As extreme Islamic rule returns to Afghanistan, members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) are sounding the alarm on religious persecution to restore peace and equal rights for religious minorities.
Tuesday, USCIRF held a webinar, updating the world on at-risk religious communities in Afghanistan, while the Taliban and ISIS fight for control of the region.
Since the Taliban took control in August, Afghanistan's economy is on the brink of collapse, women's freedoms have been stripped, and people of faith, especially Christians, fear the worst is yet to come.
USCIRF hopes world leaders will use the worsening economy and the Taliban's political desires as bargaining chips to protect religious minorities.
Members of USCIRF confirmed peace and stability have been silenced by violence, including targeted kidnappings and destruction at places of worship.
The most recent was an October bombing at a mosque where five people were killed. Two weeks ago, the Taliban's head of police announced executions and amputations would resume.
The Afghan government operates as the Sunni Islamic Republic, which pressures citizens to adhere to Muslim traditions.
That leaves a sliver of the population such as Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and Baha'i living in constant fear of the Taliban's harsh punishment, simply for believing otherwise.
USCIRF says Afghanistan's religious minorities are nearly extinct, noting the last Jew fled the country in September.