Military burns Bibles sent to Afghanistan

May 20, 2009 at 10:11 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20 (UPI) -- Unsolicited Bibles a U.S. church sent to Afghanistan were confiscated and burned by the military, a Defense Department spokesman said.

Lt. Col. Mark Wright said the Bibles printed in the two most common Afghan languages were seized on arrival at Bagram Air Base because U.S. military rules forbid troops from proselytizing.

"The decision was made that it was a 'force protection' measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims," Wright told CNN.

He said military officers considered sending the Bibles back to the church but worried the church might turn around and send them to a different organization in Afghanistan.

The situation came to light recently after al-Jazeera aired a video in which a reporter suggested U.S. troops were being encouraged to spread Christianity.

The military did not identify the church that supplied the Bibles.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Mark Wright
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting