Lion of God
Lion of God is a portrait by verbal description of an Afghan Mountain Chief who saved John's brother's life three times in the Hindu Kush Mountains just prior to the Russian Invasion of Afghanistan. Assadulah Khan (Lion of God in English), was the type of man who took on Soviet attack helicopters with an antiquated rifle.
John sculpted this piece as a tribute to the first country he lived in, and to the power and true nobility of its people. As well, he sculpted it as a protest to the invasion of 1976.
In the sculpture Lion of God, Assadulah wears a shirt modeled after one that a woman had spent two years embroidering, and lost her sight doing so. This shirt was later presented to John, along with the embroidered sheepskin vest. Assadulah's sword, worn on his back, was modeled from one presented to his father in the 1940s, after being used to behead a rapist.
Assadulah's tribe traced its ancestry back to the guardians of King Solomon's temple. According to tradition, King Solomon taught them the language of hell so they could guard the temple against demons. As a modern day example of the David and Goliath story, the Russians killed over one million men, women and children and caused five million refugees. Yet the Afghans refused to give up. They fought on against far superior weapons and technology, and ultimately defeated and expelled the Soviet "Goliath".