(Liberty Bell) – Afghanistan just got a whole lot more dangerous for Christians now that the Taliban has taken over.
The shocking images of Afghan citizens desperately trying to flee the country any way they can are haunting but the reality is, these people are no longer safe, especially if they profess faith in Jesus Christ.
The Taliban is reportedly killing people they find with copies of the Bible on their mobile devices.
Christian non-profit SAT-7, an organization that broadcasts Christian programs to churches and Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, reported Tuesday that the Taliban is using “spies and informants” to target and hunt down Christians in the country.
“We’re hearing from reliable sources that the Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately,” SAT-7 North America President Dr. Rex Rogers told Religion News Service. “It’s incredibly dangerous right now for Afghans to have anything Christian on their phones. The Taliban have spies and informants everywhere.”
The barbaric nature of the Taliban has caused other Christian non-profits and ministries around the world to issue warnings as well. A contact of one Release International partner said the situation is “dire” in a report on Monday. Release International is an organization that assists persecuted Christians around the world.
“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,” said a Release International representative under anonymity.
According to the 2021 Open Doors’ World Watch List, Afghanistan was already the second most dangerous place for Christians to practice their faith before the Taliban took over. Even the US State Department described the now former Afghan government as extremely hostile to Christians.
Breitbart reports, “In its 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom, the State Department documented widespread death threats against Christians — most commonly from family members — and from officials. Christians in Afghanistan were forced to practice their faith underground and meet with small groups to worship.”
While the US was backing the Afghan government, Christians faced legal persecution for the “crime” of apostacy, which involves the renouncing of Islam for a different faith and was punishable by death, imprisonment or confiscation or property.
Under the Afghan government, anyone who preached another religion was given three days to recant or face punishment.
“According to Sunni Hanafi jurisprudence, which the constitution states shall apply ‘if there is no provision in the constitution or other laws about a case,’ beheading is appropriate for male apostates,” the report states, “while life imprisonment is appropriate for female apostates, unless the individual repents.”
Christians in Afghanistan have already been forced to hide their faith but now that the Taliban has taken over, they are living in fear of being hunted down and murdered.
“Secret believers in Afghanistan are especially vulnerable. Prior to Taliban rule, they already had a very difficult time living out their faith, as they had to keep it secret from their families for fear of being shunned, or worse, killed,” said Brother Samuel, Open Doors Field Director for Asia.
“Now that the Taliban is in power, their vulnerability increases tenfold. It would be almost impossible to be a follower of Jesus in this country,” Brother Samuel continued. “We are monitoring the situation, but this is the time for us to ask God to have mercy not only on His people but on this country as a whole.”
Pray for the Christians in Afghanistan and for the Afghan people now that they are under the cruel and authoritarian rule of the Taliban.
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