01/03/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – As Afghanistan tries desperately to climb out of an economic disaster resulting in widespread hunger, some Afghans are choosing to sell their children in hopes of feeding the rest of their families.
The country’s economy was on a downward trend before the chaotic withdrawal of the United States and NATO forces in early August 2021 and has continued to plummet following the Taliban’s seizure of power. The economy was heavily dependent on foreign aid and never reached a point of self-sufficiency. The U.S. and NATO withdrawal pushed the fledgling economy to a further nosedive which triggered a drastic price surge and an ongoing hunger crisis. In the absence of effective and internationally credible leadership in Afghanistan, the situation will require a strategic response from the international community to support Afghanistan’s most vulnerable. Aid is only a small part of the solution, but other components, such as the evacuation of the most vulnerable, must be a significant part of the overall response.
Christians and other religious minorities have faced increasing discrimination, threats, and other forms of oppression since the allied withdrawal. Reports of threatening calls and letters received by leaders within the underground church have become a common occurrence. Christians are considered a ‘community of criminals’ by the Taliban due to their conversion to Christianity. Christians in Afghanistan are all converts from Islam, making them apostate in the eyes of the Taliban and violators of Islam, subject to Shariah’s deadliest consequences.
Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy at International Christian Concern, said, “The United States and the international community cannot ignore the Afghanistan situation and must develop a multilayered and strategic approach to supporting the people of Afghanistan, especially those most at risk of retribution from the Taliban.”
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