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06/25/2022 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Droves of Christians who fled Afghanistan have sought refuge in Pakistan, seeking to escape the specter of the Taliban, who seized control of the Afghan government in August last year. Christian Solidarity International and two local churches have provided shelter and aid to many Christian refugees near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. They have been helping 400 Afghan refugees at great risk to themselves and their families. The Taliban are still searching for these Christians, and they have followers inside Pakistan who continue to represent a threat. A local Pakistani pastor helping the Christian refugees recently told a Catholic news agency, “Afghan converts along with defense personnel and spokespersons of the former government are on the Taliban’s hit list.”

Because the persecution of Christians in Afghanistan is so severe, aid from organizations like Christian Solidarity International and local churches in Pakistan is critical to these Christians’ survival. It is estimated that more than 10,000 Christians remain in Afghanistan, most of whom are converts to Islam. Despite this fact, a Taliban spokesman told Voice of Asia last month, “There are no Christians in Afghanistan. The Christian minority has never been known or registered here.” This lack of recognition ominously reveals the Taliban’s desire to erase Christianity from Afghanistan. Those seeking refuge in Pakistan are trying to escape this existential threat.

Having successfully crossed into Pakistan, Afghan refugees face many challenges beyond just danger from the Taliban. They lack housing, food, and financial resources. Some 450 Afghan families have been living in a park in Islamabad and protesting for legal status and passage to European nations for months. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 1.3 million Afghan refugees are registered in Pakistan. We pray for the Christians among them who have so far eluded annihilation at the hands of the Taliban.

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