2012-09-03T20:12:24.102-05:00It's been a long, long time since I posted at this blog, but I've been thinking about it. Yes, I know that thinking about it doesn't make it so. I'll try to post some thoughts here on a regular basis, but I'd love your input. Feel free to email your ideas for blogs or even a blog or short piece you've written yourself to me at email@example.com with the subject line "Christians Crawling" or words to that effect. Thank you.This is a meditation I wrote and read aloud at my mother's funeral service, August 12, 2012.Mom , Christmas 2011If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, and have not love--I am nothing but a noisy gong or a clashing cymbal.I wanted to share a few paraphrased passages from I Corinthians 13, also known as "The Love Chapter", today because even though it is often read at weddings, this beautiful piece of scripture is also fitting for funerals--and particularly in regards to celebrating the legacy of my mom, Ann J. Cooper.Mom, as many of you know, was an excellent wordsmith. Without her expertise in grammar and spelling and her editorial input, I don't believe my father's publications would have been half as successful. Mom was even multilingual for a short period of her life as the young daughter of Presbyterian missionaries to Brazil during the 1930s. I can remember how she use to entertain us with a children's tune about a little birdy, all in fluent Portuguese. But I really feel Mom was the most fluent in the most important of all languages, the language of doing, of serving, the language of the heart, the language we call "love".As her dear friends, we all saw her demonstrate this language frequently. She volunteered her love and service at Chopin Hall, Lutheran Social Services; at various other charities over the years; through service as a younger woman with both the Boy and Girl Scouts of America; through serving in various capacities at St. John's and other churches she attended;through befriending students at University of Findlay while working in the library--especially the foreign students; by her support of educational opportunities through the American Association of University Women and by supporting her grandchildren in their college careers. Mom's grammar was the syntax of doing, of serving others selflessly, of encouragement and support without the need of words. Her actions were her words, and time and cancer could not rob her of the language of love.She loved continually and showered it frequently on both close confidants and on perfect strangers alike. In the few short months she live at Primrose Retirement Center, she made friends with staff and residents alike. They loved her funny stories and comments--she made them smile and lightened their workload. When they told us, "We love your mother!" I believe it was heartfelt and not mere words. To the end, she was fluent in the language of the heart, this tongue we call "love".Love is patient and kind; Love is not selfish, nor proud, not jealous or boastful. It doesn't rejoice in wrongs, but rejoices in the right. Perfect love casts out all fear.I will never claim that Mom was "perfect"--she struggled with sin just like the rest of us--but I will admit to you that to me she was a "saint". Now comes the good part of the talk: I'll admit to a dirty little secret that only me and mom shared. Not even my family members are fully aware of this: I am brain damaged. Yes, I know what you are thinking, but here I'm using the English term accurately. I suffered a brain injury probably during birth. I was born about three weeks early, and Mom said that she lost almost all her water by the time she arrived at the hospital. I seemed a normal enough baby with good lungs, and I was sent home in time for Easter, but Mom realized when I became a toddler I was not speaking or understanding words like my older siblings.It was the early 1960s, and the testing we have today wasn't available. Mom told me she didn't know what to do but to love me as I was, and try and help me the best she could. Mom's treatment was through introducing me t[...]
2012-09-03T17:44:16.507-05:00God will be with you wherever you go. --from the book of Numbers
2009-04-04T14:44:57.026-05:00Another month has come and gone—and I didn’t get hardly anything I wanted to get done in March, done. For some reason, I just can’t give up sleeping, eating or taking daily showers. Those sorts of things really cut into your free time, you know—especially the sleeping.
2009-01-31T11:58:55.474-06:00I'm sorry I've let this blog sit idle for so long. I hope to do better in 2009, God willing. I'll be in touch with y'all again soon.
