Christian convert faces execution in Afghanistan

KABUL -- An Afghan man faces the death penalty for converting to Christianity, an Afghan supreme court judge said on Sunday.

Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said that Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity, is in police custody and that he could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.

Abdul Rahman was detained two weeks ago after his relatives reported to the police about his conversion which is forbidden under Islamic Sharia law.

"Yes that's true, a man has converted to Christianity. He's being tried in one of our courts," Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said, adding that his trial began early last week.

He said the man could face the death penalty if he refused to revert to Islam as Sharia law proposes capital punishment for any Muslim who converts to another religion. Afghanistan's constitution states: "No law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam."

If sentenced, the man will be the first to be punished for conversion since the ouster of the Taliban who introduced and implemented tough Sharia law.

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