by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Rights groups, including Release International, are warning that the persecution of Christians in Afghanistan will likely intensify now the Taliban have taken power and the US and NATO have withdrawn, Christian Today (CT) reports. The Afghan church had been driven underground by Islamic apostasy laws even before the Taliban takeover, but the situation is now reported to be “dire.”
According to Release, the stunning speed with which the Taliban took over the country will embolden extremists who will seek to attack Christians in their bid to bring Afghanistan under harsh Islamic rule. Christians who worked for the Afghan government set up the US are now living in fear of reprisals, Release has attested.
One Christian contact told Release that: "Our brothers and sisters in Christ are telling us how afraid they are. In the areas that the Taliban now control, girls are not allowed to go to school, and women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male companion."
Release is especially concerned for Christians who are poor and have no means by which to escape: "They will be left behind," the organization said in a statement.
Calling for prayer for Afghanistan Release CEO Paul Robinson said he believes the Gospel may still go forth in the country, particularly with the availability of radio ministry and the internet.
"In places like Afghanistan, the church has had to learn to operate much as the early Church in the Book of Acts – under continual threat of persecution. But today the church is better resourced and equipped to handle that challenge than ever before," Robinson said.