Probe into U.S. Soldiers ‘Converting’ Afghan Muslims
4 May 09 | AJE
US soldiers in Afghanistan have been filmed with local language Bibles and urged to be “witnesses for Jesus” despite anti-proselytising rules. Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports. (4:25):
A former Afghan prime minister has called for an inquiry after Al Jazeera broadcast footage showing Christian US soldiers appearing to be preparing to try and convert Muslims in Afghanistan.
Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai said there must be a “serious investigation” after military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram were filmed discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country’s main Pashto and Dari languages.
In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility “to be witnesses for him”.
“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,” he says.
“Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That’s what we do, that’s our business.”
Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking officer in the US military, told Al Jazeera he was not aware of the details of the footage but that the US army was not involved in promoting religion.
“From the United States’ military’s perspective, it is not our position to push any specific kind of religion,” he said at a Pentagon briefing in Washington on Monday.
Under the US military code of conduct, armed forces on active duty are prohibited from trying to convert a person’s faith. >>>