Religious Freedom Commission Urges Speedy Evacuation of Afghan Religious Minorities


Although the 2001 US invasion deposed the Taliban’s sharia law, life in Afghanistan for religious minorities has not been easy over the last twenty years.

Before the Taliban returned to power this month, the nation was already ranked second on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List for the worst nations on earth to practice Christianity.

As Kabul toppled to the extremist group, Christians around the world soberly considered how much harder life was going to get for this already severely persecuted minority, as well as other religious minorities highly likely to be targeted by the Taliban.

The bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called on the US government to evacuate these most vulnerable Afghans under the imposing threat of Sharia law.

“While the United States government is working around the clock to evacuate American citizens and Afghans with U.S. affiliations, Afghan religious minorities face extreme risk from the Taliban and must be part of this urgent effort,” USCIRF Commissioner Frederick A. Davie said.

“The reports of the Taliban searching for religious minorities in Afghanistan are deeply troubling,” the group’s chair, Nadine Maenza, said.

The Baptist Standard notes that while many of the country’s religious minorities fled in 1996 when the Taliban first took control, small groups of Christians as well as Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and practitioners of Baha’i remained.

“USCIRF urges the United States government to support minority communities to help them leave and provide expedited processing to a safe location,” Maenza urged.

The group’s 2021 Annual Report, which was released before Afghanistan fell to the Taliban this month, the USCIRF recommended that the US State Department maintain its designation for the terror group as an Entity of Particular Concern “for engaging in systemic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious liberty.”

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