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Afghanistan: Taliban detain NGO staff on charges of promoting Christianity

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 coverage of the persecution of Christians in Afghanistan, see here.

“Taliban detain NGO staff on charges of promoting Christianity in Afghanistan,” by Khudainoor Nasa, The National, September 16, 2023:

The Taliban have detained 18 staff members of an NGO, including a foreigner, on charges of “promoting Christianity in Afghanistan”.

Workers of the International Assessment Mission were all detained “as they were preaching Christianity”, two sources within the Ghor provincial governor’s office told The National.

Abdul Wahid Hamas, a spokesman for the governor, told local Tolo News that those detained for “propagating and promoting Christianity” included “seven women, one of whom is a US national”.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s central spokesman, told The National that they were still “collecting information regarding these detentions” without further explanation.

Afghanistan’s hardline Taliban rulers follow a strict interpretation of Sharia laws.

The IAM said on its website that two Afghan nationals and one international team member working at its office in Ghor province were detained on Sunday, September 3 and that additionally, “15 Afghan national staff members were taken from the same office on Wednesday, September 13”.

The organisation says it had no information on the nature of allegations against its staff.

“Should any charges be lodged against our organisation or any individual staff member, we will independently review any evidence presented,” it added….

Despite facing criticism from the international community and various rights organisations for breaches of human and women’s rights, the Taliban have consistently justified their actions by invoking their interpretation of Sharia.

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