10/28/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – United Nations officials have raised alarm regarding the UN’s ability to get enough money into Afghanistan to deliver much needed humanitarian aid for millions of Afghans on the brink of starvation amid the collapsing economy. According to an anonymous official, there is a dire need for a political solution and sanctions relief as well as for governments to free up billions of dollars of Afghan assets that are being held overseas.
The crisis is brought on by the Taliban takeover of the country and the fall of the Western-backed Afghan government, following the withdrawal of United States and allied forces from Afghanistan in August.
Organizations around the world have raised severe concerns about several at-risk communities in Afghanistan who will be targeted by the Taliban regime. Christians are first and foremost the most at-risk community of faith that need extra attention from the international community to safeguard their existence. The community numbers roughly between 8,000 and 12,000 believers, most of them converts from Islam to Christianity. Due to their conversion, the Taliban considers them apostate and subject to death due to their choice to leave Islam.
The Taliban’s extreme interpretation of Islam and Shariah law command harsh punishments for those who do not adhere to this law. Christians were regularly targeted by the Taliban before and after the US invasion as well as in the subsequent weeks and months of the US withdrawal. Many Christians received threatening phone calls and other forms of threats as the Taliban assumed control of the country.
Western governments have done little to help these at-risk populations, with much left to be done. The looming hunger crisis and collapsing economy are existential threats to the Christian community that will likely not be prioritized by the Taliban’s distribution of aid. The United States and other Western countries must ensure that Christians and other religious minorities are not targeted by the Taliban and must hold all foreign aid that may enter the country with strict conditions on the Taliban’s conduct. Human rights must command the agenda of all engagement with the Taliban leadership.
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