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Afghanistan: Christians Fight to Survive Under the Taliban

Afghanistan under the Taliban does not acknowledge that any citizen of the country is Christian at all. Most of the Christians in Afghanistan therefore keep their faith secret. Conversion from Islam to Christianity is illegal.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Afghanistan, see here.

“Freedom Focus Report: Afghanistan’s Christians Fight to Survive Under the Taliban,” International Christian Concern, July 13, 2023:

07/13/2023 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, religious and civil liberties have rapidly deteriorated under Taliban rule. Under the current regime, former government officials and civil servants, and religious minorities like Christians endure intense governmental and societal pressure and scrutiny. They face regular raids on their homes by the Taliban, frequently receive threats against their jobs and families, and lack access to educational opportunities. 

The Taliban are attempting to cut contact between Afghani citizens and any Western groups and have practically eradicated on-the-ground relief efforts by NGOs. Any group looking to provide long-term relief efforts, such as livelihood relief, must be wary of Taliban spies among their workers. 

The state of religious freedom and Christian tolerance in Afghanistan has not improved since ICC reported Afghanistan as one of the worst places in the world to be a Christian in the 2022 Persecutor of the Year report. The Taliban are working to completely erase Christianity or any religious minority from the country, even stating that there are no Christians in Afghanistan, an obviously false claim. Many Christians have gone underground to avoid being kidnapped by the Taliban “courts.”  

Poverty, Betrayal, and Torture 

The rising starvation rates and increasing poverty in Afghanistan create an even higher security threat to these believers since now the Taliban are offering financial compensation to anyone who reports on Christians. In an interview with Mission News Network, Lana Silk, CEO of USA at Transform Iran, said, “The Taliban are offering money for Afghans to turn in any Christians they know. And Afghans are desperate, further heightening the security risk [to] Christians.” 

Unless ransomed by their families, Christians captured by the “courts” face brutal torture and even death. If redeemed, the survivors and their families, often bankrupt from the exorbitant ransom demands, must flee their homes to avoid repeated kidnappings from the various Taliban gangs.  

Pakistan’s Refugee Crisis 

Because of the persecution, many Christians escape to Pakistan and risk capture and death by the Taliban. Even if they make it to Pakistan, they must conceal their faith for fear of receiving worse treatment in already poor conditions. Some Christian refugees decide to return to Afghanistan, deciding they have a better chance of survival under the Taliban than in Pakistan.  

The Pakistani government, unprepared for the influx of refugees, has begun to crack down on immigration. Many immigrants cannot find work to provide food or rent for themselves and their families….

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