Afghan Christian convert seeks asylum overseas

An Afghan man who faced execution for converting from Islam to Christianity and now faces death threats after his case was dropped has appealed for asylum in another country, the United Nations said. "Mr. Rahman has asked for asylum outside Afghanistan," UN spokesman Adrian Edwards said Monday. "We expect this will be provided by one of the countries interested in a peaceful solution to this case." Hours earlier, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting "Death to Christians!" marched through the northern Afghan Mazar-i-Sharif on Monday to protest the court's decision to toss out the case. Several Muslim clerics have threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he is freed, saying that he is clearly guilty of apostasy and deserves to die. Rahman was arrested last month after police discovered him with a Bible and put him on trial last week for converting 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He had faced the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws.