Underground ministries in Afghanistan are reportedly losing contact with their networks stuck in the country, which is now under Taliban rule.
According to Mission Network News and International Christian Concern, many Afghan Christians are facing the threat of persecution now that the U.S. military has withdrawn its forces from Afghanistan.
“He was with us for the last few months,” Nehemiah, from FMI, told MNN about a man named Abdar. “He is from Afghanistan, studying in Pakistan, and he said last month that he was going to Afghanistan for evangelism purposes. It’s been more than a week since we have been unable to hear from him. We have lost contact.”
Ministries are reportedly still trying to evacuate at-risk Christians in the country, but some of those ministries have not been able to contact those networks and partners.
Christians in Afghanistan have previously faced persecution and sometimes threats for their faith.
“One man received a letter saying his house now belongs to the Taliban,” Nehemiah told MNN. “He’s a simple man who makes crafts, and his entire savings are in his house. The Taliban will take the property and the assets of Christians.”
Another report said some Christians in hiding have received threatening phone calls or texts which say, “We know where you are and what you are doing.” The Hill reports that many are turning off their cell phones to eliminate any possible tracking the Taliban could do.
According to The Hill, the Taliban may be pursuing known Christians, leading many to flee to the nearby hills to hide out.
Experts estimate there may be between 8,000 to 12,000 Christians in Afghanistan— most of which are converts from Islam. However, leaving Islam is considered extremely shameful and converts sometimes face extreme consequences and “punishments” for conversion.
Under the Taliban, Afghanistan is a Muslim country and non-Muslims must leave Afghanistan or accept second-class status, according to MNN.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Christophe Cerisier
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.