Afghanistan (MNN) — Taliban authorities have dissolved Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission, saying it was not necessary. It’s the latest body to be dissolved; The Taliban also got rid of the electoral commission and the ministry of women’s affairs.
How does this environment impact Christians? Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says the Taliban sees anyone who turns from Islam to Christianity as an infidel worthy of death.
But a Christian presence remains in the country. Nettleton says, “I can tell you for sure there are believers left in the country. That is certain. In fact, in most of the provinces, there are still believers in Afghanistan. Certainly, their challenges are great with the Taliban in control of the country.”
Meanwhile, a new report from a U.S. watchdog blamed the withdrawal of American troops as the biggest reason for the Taliban takeover.
In 2020, under the Trump administration, the U.S. first signed an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The Biden administration held to this agreement, announcing a full withdrawal in April 2021.
But Nettleton says it’s important to remember Afghan Christians faced persecution under the U.S.-backed government as well. “The first line of persecution is your dad. It’s your older brother. It’s your own family members who say, ‘Listen, we are a Muslim family. You cannot be anything other than Muslim and be a part of this family.’”
“That’s all been true since 2001, the last time that Afghanistan was on the Countries of Particular Concern list.”
Last month, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) named Afghanistan a Country of Particular Concern with regard to religious freedom.
Ask the Holy Spirit to protect Afghan Christians and change the hearts of those who persecute them.
The header photo shows the U.S. negotiating with the Taliban in 2020. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)