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10/06/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – Reports from Amnesty International claim that they had found evidence of the Taliban murdering thirteen people from the ethnic Hazara community, including a teenage girl. The event took place in August in the province of Daykundi. The Taliban called the report “one-sided” and denied the allegations. The Hazara make up the third-largest ethnic community in Afghanistan and have long faced discrimination and persecution from the predominantly Sunni community.

The report comes at a time when the Taliban are under extreme scrutiny by the international community as it observes how the Taliban will govern and lead the country. This horrendous incident only further delegitimizes the Taliban as their actions continue to run completely contrary to their public statements of respect for human rights and their claims that they would offer a general amnesty to all Afghans. All indications show that Taliban hardliners intend to rule Afghanistan in much the same way as they did in the 1990s.

Christians have been under threat in Afghanistan for many years and continue to face difficult circumstances throughout the country. The Christian community numbers roughly 8,000-12,000 individuals and is mostly made up of converts from Islam, making them apostate in the eyes of the Taliban and subject to deadly punishments under their version of Shariah law.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August as U.S. forces completed their withdrawal from the country. Images of chaos marked the final weeks of the U.S. withdrawal as desperate Afghans tried to escape the country and the coming Taliban rule. Christians are under even greater threat now and continue to face mounting challenges as the new government settles in.

The Taliban’s killing of the thirteen Hazara is a tragedy. Unfortunately, if the Taliban’s downward trend continues, these kinds of targeted killings are likely to become more common.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected]