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Taliban Trap, Terror and Torture
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Henry O Arnold and Ben Peterson
Kabul24:  The Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith in the Face of True Terror (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 2009.  282p.)

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This is the story that gained worldwide attention when an international aid agency's workers were arrested and tortured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, accused of paying people to convert to Christianity and other illegal activities.

Under the Taliban onslaught against this volunteer service agency, food centers and occupational training projects, were destroyed by the rabid Taliban regime, while national governments attempted to gain access to their imprisoned citizens, being held incognito and incommunicado, along with their Afghani Muslim employees and protectors.

Georg Taubman, German Director of Shelter Now International, presents a quiet assurance and persistent appeal to the truth of their innocence and their transparent intentions to serve a needy populace because of their faith in Christ, without coercion or discrimination.

American readers will remember the two American members of the arrested group, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, who were acclaimed as heroes by their nation upon their final release by their Taliban captives.  These two Americans became the focal point of the move against Shelter Now.  This agency has a policy against proselytization, but can express their Christian convictions upon request.

A trap was set when the Taliban regime forced a family to put pressure on Shelter Now members to provide a Bible and show a film of the life of Jesus, not illegal, but contrary to the normal practice of the agency.

Under persistent entreaty from members of the family, to whose home they were invited often, the two American women finally agreed to meet in the home of their Afghan friends for a private showing, which was allowed under then-current Afghan law.  The family turned them in, under threats of reprisal if they refused to betray their foreign Shelter Now contacts.

Protective Muslim Friends
SNI's loyal and protective Afghani friends are admirable in their steadfast defense of their international Christian friends.  The authors are well-known writers and filmmakers who produced the film version of this story under the name Kabul24.  These authors relate the story of the terror experienced by these dedicated Christian volunteers.

The story details the amazing deprivation and torture some of them underwent.  Their strength of character is impressive.  These dedicated servants of the Afghan people displayed a personal integrity and a steadfast faith that enabled them to withstand the pressure.  

All the while they honestly but respectfully defended themselves and their intentions and maintained their total innocence of any crimes against the nation, the people or the faith of Islam.  They demonstrate a deep awareness of and appreciation of Islamic and Afghani custom.  They detail the torture and terrorization they endured under the Taliban, and the violations of Sharia law pursued by the Taliban regime in pursuit of their frame-up of these foreign benevolence volunteers.

The policies and practices of the agency honour the indigenous culture and reflect community-guided strategies to meet felt needs.  Shelter Now seems committed to common cross-cultural principles and indigenized approaches to community service.

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Initial review written 25-29 January 2011
Reviewed on Amazon 31 January 2011
Review posted on OJTR 5 June 2011
Last edited 19 June 2012

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2011 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.

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