'We Are Coming for You': Afghanistan's Christians Continue to Call for Prayers Amid Reports of Taliban Persecution
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Afghanistan's Christian community is in urgent need of prayer as many try to flee the country following the Taliban's stunning takeover of the country last week.
Life under Taliban rule would be extremely difficult for Christians and new reports of persecution against believers have already emerged, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Beatings, torture, and kidnappings are common for Christians in Afghanistan - some are even martyred. Those who convert from Islam to Christianity are often murdered by their own family members or other Muslims.
"We are telling people to stay in their houses because going out now is too dangerous," an Afghan Christian leader told ICC. "Some known Christians are already receiving threatening phone calls. In these phone calls, unknown people say, 'We are coming for you.'"
Release International's spokesman, Andrew Boyd, says at least one Christian has been killed by Taliban fighters, including a Hazara.
"The Taliban have been checking phones to check if there are any Bibles downloaded onto their phones," Boyd said. "We have a report that at least on Hazara has been killed as a result of this."
According to The Times of London, Taliban fighters have been going house to house in search of anyone who may have cooperated with Western forces "and were threatening to kill or harm their relatives if they do not surrender."
Rex Rogers of SAT-7 USA, a satellite TV ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, says the situation is "dire."
"We've seen the Taliban in the past, we know what they do," he added. "We may not know why things that happened to us, or in the world, but we know the God who knows why. We trust the sovereign God of the universe, who's also our Heavenly Father."
Some Afghan Christians are communicating with SAT-7 on social media, while others call in asking for prayer.
"They are connecting; our Dari-speaking Christian counselors are responding to them as best they can. Sometimes they're asking us for information and help, [asking questions like] 'How do I get out of here?'," Rogers explained.
It is estimated that there are 10,000 and 12,000 Christians in Afghanistan but they remain in hiding due to fear of persecution. Over 99 percent of the country is comprised of Muslims, with the majority being Sunni.
Leaving Islam is considered shameful and Christian converts face grave consequences if their new faith is discovered.
"It's an uncertain situation for the whole country, not just for secret believers," read a statement from the field director of Open Doors in Asia.
Afghanistan is ranked second on Open Doors' 2021 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.
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