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11/09/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – In the aftermath of a catastrophic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the interruption of foreign aid, which supported nearly 80% of the Afghan economy, Afghanistan is nearing a complete economic disaster. With rising food prices on basic items like cooking oil, over half of the population faces a severe threat of hunger. The Taliban is attempting to attract aid from the international community in an effort to stabilize a country in freefall. Even neighboring Pakistan is making outreaches on behalf of the Taliban, arguing that while the newly appointed hardline government is not perfect, it is what the world must work with to help the suffering people of Afghanistan.

The world remains skeptical of working with the Taliban as they observe the internal collapse of fundamental human rights, such as women’s rights and religious freedom. Religious minorities continue to live in fear for their lives, knowing that an oppressive regime that targeted them historically is now in charge again.

Christians have been severely persecuted by the Taliban and face possible death due to their decisions to leave Islam and follow Jesus. Such conversion is punishable by death under the extreme dictates of the Taliban’s version of Islam. This interpretation of Sharia law also includes other brutal punishments, such as the cutting off of hands for thievery and public stoning.

With severe hunger on the rise, religious minorities are faced with what seems like an insurmountable situation and an increasingly bleak future.

“The West must not let up on keeping the Taliban accountable in supporting all human rights for all Afghans,” said Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy for International Christian Concern. “There is no future for Afghanistan without the guarantees of human rights for all Afghans.”

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