2008-01-18T23:29:09.624-06:00I sing because I'm happy; I sing because I'm free--For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.--C. D. Martin, "His Eye is on the Sparrow"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one ofthem will fall to the ground apart from the will of yourFather. And even the very hairs of your head are allnumbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than manysparrows. --Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)I don't consider myself much of a "bird person," but onoccasion I have tried to help a poor feathered friend or twoin trouble. Our former home in West Texas was surrounded byfour large trees, a rarity and a blessing in that dusty partof the world. Hundreds of birds made their nests in ourtrees, and we were lucky to observe many species over theyears--from the comical red-headed woodpecker and the flashymale cardinal on down to the lowly sparrow and the commonhouse wren. The birds were our pets in a way, and welooked after them the best we could. Several times webrought injured birds to others for mending, and it gave usa good feeling to know we had given them a new lease onlife.We found our share of dead birds, of course, particularlyafter wind and hail storms. One sunny day, however, I hearda loud whack at the front picture window. As Istepped out onto the porch, I immediately surmised what hadhappened: A large, strikingly beautiful yellow-breastedbird which hadn't seen the glass had attempted to swoopthrough what he thought was an open window into our house. Apart from his oddly twisted neck, there wasn't a scratch onthe magnificent creature. My daughters and I gently placedhis body in a shoe box and buried him in our side yardalongside some other birds we had interred previously. We said a short prayer and marked his grave with a plastic heart decoration that had once topped a Valentinecupcake.It is the baby birds, fallen out of the nest too soon tosurvive on their own, which have always given me the mostheartache. Whenever something like this happened,we would frantically call the headmistress of the local Episcopal school, the town's resident bird expert. She is a kind yet practical person who always seemed to give us the same advice: "Place the baby back up in the closest tree which it probably fell from. If the mother can find it and feed it, it will survive. If she can't, then it's going to be eaten by the cats. Either way, it's what God and nature intended." How many times our hearts were broken as we tried to rescuesome poor fallen chick who just wouldn't cooperate. I remember one day my daughters and I constantly placed one ornery fledgling, who was big enough to hop but not fly quite yet, back up in the crook of a tree only to see it leap to the ground moments later. "Look, you stupid bird, we're trying to save you from ourneighbors' cats! Trust me!" I yelled at it, but it was hopeless. Soon dusk fell and we were forced to give up our rescue attempt. The next morning, we could find neither hide nor feather of it. This morning on my walking route I found myself once againin a similar situation. Two newborn birds had fallen out of their nest. I found them in the middle of the sidewalk, and I could hear the mother bird singing frantically for them to come home. They must have been there all night, as they were both too weak to peep. I scooped up the first frail chick and placed it in the tree where I gathered their nest was located, then turned to rescue its sibling. This bird would have none of it. It had just enough strength to flutter off in the direction of a garbage can placed at the curb for trash collection, where it decided to hide itself underneath. The can was heavy and I tried to move it carefully, but I must have crushed the little sparrow underneath. I knew it was dead as I retrieved its still body and placed it at the foot of the tree. Breakfast for the cats. "What God and nature intended," I sighed.This morning the baby bird's death really struck home. I couldn't h[...]
2007-11-25T21:52:42.289-06:00The latest from the Extreme Faith Ministry, Saint Louis...
2007-11-03T23:22:27.948-05:00This is an open invitation. Y'all are invited to my cyber-establishment for Thanksgiving cyber-dinner. We're going to have cyber-turkey (both cyber-white and cyber-dark meat) and cyber-mashed potatoes (fresh--not out of a cyber-packet) and, of course, the traditional cyber-pumpkin pie. Yum, yum! The best thing about a cyber-banquet is the that cyber-calories do not go to your hips, midriff or thighs--in fact, they go nowhere at all. So feel free to pig out at my cyber-party. You can never feel guilty--even when taking that last slice of cyber-pie since your cyber-hostess can easily click on "edit" and hit "copy" at any time...Well, by now I'm sure you've guess I'm being plain silly here. What else is new? You haven't taken my dinner offer seriously I suspect, but I am serious--Why not throw a cyber-Thanksgiving celebration?All right let's start with who's bringing what... How about you in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex bring the potatoes and the rolls, you guys up in the northern section of the country can bring the stuffing--make it cornbread for me if you can, but if you can't, we'll ask our neighbors from Dixie to do the honors. I figured my Southern guests could bring the sweet potato pie and that my Western guests could bring some rattlesnake meat for a little variety. Cranberries? Oh, sure--some of my Massachusetts readers can provides those--right, guys? Pumpkin pie... who's going to bring that? How about we give that particular honor to the Midwesterners. The St. Louisans can bring toasted raviolis and Ted Drewes' frozen custard so others can sample some of the regional cuisine.The best thing about a cyber-celebration is that there's simply no need for advance preparation. Can you tell that my home isn't completely spotless online? Of course not! Can you tell I'm passing out cheap paper plates and not the good china? Not really! Can I tell that you just spilled your iced tea and cranberry sauce onto the light beige carpeting? No way! Entertainment? Heck, the Internet is entertainment enough already, so who needs charades and sing-alongs? You don't even have to worry about us pulling out our family photo albums and boring you for hours with our girls' baby pictures. It's a totally stress-free party. I don't even have to worry about kicking you out before midnight--I'll simply "switch off" and let you wander the worldwide web by yourselves...Stop and think here a minute about how fortunate we are even to be considering throwing a party, cyber or otherwise. Think about how many individuals are eating a warmed-over turkey dinner courtesy of their local Salvation Army or other non-profit