Friday, August 24, 2012

Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer. No...make that Dana Curry and Nicole Barnardhollon

So, is it the Shelter Now International (SNI) assistance organization, Vision for Asia, "Shelter Now Germany" or Free Willy?

Boy, the CIA really botched this launch. Not only do we have fake, agent-infiltrated NGO's wrongfully usurping the good name and reputation of a credible charity, you have the extemporaneous lies of anonymous diplomats covering up for them in the media, plus you have a young Christian hero-hostage starting off bearing an American passport with the name "Nicole Barnardhollon," which, without explanation, switches mid-narrative to "Heather Mercer," and that's before she hits the Church-speaker, ghostwritten tell-all, my-own-personal-not-for-profit foundation circuit.

Really, the Jews should never have lent one of their Protocols to such demonic dimwits from non-denominational Christendom.

Compare two pairs of CNN and AP articles from August 7, 2001. The AP duo was conjoined by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and my Google skills brought the two CNN articles together.

Drawing all this together is a notice at the top of the copyright page of the reprint of their 2002 book Prisoners of Hope, (which should have been titled Purveyors of Dreck,) which states:
The authors wish to clarify that the agency with whom they worked in Afghanistan is Shelter Germany and not Shelter Now International, which is a separate organization.
which is another way of saying the lawyers made us put this in.

But Heather and Dayna! All the newspaper accounts said you worked for Shelter Now International! Given the extremely touchy nature of the topic at hand this is an important detail!

[On edit...]

You know, these two really are cunts, Listen to them brag in a Christianity Today article about their "ministering." What an abuse of power! Never were these indulged American brats in any danger, but those they were proselytizing to, with their "Jesus film," and their Dari Bibles, were in jeopardy of their very lives! Was that risk really worth getting the Christmas story and the Triune across? This is so much deeper than "sin." It is a inhumane, unfeeling pathology and it all ties in together:

July 8, 2002, Christianity Today, Double Jeopardy
"Former Taliban hostages Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer talk about the risks they took, the imprisonment they suffered, and their hopes to return to 'the hardest place on Earth.'" by Stan Guthrie and Wendy Murray Zoba,
Mercer: We met in November 1997 when we were both looking at going on our first short-term trip to Afghanistan in the summer of 1998. Dayna was working in social work. I was still a sophomore in college. We ended up being roommates on that trip. A year later, Dayna moved to Afghanistan. She had already been there almost two years before I showed up. We lived together there because we were both a part of the same team that had been sent out by our local church. We were the only two single girls on the team, so we ended up getting a house together and living in Kabul. Then we started tag-teaming on the ministry side of things as we interacted with Afghans.

August 7, 2001, CNN World, U.S. pressures Taliban to free aid workers,
Posted: 12:49 AM EDT (0449 GMT) By staff and wires,

Afghanistan is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The United States has urged Afghanistan's ruling Taliban to release international aid workers arrested last weekend on charges of spreading Christianity.

The Taliban said Monday the 24 international and Afghan aid workers from the Shelter Now International (SNI) assistance organization were in good condition, but will remain jailed until an investigation is completed.

But in meetings with Taliban officials in Islamabad, capital of neighboring Pakistan, U.S. officials pressed for the release of the aid workers and told the Taliban it expects two American women among those arrested to be treated fairly.

"The message was the United States would not take lightly any harm that would come to an American citizen," a State Department source told CNN.

A Taliban official said that among those held were two Americans, Dana Curry and Nicole Barnardhollon; four Germans, George Taubmann, Margrit Stebnar, Kati Jelinek and Silke Duerrkopf; and two Australians, Peter Bunch and Diana Thomas.

SNI is run in Afghanistan by the German-based Christian relief agency called Vision for Asia. A non-governmental organization supported by a number of Western countries, it has been running relief projects for Afghan refugees in Pakistan for the past 16 years.

The aid workers were arrested on charges of proselytizing, which is considered illegal by the Taliban.

Taliban officers reportedly seized a Bible, two computers, Christian literature translated into the local Dari language, cassettes and musical instruments.

Promoting any religion other than Islam is a crime punishable by death in the 95 percent of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban, an arch-conservative fundamentalist Islamic group.

According to the U.S. State Department official, the group has been known for proselytizing for several years in Afghanistan.

State Department officials told CNN the Consul General from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad had visited the Taliban offices twice in the past few days on the matter, and Taliban officials there promised to continue pressing Kabul for information.

