10/21/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Christianity Daily, Afghanistan is on the brink of humanitarian collapse following the country’s fall to the Taliban in August. Without significant international aid, experts estimate at least 14 million Afghans are at risk of acute food insecurity.
On August 15, the Taliban entered Kabul in a lightning-fast victory over the former government’s forces. In September, the group formed an interim government filled with religious hardliners from the Taliban’s oppressive rule in the 1990s.
“We will have a humanitarian catastrophe,” Omar Abdi, Deputy Executive Director of Programs at UNICEF, warned earlier this month. “There are millions of people who are going to starve. And there is winter coming, there is COVID raging, and the whole social system collapsed.”
Abdi warned that there are food and medical shortages in Afghanistan in addition to a fuel shortage. A recent survey conducted by the World Food Program revealed that an estimated 95% of households in Afghanistan are failing to consume enough food to survive, with parents often skipping meals to keep their children fed.
Unfortunately, the Taliban government seems more concerned with enforcing its harsh rule than staving off the oncoming humanitarian disaster. According to a report by Amnesty International, the Taliban has engaged in a broad and brutal crackdown seeking to settle old scores and stamp our any opposition.
“The current situation in Afghanistan is a moment of reckoning,” Amnesty International reported in September. “A moment where the human rights gains that the Afghan people have built over two decades is at risk of collapse.”
“This is not just some sort of narrow settling of scores with political or armed enemies,” Daniel Balson, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia, told NBC. “This is quite broad. Anybody who is seen to be potentially not entirely in accord with this new order has a target on their backs.”
Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan, Afghan Christians have been under direct threat of persecution.
“Some known Christians are already receiving threatening phone calls,” an Afghan Christian leader told ICC days after the Taliban entered Kabul. “In these phone calls, unknown people say, ‘We are coming for you’.”
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. Their status as converts, however, makes Afghan Christians direct targets for persecution.
According to the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Shariah, Afghan Christians are apostates due to their conversions from Islam. As apostates, Afghan Christians will be subject to Shariah’s deadliest consequences under the Taliban’s rule.
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