09/01/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – As the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan comes to an end, a long road begins for one of Afghanistan’s most hated religious minority groups–Christians. Regardless of what darkness lies ahead for the church in Afghanistan, it will continue its mission. The international community must stand for those whose right to worship freely will be further stripped by an oppressive Taliban regime.
Unfortunately, the Afghan Christian community is essentially ignored on the international stage. Christians in Afghanistan are mostly converts from Islam and therefore face the harsh reality of being considered apostate by the Taliban. As apostates, they will certainly be persecuted by the Taliban. Still, they will not be forgotten if the church in the West advocates with their governments to ensure that the Taliban continues to receive consistent international pressure.
Many Christians and other minority groups will want to leave Afghanistan now that it is under Taliban rule. Their exit must be allowed to proceed unhindered. The right for all Afghans to travel out of the country must be guaranteed, and the Taliban must be held accountable not to hinder this basic human right.
Groups–including Christians–who will face persecution under Taliban rule must be given special status to enter other countries as refugees and asylum seekers. Many governments are making special accommodations for them already, but more must be done.
“The plight of the Afghan church that remains in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal cannot be overlooked. They need our prayers, and they need our support through advocacy. The church in the West must rise to the occasion and ensure that the church in Afghanistan is supported, encouraged, and assisted,” said Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy for International Christian Concern.
The international press should cover the condition of human rights in Afghanistan and how they will be protected for all Afghans. This includes the freedom of religion—the right to choose your religion and exercise it freely. This may seem far off for present-day Afghanistan, but the work to secure this human right for all Afghans continues.
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