08/27/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – Christians around the world are being called to pray for the situation in Afghanistan following the deadly explosions around the Kabul airport on Thursday. Many have expressed their concern over how the deteriorating security situation will affect the evacuation of at-risk Afghans, including Afghan Christians.
On Thursday, August 26, twin blasts hit the Abby Gate and Baron Hotel, a location where US and British forces were stationed to help process thousands of Afghans and others feeling the country. The attack left dozens dead, including US troops, Afghan nationals, and children. ISIS claimed responsibility.
Following the attack, Christians around the world have been called to prayer. Harvest megachurch pastor Greg Laurie told Christian Today he was “praying for Afghans in harm’s way” and was hoping for a “swift and strategic response” from the US government.
“The bombings show the brutality of extremist groups which have no mercy on Afghans, Christians, and others,” Jeff King, President of International Christian Concern (ICC), said. “The chaos in Afghanistan and at the airport caused by the Taliban and allegedly now ISIS has gone from bad to worse.”
The attack has also heightened concerns for the evacuation of Afghan Christians, with ICC reporting the minority community is under “imminent threat” from both the Taliban and ISIS.
Afghanistan’s Christian community is almost exclusively comprised of converts from Islam. Some estimate the Christian population to be between 8,000 and 12,000, making it one of the country’s largest religious minority groups. However, due to extreme persecution, the Christian community remains largely closeted and hidden from the public eye.
Their status as converts makes Afghan Christians direct targets for persecution by both extremist groups and society in general. In Afghanistan, leaving Islam is considered extremely shameful, and converts can face dire consequences if their conversion is discovered.
In many cases, known Christians must flee Afghanistan or risk being killed.
According to the Taliban’s ideology, Afghanistan is a Muslim country, and non-Muslims must leave Afghanistan or accept second-class status. For Christians coming from convert backgrounds, the Taliban will consider them apostate and subject to Sharia’s deadliest consequences.
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