Chaplains Serve in Afghanistan during Holy Days
The Stars and Stripes recently covered a few chaplains who were busy during the recent holy day celebrations for US troops in Afghanistan:
US Army Chaplain (Col) Mike Charles serves in Kabul, Afghanistan, has deployed four times, and notes the week celebrating Christ’s resurrection is one of the busiest of the year:
Charles must ensure that religious leaders are available for the week’s numerous religious events – from Passover to Easter Sunday – and that troops across all corners of Afghanistan are able to worship appropriately.
That protection of religious exercise involves both going out to the troops, and bringing the troops to them:
Ahead of the religious events, chaplains will be pushed out to regional hubs, Charles said. And soldiers who want to worship will be brought into those hubs from smaller posts.
The movements will involve at least two Orthodox priests, 13 Roman Catholic priests and at least three rabbis.
As an interesting aside, the article notes there are “various translations” of religious texts to serve the many nations in Afghanistan, and there multitudes of religious services every week — including wiccan.
A female chaplain is a rare sight in the military. A female Jewish chaplain? There is only one other in the active-duty Army, she said…
This week, Borshof has hosted two Passover seders at Bagram Airfield, where she is the only rabbi to be stationed long-term. But she said her chief role is to counsel soldiers, no matter their religion.
The article notes the military brought in another Jewish chaplain just to support Passover.
Chaplains in the US military serve a necessary role in protecting the religious freedoms of the troops they serve — no matter where they serve.