By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Young Christian women and underaged girls in Afghanistan have appealed for help as they fear being abducted as brides for Islamist Taliban fighters, a Christian broadcaster announced Tuesday.
“(We) are terrified,” 16-year-old Nisha reportedly told satellite and online Christian broadcaster SAT-7 (www.sat7usa.org).
“Everyone is afraid and scared of the Taliban. I cannot take what is happening around me. I’m crying out to God right now — someone, please help us. My family’s situation is very bad,” she was quoted as saying.
SAT-7 said Nisha is among “many desperate people” in Afghanistan using phone apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to ask the Middle East-based broadcaster for prayer and help.
“For [minority] Christians like Nisha living in isolation and in total fear of the Taliban, being able to talk directly in real-time with Christian counselors who speak their language via their phone apps and texting is their lifeline of hope,” stressed Rex Rogers, president of SAT-7 USA.
“The urgency to bring hope and pray with them is intense right now as we hear reports of the Taliban taking young Christian women and girls as child brides,” Rogers added.
HOPE “CUT OFF”
One viewer sent a blunt message: “Our hope is cut off.” Another reportedly wrote: “In (the capital) Kabul, complete fear reigns.”
SAT-7 said that those who’ve come to faith in Christ through the broadcaster’s satellite and online presence in local languages have in most cases never met another Christian in person.
Children watching live shows allegedly asked presenters: “Is Jesus there in the studio with you? Can we meet him?”
While SAT-7 said its broadcasts are “virtually un-censorable and unstoppable,” people take risks watching its programs in Islamist-ruled Afghanistan, Rogers explained.
“It’s dangerous for believers to carry phones because the Taliban check phones and other devices for any evidence of Christianity, such as Bible apps or telltale messages,” he added.
But, still, “viewers are reaching out to the ministry’s Middle East hub,” SAT-7 stressed.
A “frightened father” apparently told the broadcaster: “I came to Christ a year ago. The Kabul [capital] situation is dreadful,” he was quoted as saying.
“My 8-year-old daughter’s life and my life are both in danger. She has no one else except me.”
A widowed Christian mother with two children — including a vulnerable 15-year-old daughter — pleaded: “I don’t know what to do. Please help me and speak to me.”
Separately U.S. officials are looking into reports that in the chaotic evacuation of desperate Afghans from Kabul, older men were admitted together with young girls they claimed as “brides” or otherwise sexually abused.
It also comes amid evidence that militants of the Taliban group ruling Afghanistan already killed or abducted people in the country with ties to the previous U.S.-led coalition forces.
Yet, “many Afghans,” told SAT-7 “of the hope they’ve received” through the free-to-watch Christian programs streamed on their phones or viewed on televisions, said the network.
They even watch in remote mountain areas of Afghanistan, which U.S. troops and allies have recently abandoned.
A viewer named Sargez reportedly said: “I’ve become captivated by the kindness and love in Christianity. A weight has been lifted from me.”
Launched in 1996, Cyprus-based SAT-7 says it airs Christian and educational satellite television and online programs to some 25 million people in the Middle East and North Africa.
SAT-7 broadcasts day and night in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), Dari, and Turkish, using multiple satellite channels and online services.
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