could change the internet for ever
Next articleA Salute to America's Military Mothers