Taliban Forces Claim Victory in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley
09/07/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Al Jazeera, the last pocket of resistance to Taliban rule in Afghanistan fell to Taliban fighters on Monday, September 6. Despite the claim of victory by the Taliban, the leader of the resistance forces did not concede defeat.
On August 15, Taliban fighters entered Kabul in a lightning-fast victory over the former government’s security forces. With the Taliban in effective control of the country, some resistance forces, led by Ahmed Massoud, fled to the Panjshir Valley.
In the weeks that followed, the Taliban focused its military forces on defeating the resistance in the Panjshir Valley as US-led forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“With this victory, our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman said. “Anyone who tries to start an insurgency will be hit hard. We will not allow another.”
The Taliban published videos of their flag being raised over the governor’s house in Panjshir as proof of their victory. However, resistance leader Ahmed Massoud took to twitter to counter the Taliban’s claim.
“We are in the Panjshir and our resistance will continue,” Massoud tweeted. Al Jazeera reports that Massoud said he was safe but gave no details on his whereabouts.
With the Taliban in complete control of Afghanistan, many minorities are bracing for increased persecution. This includes Afghanistan’s small and secretive Christian minority.
While International Christian Concern has not confirmed any targeted killings of Christians, Release International’s spokesman, Andrew Boyd, claimed at least one Christian has been killed by the Taliban.
“The Taliban have been checking phones to check if there are any bibles downloaded onto their phones,” Boyd told GB News. “We have a report that at least one Hazara has been killed as a result of this.”
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 Shariah’s deadliest consequences.
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