Sunday, May 10, 2009

Taliban warn pope on conversion

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 7 (UPI) -- The Taliban told Pope Benedict XVI there will be "serious consequences" if he continues in what the group called efforts to convert Afghans.

The warning appeared Thursday on, a Web site with connections to the Taliban, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. It was a response to footage on the Al Jazeera network that showed U.S. soldiers with Bibles translated into languages used in Afghanistan.

"The Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan asks Pope Benedict XVI to act to stop the foolish and irresponsible actions of the crusaders upsetting the feelings of Muslim rebels, without awaiting the consequences of a severe reaction," the Taliban said.

The group called on religious scholars and other Islamic "circles" in Afghanistan to prevent the preaching of other religions.

After Al Jazeera showed the Bibles, the U.S. military released a statement saying military personnel are banned from religious proselytizing and said the Bibles had been confiscated and destroyed.