organization. We worry about getting our holiday shopping done--others worry about having a roof over their heads come winter. We worry over whether or not to buy a bigger, faster hard drive for our computer--others worry whether or not they should eat or pay on their mounting medical bills. We citizens of cyberspace have a great deal to be thankful for.Let's be honest: As Americans, the idea of giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for the blessings He has bestowed upon us this past year is usually the last thing on our "to-do list." Whenever we hear the phrase "Happy Thanksgiving" we drool thinking about the succulent turkey and spicy dressing we're about to consume. We crave the sheer joy of being able to sleep in on a weekday. We make big plans to head out to the mall to walk off those extra pounds we gained in our gluttony and start our Christmas shopping in earnest. Prayer and thankfulness are the furthermost things from our minds the last weekend in November. The modern manifestation of the holiday really wasn't what George Washington had in mind when he declared the first official Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1789. Neither was it for the Pilgrims. William Bradford and the survivors of the Plymouth Colony were just plain grateful to be standing after a harsh first[...]
2007-09-10T10:33:15.999-05:00You'd think it was the worst thing in the world--dishing out a hot meal for a homeless person living on the streets of downtown Saint Louis. But now that the downtown area is becoming "revitalized" with condo loft apartments, some listed at almost a half million dollars, it seems that the homeless aren't welcomed anymore. And neither are the ministries and groups that occasionally provide them with food, hygeine supplies and clothes.
I must apologize to all of my good friends and family for my illicit behavior. I do not apologize to God. I have officially been called a 'drive by feeder' by the St. Louis city police. Last night while providing food to a group of homeless people a police officer stopped his car and approached our group. He asked how long we intended to be there. He very definitely let us know that "drive by feeding" is being discouraged. We asked whether it is illegal. He had to say No, but that we would be watched. If we were still there after 10 PM we would be arrested for not obeying curfew laws. He followed us to all 4 of the locations we visited. It made the homeless nervous. We only fed 80, half of our normal numbers. Those that did partake advised us that the police patrols have been very heavy and harassing. Over half of the churches that provide this service have not shown up this week. The homeless are making themselves scarce for the time being. They are there and hungry. Just afraid and out of sight. By the way - we passed out our last plate of food at 9:50.
My next T-shirt will read:
I'm a Drive By Feeder
2007-04-03T12:29:29.291-05:00In honor of the seventh anniversary of my dad being in heaven, I resurrected this essay on what Easter is really all about. Have you walked on any graves lately?I've been in a funk lately. In all honesty it's been a rather tough year for me on a personal level. One moment it's New Years Eve and the next it's Easter, the start of spring. Somewhere along the way I celebrated yet another birthday and another wedding anniversary. Somewhere along the way I sold another book and picked up some writing assignments which keep me busy from dawn to dusk. Somewhere along the way I think I lost sight of what is mankind's true reason for being here in the first place. And so I've been doing some reevaluating.Today I'd thought I'd share my take on the "Big Question" or the "Ultimate Question" with you. You know which one I'm talking about--the one satirist Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame wrote extensively about in his book, Life, The Universe and Everything. The ultimate question the deserves an ultimate answer. It being such a large one, where can I begin but with something familiar to me and work my way out. . . As every good novelist knows (please, no comments here from my editors and critiquers) you have to intuitively know how your story is going to turn out before you begin it. Sure most people enjoy "character driven" stories--I know I do-- but the writer must have some idea where the characters are heading to before she or he sets them off on their fictional journey towards it. The romance genre is a perfect example. Somewhere along the line, in spite of all misunderstandings or terrible interventions by other usually well-meaning characters, the hero and the heroine have to discover their true love for each other. Despite what people unfamiliar with the genre think, this doesn't necessarily mean the hero and heroine will end up walking down the aisle together, living together, or even sharing a kiss. All the romance reader wants to know at story's end is whether or not these two people have come to terms with what is in their hearts. Therefore, the romance novel is not so much a "formula story" peopled with cookie-cutter characters and predictable plotting, but a window on an evolving relationship between two individuals. It's the process the protagonists must endure--and not the outcome of it--which is in doubt, and romance fans have come to find great satisfaction in the endless variations on that theme of relationship building.What's all this nonsense about novel writing have to do with the search for the answer to the "ultimate question to life, the universe and everything?" Well, let me tell you in one word--everything. In order for us to know how to live each day of our short existence on this planet it is essential we know where we are going. In other words, we need to focus on the outcome of our journey, and we need to work on our relationship with the One who ultimately will lead us there.To clarify further, I'm not talking about going down to the corner store to pick up some hamburger buns for dinner. I'm talking about where we're all going to wind up sooner or later. To be succinct, allow me to quote a line from a popular science fiction movie, spoken by a famous alien from the planet Vulcan: "How we face death is how we face life." Our life's journey ends in the grave, pure and simple. There's no way around it, so we all must come to grip with this fact. It's the how we deal with this distressing bit of information which separates the women from the girls, the men from the boys, and the humans from the aliens. This is where the relationship bit comes into play.Allow me to digress a moment and tell you a story in order to make my point. My sister Cathy e-mailed me a digital photo of our father's new headstone. It was put in place a little over a month after the funeral, and[...]
2007-03-23T16:25:24.953-05:00This is encouraging news--C.S. Lewis's classic tale of a "minor demon" attempting to pull a young Christian off the straight-and-narrow, The Screwtape Letters, is coming to the big screen next year... Thanks to Walden Media once again (the company that produced the lavish Chronicles of Narnia story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)
2007-03-23T16:18:40.770-05:00http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070226/ap_on_sc/jesus_s_burial;_ylt=AiaqqkVronuLyXqI29hQQGpbbBAFComing to the Discovery Channel, The Lost Tomb of Christ, a documentary by Oscar-winner James Cameron that proposes bone boxes found in 1980 contain the remains of Jesus of Nazareth. The film's claims have been universally panned by academicians and theologians alike.Any bet that this thing is blown up in the press as big as The Da Vinci Code was this past year?What is it with some folks? Why do they try to "destroy" the Gospel. What are they afraid of? That God would send a Savior to the world to save sinful man from hell because man is too weak to save himself?Or do they just follow the bucks and think since The Da Vinci Code flopped this documentary is sure to be a success?Some news on this "new find" comes from respected historian Dr. Paul Maier:Paul L. Maier, Ph.D., Litt.DDepartment of HistoryWestern MichiganUniversityKalamazoo, MIFebruary 25, 2007DearFriends and Readers,Thanks for the profusion of e-mails I've received over the last two days regarding the Talpiot tombs discovery in Jerusalem, a.k.a., "the Jesus Family Tomb" story. Some of you also suggested that "life seemed to be following art" so far as my A Skeleton in God's Closet was concerned. Believe me, this is not the way I wanted my novel to hit the visual media!Alas, this whole affair is just the latest in the long-running media attack on the historical Jesus, which I call "More Junk on Jesus." We all thought it had culminated in that book of falsehoods, The Da Vinci Code. But no: thecaricatures of Christ continue. Please, lose no sleep over the Talpiot"discoveries" for the following reasons, and here are the facts:1) Nothing is new here: scholars have known about the ossuaries ever since March of 1980, so this is old news recycled. The general public learned when the BBC filmed a documentary on them in 1996, and the "findings" tanked again.. James Tabor's book, The Jesus Dynasty, also made a big fuss over the Talpiot tombs more recently, and now James Cameron (The Titanic) and Simcha Jacobovici have climbed aboard the sensationalist bandwagon as well. Another book comes out today, equally as worthless as the previous.2) All the names - Yeshua (Joshua, Jesus), Joseph, Maria, Mariamene, Matia, Judah, and Jose -- are extremely common Jewish names for that time and place, and thus nearly all scholars consider that these names are merely coincidental, as they did from the start. Some scholars dispute that "Yeshua" is even one of the names. One out of four Jewish women atthat time, for example, were named Maria. There are 21 Yeshuas cited byJosephus, the first-century Jewish historian, who were important enough to be recorded by him, with many thousands of others that never made history. The wondrous mathematical odds hyped by Jacobovici that these names must refer to Jesus and his family are simply playing by numbers and lying by statistics.3) There is no reason whatever to equate "Mary Magdalene" with"Mariamene," as Jacobovici claims. And so what if her DNA is different from that of "Yeshua" ? That particular "Mariamme" (as it is usually spelled today) could indeed have been the wife of that particular "Yeshua," who was certainly not Jesus.4) Why in the world would the "Jesus Family" have a burial site inJerusalem, of all places, the very city that crucified Jesus? Galilee was theirhome. In Galilee they could have had such a family plot, not Judea. Besides all of which, church tradition and the earliest Christian historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, are unanimous in reporting that Mary, the mother of Jesus, died in Ephesus, where the apostle John, faithful to his commission from Jesus on the cross, had accompanied her.5) The "Jesus Family" simply could not have afforded the large crypt uncovered at Ta[...]
