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02/17/2022 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – Open Doors recently published its World Watch List report on the persecution of Christians, and Afghanistan rose to the top for the first time since the reports were issued. North Korea formally held the No. 1 spot for the worst nation, but life has become more dangerous for Afghan Christians since the Taliban takeover.

The WWL report describes the brutal reality of living under Taliban rule:

“Afghanistan is now the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian. Christian men are facing almost certain death if their faith is discovered. Women and girls may escape death but may be married to young Taliban fighters who want the “spoils of war.” When women and girls are raped, they will be trafficked. The incoming Taliban government gained access to recordings and reports that helped to identify Christians who were often detained in order to identify networks of Christians before being killed. Taliban fighters are actively tracking down Christians from existing intelligence, even going door-to-door to find them. Much of the Christian population has fled to rural regions or refugee camps in neighboring nations – all of which feature in the WWL as countries hostile to Christians.”

Additionally, the horrific yet very successful takeover by the Taliban has inspired Islamic extremists abroad. A section in the WWL report titled, “Emboldened: The ‘Talibanization’ of West Africa and beyond,” suggests that the trend of persecution by Islamic extremists is worsening:

“The fall of Kabul has fueled a new mood of invulnerability among other jihadist groups worldwide. The groups believe that they won’t face serious opposition from the West for their expansionist agendas and are exploiting nations with weak or corrupt governments… Sub-Saharan Africa, already the place where violence against Christians is highest, has faced further steep rises in jihadist violence, with fears that a significant part of the region faces destabilization.”

Despite the Taliban’s attempt to look moderate in their control of Afghanistan, it is obvious that Christians in the country will face death or worse so long as the extremists are in control. Moreover, the global community’s insufficient response to the atrocities in Afghanistan has emboldened Islamic extremist groups as they no longer fear serious retaliation.

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