An official from the Taliban has defended rule by Islamic Sharia law as the country’s severely persecuted, largely underground church braces for horrific persecution.
“Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security,” Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, the interim Taliban-led government’s chief law enforcer, recently told The Associated Press.
“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” he declared. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”
International Christian Concern notes that Turabi was the Taliban’s Justice Minister and head of the Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice when the group was in control of the country between 1996 and 2005.
His language distinct but unsurprising contrast from the Taliban’s vague promises of a more tolerant, inclusive regime that the terror group issued amid the initial takeover as it was beginning to vie for recognition on the world stage.
ICC says that this terrifying announcement has the nation’s Christians “bracing” for severe persecution.
“According to the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Sharia, Afghan Christians will be viewed as apostates due to their conversions from Islam to Christianity,” they explain. “As apostates, Afghan Christians will be subject to Sharia’s deadliest consequences, including execution.”
The Afghan church is comprised almost entirely of former Muslims who were converted, making the whole of the Christian community in the nation, which was estimated to be between 8,000 and 12,000 ahead of the Taliban takeover, at high risk.
“For Afghan Christians, and other marginalized communities, the Taliban’s brutal and oppressive rule will likely mean increased persecution,” says ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark.
“Afghan Christians are particularly vulnerable due to their backgrounds as converts. Under the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia, Afghan Christians will not be viewed as a religious minority. Instead, they will be treated like criminals if their identities are discovered. The international community must take action to protect and rescue this vulnerable community.”
Friends, we have been following the plight of the Afghan church for months. We cannot cease to pray for them now.
I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:9-10)
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