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Afghan Christians Face Terrifying Future Under Taliban: 'As Christians We Know There Is Persecution'

(AP Photo/Jafar Khan)
(AP Photo/Jafar Khan)

Widespread chaos has consumed Afghanistan now that the Taliban have gained control of the country, inciting fear among religious minorities, including Christians who are worried about an increase in persecution. 

International Christian Concern (ICC), a non-profit persecution watchdog, recently spoke with an Afghan church leader about the enormous dangers confronting people of faith in the war-torn country.

In a two-part interview with ICC posted to YouTube, the anonymous church leader explained in broken English that the Taliban "has a great number of influence" against people in terms of obtaining information.

"They want to be safe," the church leader explained. "They want to be protected so if they come to my area, 'I will tell them everything that I know so that when the Taliban come then they somehow spare my family. They don't hurt me'."

He said that some Christians cannot even trust their own family members.

"The Taliban come in the area of the mosque, ask how many members of the household are part of that and they take names of all of the people who live there. Places like north of Afghanistan, Taliban control some of the areas, having a beard is compulsory. Taliban come to houses. They ask for food. They ask for money. Some of them are known that they have been Christian," the leader noted. 

And those who do not adhere to the militants demands risk the chance of being killed.

"Definitely, they're going to kill some of the Christians that have been known, and that way they want to spread that fear that we will not tolerate anything against that," the church leader added.

He said the Taliban will also likely take children away from Christian families and turn them into sex slaves and Islamic fighters.

"Definitely for Christians, it's just an obvious thing that they're (Taliban) going to take all of their kids and they have to go through the retraining of that system and marrying the Taliban. And for the boys, they have to go be reeducated in the madrassas and definitely they will be trained as (Taliban) soldiers forcefully." 

He pointed out that the Taliban will also take away Christian women and force many people to convert to Islam.

In part 2 of the interview, the church leader explained that many Christians are dealing with the crisis through prayer. 

"Definitely we trust in the Lord and pray that He is sparing His people," he said. "We believe in God and we believe that as Christians we know there is persecution. Every Muslim background believer like myself that converted to Christianity knows the consequences of conversion. Islam is very clear, for the apostasy it is death. And there is no mercy on those people."

The church leader added, "God has a purpose and a plan. He knows what's best for His children in Afghanistan." 

WATCH: Taliban Will 'Eliminate the Christian Population'

Radical Muslims Across Middle East Celebrate Taliban Takeover

Meanwhile, multiple terrorist groups - some supported by the Republic of Turkey - applauded the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. 

ICC reports that some compared the coup with the fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014.

Abu Maria al-Qahtani, a former Mosul policeman and former commander of Syria's Jahbat al-Nusra, reportedly said, "The victory of the Taliban is a victory for the Muslims, a victory for the Sunnis, a victory for all the oppressed."  

Several mosques in Syria celebrated after the Taliban acquired Kabul on Sunday by reportedly passing out sweets.

Additionally, Turkey was mobilizing terrorists within Syria for deployment into Afghanistan. President Erdogan has even attempted to communicate with the Taliban. 

Last Wednesday, he invited the group to Turkey, saying, "Our relevant institutions are working on it, including talks with the Taliban, and I may also receive the leader of the Taliban. Turkey has nothing that contradicts their beliefs."

Could the Islamic Takeover Spread Back to Iraq?

Many Iraqi Christians are worried that their own country could fall victim to a major security crisis like Afghanistan.

An Iraqi journalist tweeted, "If a similar takeover of state happens in Iraq, it won't be ISIS. It's the PMF (Popular Mobilization Forces), the IRGC-backed (Iranian-backed) groups in particular, that will run down the army and state security apparatus. They're taking notes from the Taliban right now."  

Claire Evans, ICC's Regional Manager, said terrorists feel "empowered" by the Taliban's success in taking over Kabul.

"The atmosphere throughout the Middle East region has changed with the fall of Kabul to the Taliban," she said. "The Middle East had just entered the recovery stages following the defeat of ISIS, an ideology predicated on the genocide of religious minorities. This is potentially a significant turning point for religious freedom across the Middle East. We are watching the Middle Eastern response closely and with great concern."

Please continue to pray for the people of Afghanistan, for them to find strength, wisdom, and peace in His promises.

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