There was a case like this a few years ago but it is happening again:
I always doubted that Afghanistan was capable of becoming a modern nation. We should have gotten out in 2004 and declared victory. The nation-building project made a little more sense in Iraq which was educated and industrialized. But IF we were going to stay, even if we didn’t impose our own style of government on the Afghans, the very least we should have done was to make sure that girls were allowed to go to school and that people weren’t forced to be Muslims.
The Catholic priest in the story is being careful to say that they are ministering to Christians but not converting Muslims to Christianity directly:
“We bear witness to our faith through our commitment and our lives,” he said.
But the point of bearing witness is to get people to accept Christ. I think that Afghans who had somehow gotten hold of a Bible and observed Christians and desired to convert would be told by such a priest that they may pray to Jesus if they want to, but whether the priest would privately baptize them, hear their confessions, or provide Eucharistic communion would be up to him personally, the Church would neither require nor prohibit him to do it (except if the convert was dying, then he would be required by Canon Law to do it I think). However, in the Catholic Church any Christian may baptize another, it doesn’t have to be done by a priest, so the converts probably would find a way to get themselves baptized.
If we had told the Loya Jirga back in 2003 that those were the minimum conditions under which we would leave (education for girls and freedom to be a non-Muslim) they would have accepted it. Allowing them to put a death penalty for apostasy into their constitution was insane.
Although things have been getting worse in Afghanistan since 2005, Obama will be blamed for “losing Afghanistan” since people remember that the country was pacified for several years and that the big American casualties started in 2009. He will continue to fight in a half-hearted way which is the worst policy in the long run. The recent discovery of enormous mineral deposits in the country means we could hang around and move them away from an opium-based economy if we wanted to, but we’re not ruthless enough, so we will likely end up leaving in disgrace, a Taliban-like group will take over, and enrich itself with billions of dollars in mineral revenues that neighboring countries like China, Iran, or Pakistan would be happy to develop for them. They would never have known about the minerals without our expertise, another example of how we end up giving away all our advantages without getting anything for them.