Afghans have burned an effigy of Pope Benedict XVI out of anger over claims charities preached Christianity in the Muslim country.

U.S.—based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid deny spreading Christianity. The government suspended them last week while investigating allegations in an Afghan television report.

More than 1,000 people marched on Tuesday in the northern city of Mazar—e—Sharif, demanding organizations that proselytized in Afghanistan be banned.

The crowd roared approval as protesters doused the effigy of the pope in kerosene and lit it.

They shouted- “Death to America! Long Live Islam!”

Aid workers say the allegations increase the threat to staff already at risk for insurgent attack.

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