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Christian Woman Could Be Forced To Return To Afghanistan, Despite Facing Death Threats

Taliban in Herat, Afghanistan in 2001. (Bluuurgh, Creative Commons)

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Threatened with death even before the Taliban took power in mid-August, a young Christian woman who fled to India could be forced to return to Afghanistan when her visa expires in a few days, she said.

Esin (name changed for security reasons), 24, fled Afghanistan just before the Taliban took control in mid-August. Risks of danger for converts were so high that she and her mother and brother only three years ago revealed to each other that they had left Islam to become Christians, as they feared violent backlash from other relatives and neighbors.

As Esin faced the greatest threat from Muslim neighbors threatening to kill her, her family managed to get her onto a flight to India in early August, she said. Her mother, brother and younger sister were in hiding in Afghanistan until they made it to another country this week.

In December 2020 Esin was reading the Bible at home when neighbors intruded into the house saying, “We will kill you…You are a Kafir, we cannot stay with you in the same locality,” she said.

“They found me reading the Bible and were shocked to see that,” Esin told Morning Star News.

A few days later, she said, the family found a message on their house gate: “Stop or we will kill you and your family.”

She received several warnings and threats in text messages on her cell phone, including threats of rape if she continued to follow Christ. The threats became especially chilling one day as she was walking to work, when she fled from a man with a knife who threatened to assault her, though she later learned he also tried to attack non-Christians.

In June, she said, her 7-year-old sister came home terrified, saying her friends wouldn’t walk with her to and from school because their parents had told them Esin was not Muslim, and that one day they would kill her. Esin’s mother then said the family must leave the country.

Esin applied for visa for the entire family, but they had only enough money to send her, she said.