2006-11-28T15:13:28.576-06:00The latest incident in a long series over the years that proves the ridiculousness of celebrating Christmas without Christ:
2006-09-19T14:28:06.306-05:00Is it surprising? Most Americans believe in God according to this survey:
2006-09-15T11:22:08.756-05:00Muslims express fury over Pope's remarks:
2006-08-18T13:21:54.533-05:00Workers discover chocolate Virgin Mary
2006-08-07T16:42:39.356-05:00Be sure to read this excellent article about Billy Graham. Truly he is a strong witness to the faith Christians profess in Christ.
2006-05-11T12:38:59.946-05:00I was recently asked if I would be willing to serve on a church “action team” to help chart our church’s path for the future. After mulling it over a while, I decided it wasn’t for me.Is it because I’ve never served on a church board or committee before? No, it isn’t. I’ve served on several and have even held an office. Is it because I have something against accepting a “paper pusher” type of position? The answer to that is an unequivocal “yes”. Is it because I’m not an “office-type” with no experience in paper pushing? No, unfortunately I have worked in an office or two in my time. Actually I worked in the epitome of paper pushing quagmires, a state government agency which handled federal funds and human services programs. If you have ever wanted to know what it’s like to drown in paperwork and constantly wonder what, if anything, you have accomplished to help your fellow man during the course of a stressful day, then may I suggest you obtain a government job in the human services field? You won’t be disappointed.But the main reason I’m not all that excited about jumping onto another church board, committee or “action team” (the latest term that means pretty much the same thing) is that I don’t feel the Holy Spirit is telling me to park my hips in a chair at church for several times a month discussing for hours what “actions” the congregation should take.Am I against our church growing and planning and taking action? No, not at all. But I’ve got this gut feeling that when the Holy Spirit says “Act,” he means “Act!” The Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we have to sit down and write up long, detailed business plans with timelines and quantifiable outcomes. Call me insane, but I don’t believe God wrote out an “action plan” when he created the world. He skipped the paperwork, took action and created it. And it was good.Here’s a true story to further explain my viewpoint on this subject:I sat for several years on a church board/committee where we discussed how our small but growing church needed a new sign proclaiming to the community that we were here and that we wanted to share the Good News. The reason we were considering a new sign was that over the years the state highway going through our small town had expanded. Our church’s back parking lot now faced this very busy road. People could access our church via the back parking lot instead of driving around the block to an off street to enter it from the front. The amount of traffic that daily passed by our back parking lot on this active thoroughfare was enormous... What a great way to witness to these folks!But the back of our church didn’t look much like a “church”. The backside contained no stained glass windows or a steeple. It simply was a flat brick wall—perfect for a lighted cross or other sign announcing that this parking lot and building was a church and that we welcomed visitors.So I sat down with my fellow church board members and discussed and researched and telephoned and wrote up “action plans” about how great it would be to have a new sign… We discussed its cost, where the money would come from, how much electricity would be needed to light it, etcetera. We received estimates from local sign makers and discussed what if any city regulations we might need to clear before erecting the sign on our property. We put this issue before the elders, the church council and the voters assembly and got their approval. We wrote up new detailed “action plans” when the old ones had beco[...]
2006-04-25T22:43:01.120-05:00I just got back from a sneak preview of the film “United 93”. It opens in the US this Friday, April 28.
