Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Afghan Women Cry for Freedom

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Afghan Women Cry for Freedom

Article excerpt

Recently, the print edition of The Times (London) had this moving front-page headline: "Afghan women dare to challenge sex slavery law" (April 16). Underneath was a photograph of women holding banners, written in Farsi: "We want law, but a democratic one."

As a woman raised in Iran now living in Britain, I want to support my sisters in Afghanistan. I'm so grateful that we live in a time of instant communication, able to be aware immediately of what goes on in other parts of the world. We can respond by praying for one another, and in this way reach out to our brothers and sisters everywhere.

These Afghan women have realized that freedom is everyone's God- given right. The Bible's message supports the thought that men and women everywhere are entitled to be governed by just laws that respect this right. Unjust laws that essentially enslave people need to be challenged.

Slavery has a long history in many cultures. The story of Hagar in the Bible is a typical example. She was an Egyptian slave to Abraham and Sarah when they left Egypt. She became Sarah's maidservant - a position that carried some importance in the household.

Since Sarah up to that point hadn't been able to conceive, she offered Hagar to her husband as a wife. When Hagar conceived and gave birth to a son, she was less willing to be subservient. Sarah was jealous, and the relationship between the two women wasn't a happy one. Later, after Sarah had given birth to her own son, she demanded that Abraham send Hagar into the desert with her child.

That might have been the end of the story. But Hagar's case is proof that God does hear cries for help. When their water ran out, she put the boy under a bush and turned away, not wanting to see him die. The Bible's account goes on, "God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? …

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