So far, the Taliban have refused to allow anyone to visit the jailed aid workers.

"They are all in good condition," said Salim Haqqani of the Taliban's ministry for promotion of virtue and prevention of vice.

"We have given them three good meals and they are living in a nice room."

A spokesman for Vision for Asia in the United States said his group was concerned about the welfare of their workers and denied that they were proselytizing.

"We happen to be a Christian-based organization, but our purpose for being in Afghanistan is to render assistance to the Afghan people. That has always been our main objective," said Mike Heil of Vision for Asia office in Monroe, Michigan.

"It has been a terrible situation in Afghanistan for some time."

The Taliban says it has statements from Afghans implicating the aid workers.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States has been in touch with Taliban officials in Pakistan to inquire about the Americans, but those officials have received little information from Taliban headquarters in Kabul.

"The Taliban say the detainees are well but have not allowed anyone to contact them," Boucher said, adding the United States is "working to try to secure a swift resolution of these issues."

The United States does not recognize the ruling Taliban militia, but continues unofficial contact with the regime.

Promotion of virtue

Taliban radio said on Sunday the agency's staff were arrested while trying to convert members of an Afghan Muslim family by showing them material about Christianity on a computer.

The Kabul office was later sealed by enforcement officers from the Taliban's ministry for promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, witnesses said.

A ministry spokesman said the investigation would be decided according to Islamic law.

The Taliban said about 60 children, who were allegedly being taught by the Christian workers, had been sent to a correctional facility.

The Associated Press & Reuters contributed to this report.

Afghanistan is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

August 7, 2001, CNN, Taliban strict on Christian arrests, Posted: 10:40 AM EDT (1440 GMT)
by staff and wires

KABUL, Afghanistan --Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have not been swayed by international moves to seek the release of 24 aid agency workers who face the death penalty for promoting Christianity.

Authorities said on Tuesday they had strong evidence to back up the charge that detained Western aid agency workers were involved in converting Afghan Muslims to Christianity.

The United States, Australia and Germany all said they were concerned for four Germans, two Australians and two Americans, and were seeking access to them through diplomatic missions in neighboring Pakistan.

Mohammad Salim Haqqani, Taliban Deputy Minister for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, told Reuters: "We have our concerns too.

"...these people strongly insulted our religion and traditions. The concern shown by foreigners is not justified."

Religious police in Kabul on Sunday arrested eight foreign staff and 16 Afghan workers with Christian relief agency Shelter Now International.

Promoting Christianity is punishable by death under the strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law imposed by the Taliban.

Officials from the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, will travel to the Afghan capital, Kabul, the ministry said in a statement. It didn't elaborate.

The ministry said German officials in Islamabad met Tuesday with their Australian and U.S. counterparts to coordinate efforts to obtain the "immediate release" of the aid workers.

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan also has said it will send a representative to Kabul, the Associated Press reported.

The diplomats were trying to make contact with the prisoners through the Red Cross and United Nations missions in Afghanistan, the ministry said.

Germany's Embassy in Pakistan maintains "close working contacts" with the Taliban on the provision of humanitarian aid, the ministry said. Germany closed its embassy in Kabul in 1989.

In meetings with Taliban officials in Islamabad, U.S. officials pressed for the release of the aid workers and told the Taliban it expects two American women among those arrested to be treated fairly.

"The message was the United States would not take lightly any harm that would come to an American citizen," a State Department source told CNN.

Haqqani said investigations were continuing and the fate of those arrested would be determined by the law and the orders of supreme Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

There has been no indication from Omar whether he will show flexibility and bow to international pressure. One Kabul-based aid worker said she was more concerned for the fate of the 16 Afghans than for the foreigners.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Tuesday rejected charges the Australians had spread Christianity.

"They may be Christian but they are not there to undermine Islam and spread Christianity. They are there to help with problems of poverty in Afghanistan," Downer told reporters in the Australian capital, Canberra, adding he would like Pakistan's help to resolve the issue.

Pakistan, one of only three countries to recognise the hardline regime as Afghanistan's government, appears to have some influence with the Taliban, although the movement ignored appeals from Islamabad and other countries not to destroy ancient Buddha statues this year.

Spokesmen at the U.S. and Australian missions in Islamabad told Reuters they still had no official confirmation of the arrests, but a German embassy spokesman said the German arrests were confirmed.

The U.S.-based SNI said although it did have a presence in Afghanistan, the detainees were working for a German-based group that used SNI's name without permission, a statement that confused the German embassy spokesman.

"The German NGO workers had valid working contracts with the Shelter Now organisation," he said. "So far I have not noticed any rift between the main organisation in Wisconsin and the field offices in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

The Taliban say they have also sent 59 children who were being taught by the arrested workers to a correctional facility, where they would remain until all traces of Christianity were removed.

The official Taliban news sources have said authorities had recovered bibles, and that the arrests were made while the foreign workers were showing an Afghan family material about Christianity on a computer.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

February 4, 2009, Prisoners of Hope: The Story of Our Captivity and Freedom in Afghanistan, by Dayna Curry, Heather Mercer. Random House Digital, Inc., Feb 4, 2009 -

Biography & Autobiography- 320 pages [Stacy Mattingly?]

The authors wish to clarify that the agency with whom they worked in Afghanistan is Shelter Germany and not Shelter Now International, which is a separate organization.

The gripping and inspiring story of two extraordinary women--from their imprisonment by the Taliban to their rescue by U.S. Special Forces.

When Dayna Curry and HeatherMercer arrived in Afghanistan, they had come to help bring a better life and a little hope to some of the poorest and most oppressed people in the world. Within a few months, their lives were thrown into chaos as they became pawns in historic international events. They were arrested by the ruling Taliban government for teaching about Christianity to the people with whom they worked. In the middle of their trial, the events ofSeptember 11, 2001, led to the international war on terrorism, with the Taliban a primary target. While many feared Curry and Mercer could not survive in the midst of war, Americans nonetheless prayed for their safe return, and in November their prayers were answered.

In "Prisoners of Hope," Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer tell the story of their work in Afghanistan, their love for the people they served, their arrest, trial, and imprisonment by the Taliban, and their rescue by U.S. Special Forces. The heart of the book will discuss how two middle-class American women decided to leave the comforts of home in exchange for the opportunity to serve the disadvantaged, and how their faith motivated them and sustained them through the events that followed. Their story is a magnificent narrative of ordinary women caught in extraordinary circumstances as a result of their commitment to serve the poorest and most oppressed women and children in the world. This book will be inspiring to those who seek a purpose greater than themselves. "From the Hardcover edition."

International aid workers arrested by Taliban

AP, August 7, 2001

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - International aid workers kept a low profile Tuesday, as the hardline Islamic Taliban investigated charges that eight jailed foreigners propagated Christianity, a crime punishable by death in Afghanistan.
In the war-ruined capital, Kabul, aid workers said they fear their jobs, often difficult and dangerous as it is, could become even more so if the workers with the Christian-based Shelter Now International are found guilty of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.
The organization's office was sealed and 24 of its workers - including two U.S. citizens, four Germans and two Australians - were arrested last weekend for allegedly showing films on Christianity and distributing religious cassettes to Afghans in an attempt to convert them from Islam.
The Taliban, who espouse a harsh brand of Islam and control about 95 per cent of the country, say two of the foreign aid workers confessed to showing films about their Christian beliefs to Afghan Muslims.
The Taliban also say they confiscated religious material, including cassettes and books, from the office of Shelter Now International, which is run by the German-based Vision for Asia.
The U.S., German and Australian Embassies in neighbouring Pakistan said they were trying to negotiate the release of their nationals. The U.S. Embassy was expected to send a representative to Kabul to talk directly with the Taliban authorities.
"There is very limited information about the reported arrest of the two Americans," said John Kincannon of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.
No one has been allowed to see the arrested workers.
A Taliban official had earlier said that the two U.S. citizens being held were Dana Curry and Nicole Barnardhollon. Their home towns were not immediately available.
In Kabul, other foreign aid workers say they fear all international groups, with the exception of Islamic relief organizations, will be branded proselytizers by Afghans.
"I was very concerned when I got the news," said Thierry Bonnion, head of mission for Medecins sans Frontieres. "I was worried that people would think that all expatriates are proselytizing and engaging in those activities."
The French health organization operates clinics and health-related aid programs throughout the country.
"I think all international aid organizations are concerned," added Tim Mindling, an American and health co-ordinator of International Assistance Mission in Kabul. "It has put us all in the spotlight."
The organization runs eye hospitals in several Afghan cities and employs more than 50 international staff.
In a country ravaged by two decades of war and four years of drought, foreign aid is widely seen as keeping tens of thousands of Afghans alive.
In Kabul, nearly two-thirds of the one million people living here are dependent on international assistance for their survival. The United Nations calls Afghanistan one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
The Taliban say their orders against proselytizing are clear.
In early July, the Taliban sent every international aid organization a letter laying down the dos and don'ts of operating in Afghanistan.
All organizations were told to sign. The letter forbade obscenity, drinking, loud music, proselytizing, eating of pork and distribution of material defaming the Taliban government. It also ordered foreign women not to drive vehicles.
The Taliban's ministry for the protection of virtue and prevention of vice was unrepentant Tuesday for the arrests.
"Other countries are upset about the arrest, but what about us and our religion?" said Salim Haqqani, of the Taliban's ministry for the protection of virtue and prevention of vice. "They (Shelter Now International workers) have shown disrespect for our religion."

