Persecution in Afghanistan: False and True

Afghan Christians meeting in underground churches.

“UK-based Release International is concerned about false reporting of persecution under the Taliban, which is obscuring the real hardship faced by the Afghan Christians who remain. Such reports have presented images from Iraq of Isis atrocities, and of a protest in Colombia, claimed to have been filmed in Afghanistan. Even a 2009 rumor of missionaries about to be executed in Iraq has been amplified and applied to Afghanistan. ‘Understandably, there is a great deal of fear and rumor,’ says Release International CEO, Paul Robinson. ‘This is why we talk to partners who are working directly with the underground church. Release International partners with SAT-7 Pars, which broadcasts programs via satellite TV into Afghanistan. SAT-7 is hearing directly from its audience about what is happening in that country.’ The executive director of SAT-7 Pars, Panayiotis Keenan, told Release International: ‘Since the Taliban has taken over, we are receiving many messages from Afghanistan that the persecution is getting harder. Afghan Christians are contacting us on a daily basis, describing how difficult the situation is. They are hiding and meeting in secret locations. But winter is coming and that will soon become more and more difficult.’ Pakistan and Iran are the natural escape routes for Afghans fleeing their country. But officially, the Pakistan border is closed to refugees from Afghanistan, and both Pakistan and Iran say they have reached their limit of refugees and asylum seekers. Meanwhile, Turkey has redoubled its efforts to build a wall to keep out refugees from Iran. The UK has pledged to take 20,000 Afghan refugees, with priority given to women, children and those facing persecution.”

“Christians Trapped in Afghanistan,” Release International, Sept. 27, 2021