Women in burqas enter the Blue Mosque in Mazar-e Sharif (file photo) (epa)
August 2, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Hundreds of Muslim clerics rallied in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif today to demand the expulsion of South Korean Christians taking part in a three-day peace festival, due to run from August 5 to 7.
The clerics accuse the event's organizers, the Seoul-based Institute of Asian Culture and Development, of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.
But the group's Central Asia director, Kang Sung Han, told RFE/RL there is no evangelical agenda and said there will be no preaching during the three-day event.
Kang says the idea is to encourage peaceful interaction between ordinary Afghans and foreigners who respect Afghanistan's religious values and traditions. Two soccer games and a concert with both Afghan and Korean traditional music are planned.
The Institute of Asian Culture and Development has been working in Afghanistan since January of 2002 when it began setting up medical clinics in rural provincial areas.
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