Relatives of Jailed Afghans Appeal for Help

AP, August 7, 2001
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - While Western diplomats appeal daily on behalf of eight foreign aid workers arrested for preaching Christianity, the families of Afghans of the same group hear nothing of their jailed relatives and fear the worst.
Armed members of the radical Islamic Taliban militia, meanwhile, closed the offices of two more Christian aid organizations Friday, making no arrests but ordering some 50 mostly American expatriate employees to leave Afghanistan within 72 hours.
The Taliban have allowed International Red Cross officials and Western diplomats to meet the eight foreigners - two American, four German and two Australians - arrested in early August when their German-based Christian organization, Shelter Now International, was shut down.
But access to the imprisoned Afghan workers, who could face death if found guilty of proselytizing or converting to Christianity in this deeply Muslim nation, has been denied.
Twelve-year-old Amjad says he has seen his father only once since the Taliban arrested him outside of the Shelter Now office in Kabul. Amjad says he is too afraid to give his father's name for fear of angering the ruling militia.
"We are so afraid. We don't know what will happen to him. We don't even know if he is OK. My mother cries all the time,'' said Amjad, who works 12 hours a day as an apprentice mechanic in Kabul. ``We want the world to ask about our families."
The Taliban, who control about 95 percent of Afghanistan, initially said 16 Afghan workers with Shelter Now were arrested. Since then other laborers for the organization - such as gardeners, cooks and carpenters - also have been jailed.
"Everyone is talking about the foreigners, but no one is talking about the Afghans, about my brother," said Mohammed Hakim, whose brother worked as a gardener for the organization. "What about us? We are afraid."
The Taliban announced Wednesday that the eight foreign aid workers would be put on trial for preaching Christianity. For foreigners, conviction carries a penalty of jail and expulsion. A senior Taliban official told The Associated Press they will likely be released.
But for the Afghan employees of Shelter Now International the prospects for leniency are grim. The same official said they will get either life in prison or the death penalty. There is a fear among the foreign community here that the jailed Afghans may be made an example of for other Afghans.
The Taliban authorities believe some of the Afghan staff of Shelter Now International converted to Christianity and if not, taught Christian stories to Afghan students attending the organization's schools.
In raids of Shelter Now International offices in Kabul this month the Taliban say they found compact discs promoting Christianity in the local languages, as well as boxes of Bibles and other Christian material translated into Afghanistan's local languages.
The two American women, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, were arrested on Aug.3 at the home of an Afghan family, strictly forbidden under Taliban law. The Taliban say the women were teaching the family about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
"Maybe we had suspicions before about Shelter Now that they were preaching Christianity, but now we have proof," Mullah Mohammed Khaqzar, deputy interior minister, told The Associated Press.
The closures of two more Christian aid organizations - U.S.-based International Assistance Mission and SERVE - on Friday came as little surprise.
Earlier, the Taliban warned that their investigation into alleged proselytizing by Shelter Now had been expanded to include at least three other foreign aid groups. It's not known what evidence the Taliban against the two other organizations.
Armed Taliban members on Friday took over the offices of IAM, which employs about 50 mostly American expatriate workers and runs two eye hospitals and several clinics.
The group came to Afghanistan in 1965 and according to other aid workers has assistance programs throughout the country, including food and home reconstruction projects.
The Taliban also closed SERVE, an international Christian aid organization that provides solar-heated appliances, like ovens. It also runs projects related to shelter and health and employs only one foreign worker in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan more than 20,000 Afghans work for international aid organizations, many in the countryside. In poor Afghanistan, where the average monthly income is barely $4, employment with an international organization is a coveted position.
Privately, international aid workers fear the expulsions, arrests and closure of Western humanitarian aid groups may be an attempt to push international aid groups out of the country or at least reduce their numbers. 

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