Afghanistan (MNN) — Evacuation flights are underway again after militants stormed the tarmac and shut down Kabul’s airport on Monday. Most embassies are closing amid ongoing turmoil, and diplomats search for the soonest chance to leave.
There are ongoing talks between Taliban and Afghan political leaders and plans for an “inclusive” future, Associated Press reports. Afghanistan’s president fled shortly after the Taliban entered Kabul, leaving behind a power vacuum.
Samuel* of Redemptive Stories says the Taliban’s intent is clear, and it’s not good news for Christians. “Taliban and ISIS have similar roots and similar understandings of theology, based on their particular schools of thought related to Islam,” Samuel says.
“They view themselves as a legitimate government that wants to be the primary voice for Afghanistan.”
The Taliban wants to display a “more moderate” public image, but world leaders have their doubts. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid promised a season of calm in yesterday’s press conference yet worrisome reports poured in.
Has the Taliban changed?
A former U.S. contractor tells Fox News that Taliban fighters are going through neighborhoods looking for those who worked for the U.S. government. Video shows the fighters violently attacking Afghan citizens who tried to reach the airport.
The Taliban declared an “amnesty” and is urging Afghan women to join their government, but some women fear for their lives. Older generations remember how the Taliban treated women – stonings, amputations, and public executions were common.
On Monday, reports from 16 Afghan provinces described women experiencing the same rights violations that occurred under Taliban rule 20 years ago.
“It will be very difficult once they (the Taliban) are rooted because they will begin to bring about their ideology about Islam. Many of the steps that have taken place over the past season will regress, and it will cause lots of ongoing harm,” Samuel says.
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“God allows tragedy to take place and persecution of believers. Then, somehow, someway, God uses that as an amazing incubator to build His Church. We’ve seen that in China,” Samuel says.
“The prayer is that this would be another catalyst God is using in the story of Afghanistan to bring about His glory.”
Header image courtesy of Ekaterina Didkovskaya/Flickr/CC.