Hussain Andaryas said the publicity surrounding the Abdul Rahman case has resulted in a surge of interest in Christianity among Afghans.
Sunday, Afghan officials said that Rahman would likely be released soon while the case against him was examined further. Reports have said variously, that this is due to lack of evidence or doubts about Rahman’s sanity.
Andaryas said he understood from well-placed sources inside Afghanistan that Mr. Rahman is not insane. And of the possibility that Kabul may declare him mentally unfit to stand trial, he said it is simply a matter of politics, a convenient way to “get rid of shame.”
Andaryas runs a collection of Christian websites in Afghanistan's Dari-Persian tongue as well as daily radio programs and a weekly television program.
He is in daily contact with individuals in his homeland, and has been reporting for several years about the risks faced by Afghan Christians -- all converts from Islam and thus considered apostates worthy of death, according to Islamic law (shari'a).
He said the websites normally drew about 300 unique visitors every month, but since the Rahman story emerged had attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The number of emails received also has risen enormously, and 13 people are now tasked with responding to them.
The majority of emails are negative and many are abusive, coming from Muslims who felt that Rahman and other apostates -- including Andaryas himself -- should be severely punished. But there also are many messages of support.
And then there are emails coming from Afghans wanting to know more about Christianity, asking where they can get a Bible in the Dari or Pashto language, or sharing the news that they had become believers in Jesus Christ.
Among the most stirring messages are those from Afghan Muslims marveling about a faith for which a man was willing to die and wanting to study the Bible further.
"I strongly believe God is using this situation for His glory," Andaryas said
"One man's bold step has shaken the world."
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