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Two Christian aid groups suspended

Afghan authorities suspended two Christian foreign aid groups today on suspicion of proselytising in the strictly Islamic nation and said a follow-up investigation would include whether other groups were trying to convert Muslims.

world Updated: Jun 03, 2010 11:07 IST

Afghan authorities suspended two Christian foreign aid groups today on suspicion of proselytising in the strictly Islamic nation and said a follow-up investigation would include whether other groups were trying to convert Muslims.

US-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid will not be allowed to operate while the allegations, aired yesterday on Afghan television, are investigated, said Mohammad Hashim Mayar, the deputy director of the Afghan government office that oversees nongovernment organisations, known as NGOs.

An investigation commission including officers from the National Security and Interior Ministries had been appointed, he said. Both organisations denied the allegation, and Mayar said officials did not have any evidence of proselytising beyond the television report. "They are investigating whether the groups were proselytising or not," Mayar said. "They will report back and also assess what is the impact of closing these NGOs. The investigation will include whether other groups or individuals are involved."