Christians in Afghanistan face “new phase” of crisis after loing contact with US ministries
Christian ministries have lost contact with numerous partners in Afghanistan as the embattled country enters a “new phase” of the crisis sparked by the Taliban takeover, the head of a U.S.-based ministry has said.
William Stark, International Christian Concern’s regional manager for South Asia, told The Christian Post that when the Taliban took control of much of Afghanistan following the drawing down of U.S. troops in August, many ministries working with the country’s underground church worked tirelessly to evacuate at-risk Christians.
Now, as Christians trapped in the country face an uncertain future, many have gone silent, desperately seeking to avoid the probing eyes of the Taliban. “Christians are now in hiding because of active threats against their community,” Stark said.
He shared stories of how Christians continue to face threats from members of the Taliban. In one situation, an Islamic extremist threatened to kidnap a Christian man’s daughters and marry them off to members of the Taliban. In another, a Christian man received a letter from the Taliban saying his house belonged to them. Christians have also been warned to refrain from gathering.
“Even within the networks that we have, a number of people have changed their phone numbers because it’s simply not safe anymore,” Stark said. “Their work to lie low in the country makes it hard for someone on the outside to stay in contact.”