08/28/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press, Shoaib Ebadi, an Afghan Christian living in Canada, expressed concern for his family in Afghanistan and the country’s Christian minority.
“They are in a life-threatening situation,” Ebadi told the Winnipeg Free Press. Speaking about his sister, who is a high school principal, Ebadi said, “My sister is frightened. She cries a lot when we talk.”
Executive Director of Square One World Media, Ebadi is part of a ministry that streams Christian programs around the world. Looking at his native country’s fall to the Taliban, he fears for the small number of underground Christians.
“We need to remember them now,” Ebadi said. “I want to help all of the people of Afghanistan, but my heart is with the Christians in that country now.”
Ebadi told the Winnipeg Free Press that he has not heard first-hand reports of Christians being persecuted by the Taliban. However, he has heard that Christians are hiding Bibles and deleting Christian materials from their phones.
“We need to avoid exaggeration and extremes,” Ebadi said about unconfirmed reports of Christians being killed. “That doesn’t help the situation.”
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.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: firstname.lastname@example.org.