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Please Pray: Stories of Persecution in Afghanistan Include Taliban Letter Targeting Christian Children

pray for afghanistan
FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2021 file photo, Taliban district police chief Shirullah Badri stands in front of a Taliban flag during an interview at his office in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Islamic State in Afghanistan, emerged in 2015 when the group was at it's peak, controlling vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. Now, with the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, IS is poised to usher in another violent phase - except this time it is the Taliban playing the the role of the state. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

Now that American troops are out of Afghanistan, that country no longer dominates daily U.S. headlines. But people who remain there—or who have knowledge about what’s happening—are urging Christians to continue pray for Afghanistan, particularly for safety and peace.

Pray for Afghanistan: Pastor Reports Disturbing Letter

Pastor Josh Manley, who leads an evangelical church in the United Arab Emirates, recently tweeted: “Afghanistan may have fallen out of the news cycle, but you should continue to pray for the Afghan church. This letter (officially translated) passed along from a trusted Afghan brother. Revelation 6:9-11 Come Lord Jesus.”

He shares an image of a threatening document, with names redacted. The notice reads, in part: “You are instructed to present your children [redacted], who have converted from Islam to the obsolete religion of Christianity, to the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate for discussion as soon as possible. You do not have the right to complain about harm to family members or your property.”

Many Groups of People Remain at Risk

When the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August, many Christians and women who weren’t able to flee the country went into hiding. They fear for their lives because of the Taliban’s oppressive history, giving journalists only their first names or pseudonyms.

The groups under threat are wide-ranging, according to reports. For example, Afghanistan’s female athletes are “in a bad situation and in despair and fear,” says the coach of the women’s national volleyball team. The Taliban allegedly beheaded Mahjabin Hakimi, one of the team’s top players, and then posted photos of her body on social media.

Because the Taliban have banned music, singers and musicians also are trying to escape Afghanistan. One tells the BBC the Taliban had been threatening him even before they officially took power.

Female Judges and Lawyers Are Targets Too

Also at risk are female judges and lawyers, especially those who had ruled in favor of women or granted them a divorce. When the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, hundreds of prisoners were set free, and officials’ personal information was compromised. Women who had served in the legal field face “a dark future,” says a former judge on Afghanistan’s Supreme Court, a woman who’s now in a safe house.