Skip to comments.Bibles Destroyed in Afghanistan... By U.S. Military
Posted on 05/20/2009 4:04:45 AM PDT by Scanian
On May 4, Al Jazeera English ran a report suggesting that U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan may have been violating anti-proselytizing rules by distributing Dari-and Pashto-language New Testament Bibles.
Central Command General Order No. 1 specifically forbids proselytizing of any faith, religion or practice. The footage came from documentary filmmaker Brian Hughes
The report showed a service from approximately a year ago, with the head U.S. military chaplain in Afghanistan, Lt. Colonel Gary Hensley, talking about the need to spread the Gospel.
"The special forces guys -- they hunt men basically," Hensley said. "We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down. Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business."
In another clip, Sgt. Jon Watt mentions during a Bible study class: "My church collected some money to get Bibles for Afghanistan. They came and sent the money out."
In a discussion about General Order No. 1, Watt says "you can't proselytize, but you can give gifts."
In the extended documentary footage Watt talks about how this worked in Iraq. "I bought a carpet and then I gave the guy a Bible after I conducted my business... The expressions that I got from the people in Iraq [were] just phenomenal, they were hungry for The Word."
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.abcnews.com ...
Note: The following text is a quote:
Officials Reject Allegations of Proselytizing in Afghanistan
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2009 A report broadcast by the Arab news network Al Jazeera about U.S. servicemembers proselytizing in Afghanistan is just plain wrong, Pentagon officials said today.
The Al Jazeera story showed an evangelical religious service on Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and a discussion about distributing Bibles that had been translated into Dari and Pashtu the two major languages of Afghanistan.
American servicemembers are allowed to hold religious services, a Defense Department official speaking on background said. The clip shows one of those services with an American chaplain leading a religious service for American servicemembers. In it, he spoke generically about the evangelical faith. Thats all there was to it.
The chaplain did not urge servicemembers to go among the Afghan people and attempt to gain converts to Christianity, the official said.
In the second instance, a young sergeant received a shipment of Bibles translated into Dari and Pashtu from his church in the United States. The film showed a discussion about the Bibles. What it did not show was the chaplain counseling the young sergeant that distributing the Bibles was against U.S. Central Commands General Order No. 1, the official said. The chaplain confiscated the Bibles. As far as we know, none ever got off base.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen was asked about the incident which happened in May 2008 during a Pentagon news conference today. It certainly is from the United States militarys perspective not our position to ever push any specific kind of religion, period, Mullen said.
There is no indication disciplinary action was taken against the young servicemember. The counseling sufficed, the official said.
General Order No. 1 specifically forbids proselytizing of any faith, religion or practice.
That’s a shame. I can understand the rationale, of course. But still it’s a dam’n shame. The whole lot of ‘em need Christianizing. Or Judazing. The enemy brought religion into this thing and made it an issue.
book burning now?
Words are powerful. The Word much more so.
I’m sure this practice does more for recruiting Taliban than it does recruiting Christians.
That said, why destroy the Bibles?
Why not ship them back?
I remember, and it was formative in my opinion of the Islamic dictatorships, a Lt. Col. having his family Bible taken from his bags during a “Customs” inspection as we arrived at the airport in Riyadh (Religious police). He was technically in violation of a General Order at the time, and I believe him when he said he really didn't think about it since the Bible went with him wherever he went. However, the Bible was seized by the Saudis, not the US Military. He never saw the Bible again. He had kept family dates and genealogy and such in the pages, and he admitted it was not smart for him to bring such an important Bible with him to Saudi Arabia, but it was his “daily reader” and he just always had it with him.
As to the General Order, IMO it was a political and politically correct concession to a Monarch.
I dont think so.