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Christians are being urged to pray for people in Afghanistan as persecution is likely to rise due to the Taliban takeover. The Taliban has confirmed it has 90% of government buildings under its control in Kabul, with thousands gathered at the city’s international airport in a desperate attempt to flee the country. Christians there already face being killed or imprisoned for their faith. Christian charity Release International (RI) fears persecution will become even worse under the Taliban’s ruling. “Even before the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, the country has been going up the ranks of the most difficult countries in the world to be a Christian. So, if you try to change your faith from being a Muslim to Christian in Afghanistan, that’s apostasy. You can be sentenced to death or imprisoned for doing that,” Release International’s Andrew Boyd told Premier.

A Christian contact of one RI partner described the situation as “dire”. “Christians are telling us how afraid they are. In the areas under Taliban control girls are not allowed to go to school and women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male companion.” The Taliban have pledged to prevent what they see as the westernization of women. Boyd thinks it is actually women who will play a key role in keeping churches alive in the country: “The position of women in Afghanistan has changed substantially. So women have become far more educated. And it’s possible the women may play a significant role in the underground church in the years to come. So the church in Afghanistan is very well placed to function underground under extreme persecution, but they need our prayers,” he said.

Source: Premier Christian News