Afghanistan Worse than Ever

“Until recently, Afghan professor Ismail Mashal could be found wheeling books around Kabul and passing them out for free in response to the Taliban’s ban on higher education for women and girls. An outspoken critic of the Islamist government, Professor Mashal dramatically quit his job on live TV and tore his diploma to protest the ban on women attending university. But then, on Feb. 2, Mashal was violently beaten by members of the Taliban, arrested and hauled off to an unknown location. Sadly, this incident of repression is just one of many that regularly take place in Afghanistan. In the 18 months since the U.S. withdrawal, the situation in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime continues to disintegrate, delving ever further into the completely brutal and absurd. Under the Taliban’s rule, women and girls have been erased from society. They are not allowed to have jobs or attend school, are forced to wear hijabs and must be accompanied by a male relative in public. They can no longer visit parks in Kabul or go to the gym. Travel has been restricted. Laws protecting women have been abolished and public floggings have returned. Along with women and common sense, Christianity and religious freedom have also been erased. While the Taliban claim no Christians even live in Afghanistan, the actual number of Christians currently living in the country probably numbers in the low thousands. By some measures, the Taliban’s war on Christianity has cooled slightly, but Afghan Christians remain in grave danger. Since leaving Islam is considered punishable by death under the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law, the decision to follow Jesus can have devastating consequences.”

“Afghanistan,” Religion News Service, Mar. 2, 2023