Pope Francis questions preparations for US withdrawal from Afghanistan
01/09/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – According to The Jesuit Review, Pope Francis has questioned preparations for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Since the Taliban effectively regained control of the country, scenes of chaotic withdrawal have made headlines.
“The way to negotiate a withdrawal, an exit, from what we see here it seems that – I do not want to judge – all the eventualities were not taken into account,Pope Francis said in an interview with COPE.
Since Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15, Kabul airport has witnessed chaotic and murderous scenes as thousands of Afghans and foreigners attempted to flee Afghanistan. Last Thursday, August 26, ISIS-K attacked the airport and a nearby hotel, killing 13 US soldiers and at least 169 Afghans.
Over the weekend, Pope Francis said he was following the news from Afghanistan “with great concernAnd called on Christians around the world to fast and pray for the situation to deteriorate.
“As Christians, this situation commits us,», Declared Pope Francis. “And for this reason, I call on everyone to intensify prayer and practice fasting, prayer and fasting, prayer and penance. Now is the time to do it.“
With the Taliban’s victory now over, minorities in Afghanistan are preparing for further persecution, including the country’s small and secretive Christian community.
“Some famous Christians are already receiving threatening phone calls,The Christian leader told International Christian Concern (ICC) in the days following the fall of Kabul. “In these phone calls, strangers say, “We are coming for you.”“
While the ICC has not confirmed any targeted killings of Christians, Release International spokesman Andrew Boyd claimed at least one Christian was killed by the Taliban.
“The Taliban have checked the phones to see if there are any Bibles downloaded to their phones,Boyd told GB News.We have a report that at least on Hazara was killed because of it.“
The Christian community in Afghanistan is almost exclusively made up of converts from Islam. Some estimate the Christian population to be between 8,000 and 12,000, making it one of the largest minority religious groups in the country. However, due to extreme persecution, the Christian community remains largely closed and hidden from the public eye.
Their status as converts makes Afghan Christians direct targets of persecution by extremist groups and society in general. In Afghanistan, leaving Islam is considered extremely shameful and converts can face dire consequences if their conversion is discovered.
In many cases, known Christians must flee Afghanistan or risk being killed.
According to the ideology of the Taliban, Afghanistan is a Muslim country and non-Muslims must leave Afghanistan or accept second-class status. For Christians, from converted backgrounds, the Taliban will consider them apostates and subject to the deadliest consequences of Sharia law.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected]