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Campaign Launched to Prevent Deportation of Afghan Christians in Pakistan

This is an urgently needed campaign, as 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.

“Campaign Launched to Prevent Deportation of Afghan Christians in Pakistan,” by AJ Paz, Christianity Daily, December 26, 2022:

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has issued a plea to the UK government to intervene in the case of an Afghan Christian convert facing deportation from Pakistan. The individual, who has sought sanctuary in Pakistan, risks persecution and even death if returned to Afghanistan.

ACN has called on the UK authorities to grant refugee status and protect Afghan Christians from the dangers of deportation. The organization has described the situation as “fatal” and is urging the government to act swiftly on behalf of the individual.

Fears Grow for the Safety and Well-being of Afghan Christians in Pakistan
According to Christian Today, Bashir, an Afghan Christian convert, was forced to flee his homeland after the Taliban killed his father, brother, and uncle, who worked for the Afghan army. Seeking safety, Bashir turned to international charities for help and found sanctuary in Pakistan in December 2021.

However, his Pakistan visa has expired, and he has been denied an extension, leaving him vulnerable to deportation.

The Pakistan government has warned of strict penalties for immigrants who overstay, including a three-year prison sentence and a ban on re-entry. Bashir, who has been forced to beg for survival in Pakistan, now faces the threat of persecution if he is returned to Afghanistan. Advocates are calling on the UK government to grant Bashir refugee status and protect him from the dangers of deportation.

In a report covered by The Guardian, the UK government should be willing to impose sanctions on countries that persecute Christians. The report suggests that such measures could help promote religious freedom and protect the rights of believers around the world. The report’s recommendations came when Christians in many parts of the world face increased persecution, including in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as highlighted in the recent “Persecuted and Forgotten?” report by Aid to the Church in Need. It remains to be seen whether the UK government will adopt these recommendations and take action to address the issue of Christian persecution globally.

The ACN has warned that Bashir faces “near-certain death” and “likely execution given his background” if he is sent back to Afghanistan. Bashir has also feared for his life in Pakistan, stating that converted Christians are not safe. ACN has expressed disappointment with the UK government for not offering Bashir asylum or helping him extend his Pakistan visa or leave the country safely and is calling on the UK government to take action to assist Bashir. ACN’s report on global persecution, published in November, highlighted the danger facing Christians in Pakistan and the fear faced by the few thousand Christians remaining in Afghanistan….

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