Taliban Hunting For Christians In Afghanistan
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Christians in Afghanistan have reportedly turned off their phones and moved to undisclosed locations amid an ongoing crackdown by the ruling Islamist Taliban group.
Christians received “threatening phone calls,” said Christian advocacy group Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC).
“Reports coming out of the country describe Taliban members going door-to-door looking for American allies, former government workers, human rights activists, and Christian converts,” VOMC told Worthy News.
Among those living in fear are at least dozens of Christians who managed to include their religious affiliation in their national identity before the Taliban takeover.
They changed their cards so future generations wouldn’t have to hide their faith, Worthy News learned. Now their names are known to the Taliban under whose previous years-long rule till 2001 public executions, floggings, and amputations of Christians happened.
Some local church leaders of the estimated several thousand Christians in Afghanistan are counseling their communities to stay inside their homes, Christians said.
FLEEING TO HILLS
Other Christians were reportedly escaping to the hills in an attempt to find safety.
Some Christians on the ground have said they expect to be killed, and some reports say that the Taliban is already conducting targeted killings of Christians and other minorities. Those found with Bible software installed on their mobile phones also face execution.
Christians also fear for the safety of their children. The Taliban reportedly publicized plans to “eradicate the ignorance of irreligion” by taking non-Muslim women and girls as sex slaves and forcing boys to serve as soldiers.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed concern about faith and religious minorities in the Islamic nation.
The USCIRF said in published remarks that Christians and other non-Muslims face “dire consequences, including death if discovered by the Taliban” for openly expressing their faith.
As most Afghan Christian converts abandoned Islam, all Christians are considered “apostates” by the Taliban – a “crime” punishable by death.
The USCIRF stressed that “While religious freedom conditions in the country were poor under the previous government, these conditions have already worsened.”
It added that the conditions “have become dire under the Taliban, and are likely to continue to deteriorate.”
VOMC said it was crucial to “prayerfully uphold the people of Afghanistan as they reside under the repressive regime, asking the Lord to help them walk through this fearful time.”
VOMC stressed it was also urging prayers that Afghanistan’s “Christians will be given the courage to stand strong in their faith, seizing opportunities to reach out to those around them with the Gospel of Christ.”
VOMC said it hopes that “the believers who have fled Afghanistan in search of safety find ways to keep in touch with family members and friends who are still residing within the country.”
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