The Taliban’s August takeover of Afghanistan has filled many in the secretive underground Christian church with fear and uncertainty.
“We are telling people to stay in their houses because going out is too dangerous,” a Christian leader in Afghanistan told International Christian Concern. The leader fears that it is just a matter of time before the Taliban targets Christians.
Afghanistan’s Christian community is mostly converts from Islam, ICC notes. Leaving Islam is considered shameful and converts may face dire consequences. Sometimes, they must flee the country or risk being killed. The Taliban considers converts apostates, and therefore subject to Sharia law’s deadliest punishments.
“Some known Christians are already receiving threatening phone calls,” the Christian told ICC. “… Many Christians fear the Taliban will take their children, both girls and boys, like in Nigeria and Syria. The girls will be forced to marry Taliban fighters and the boys will be forced to become soldiers.”
Afghanistan is No. 2 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.