2006-04-12T11:33:59.746-05:00A Serbian Orthodox priest jailed for practicing his faith:
2006-03-29T10:40:24.456-06:00From the Associated Press:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060328/ap_on_re_as/afghan_christian_convertRahman, 41, was released from the high-security Policharki prison on the outskirts of Kabul late Monday, Afghan Justice Minister Mohammed Sarwar Danish told The Associated Press."We released him last night because the prosecutors told us to," he said. "His family was there when he was freed, but I don't know where he was taken."Deputy Attorney-General Mohammed Eshak Aloko said prosecutors had issued a letter calling for Rahman's release because "he was mentally unfit to stand trial." He also said he did not know where Rahman had gone after being released.He said Rahman may be sent overseas for medical treatment.On Monday, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting "Death to Christians!" marched through the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif to protest the court decision Sunday to dismiss the case. Several Muslim clerics threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he is freed, saying that he is clearly guilty of apostasy and deserves to die."Abdul Rahman must be killed. Islam demands it," said senior Cleric Faiez Mohammed, from the nearby northern city of Kunduz. "The Christian foreigners occupying Afghanistan are attacking our religion."Rahman was arrested last month after police discovered him with a Bible during a custody dispute over his two daughters. He was put on trial last week for converting 16 years ago while he was a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He faced the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws.I don't know. I used to be open-minded when it came to Islam being described as a "religion of peace". But then you hear its leaders crying:"Abdul Rahman must be killed. Islam demands it." Islam demands those who don't agree with its basic beliefs to be killed? I'm really confused. If these Afghani clerics are mistaken in what Islam really stands for, why doesn't anyone else in a position of leadership in the Islamic tradition step up and quickly correct these bloodthirsty clerics or simply tell them to hush up?I'm afraid the real reason no one ever steps up to deny these claims is because these outraged Afghani clerics are speaking the truth about Islam... That it does demand death for anyone who doesn't stay within its folds.Many modern day Muslims bring up the past by saying the Christian Crusaders were just as bloodthirsty. Probably. But most in the church didn't agree with the Crusaders' tactics of "convert or die" and Christianity has moved on from those disgraceful practices. After all, Jesus said, "Love your enemy--do good to those who persecute you." Christians have asked for forgiveness from those they've wronged and from God. And they have moved on, confident that they have received it because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross.If Islam is such a "peaceful" religion, then why hasn't it moved on from utilizing these medieval or "Dark Ages" tactics? It seems to be a religion that is evolving backward...becoming darker rather than enlightened. It's transforming out of a "peaceful" religion into a violent, hate-filled, xenophobic religion. So why doesn't anyone in the Islamic world point out this paradox and stop this madness? Could it be because, deep down, this is reality of the Koran? Kill all non-believers, scare your own believers into toeing the line or else...The more these clerics yell for an innocent's man blood, the more I'm r[...]
2006-03-26T18:37:54.310-06:00Abdul is free--for now. But for how long? And will his fellow countrymen kill him for leaving Islam?
In an interview published Sunday by an Italian newspaper, Rahman said his family, including his former wife and two teenage daughters, reported him to authorities.
He stressed that he was fully aware of his choice to convert.
"If I must die, I will die," Rahman told the Rome daily La Repubblica, which did not interview him directly but channeled questions through a human rights worker who visited him in prison.
Rahman said he chose to become a Christian "in small steps" after leaving Afghanistan around 1990. He moved to Peshawar, Pakistan, then Germany and tried to get a visa in Belgium.
"In Peshawar, I worked for a humanitarian organization. They were Catholics," Rahman said. "I started talking to them about religion, I read the Bible, it opened my heart and my mind."
After saying he was ready to die, he told La Repubblica: "Somebody, a long time ago, did it for all of us," in a clear reference to Jesus Christ.
Associated Press correspondent Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed to this report.
Man faces death penalty for becoming Christian
Despite ouster of Taliban by U.S., court still prosecutes ex-Muslim
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
Despite the fact the hardline Taliban regime is no longer in power, an Afghan man faces possible execution for allegedly abandoning his Islamic roots and becoming a Christian.
"Yes that's true, a man has converted to Christianity. He's being tried in one of our courts," Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada told the Middle East Times.
The case centers on Abdul Rahman, believed to be 41, who converted from Islam to Christianity some 16 years ago. His relatives reportedly notified authorities about the conversion.
The constitution in Afghanistan is based on Shariah law, which states any Muslim who rejects his or her religion should be sentenced to death.
"We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law," the judge told the Associated Press. "It is an attack on Islam. ... The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty."
If he indeed is sentenced, Rahman would be the first person punished for leaving Islam since the Taliban was ousted by American-led forces in late 2001, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.
Prosecutor Abdul Wasi says he offered to drop the charges if Rahman made the switch back to Islam, but the defendant is maintaining his Christian beliefs. The judge is expected to rule within two months.