Hundreds of Americans were left behind to be under the thumb of the terrorists in the Taliban in Afghanistan last year when Joe Biden pulled American troops out.
And thousands of America-supporting nationals who had worked for Americans for years also were abandoned.
And billions of dollars worth of American war machinery, including attack helicopters and major weapons systems.
But a report just now is revealing Biden’s decision made one more change: it made Afghanistan the hardest place in the world for a person to be a Christian.
The new World Watch List release by OpenDoorsUK explains what happened after Biden’s precipitous decision.
“Shortly after the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in August 2021, we received the following message from an Afghan Christian: ‘The Taliban want their ideology reflected everywhere, and so all signs of color, life and hope have been removed… Memories of the past came rushing back. The Taliban are killing our souls and spirits. They don’t have to shoot us for this to be painful and hard, but they will shoot us. They are killing the souls of our children by taking all that is beautiful away from them.”
The message continued, “They may try to stop us, but I doubt we can stop the movement of beauty and hope that was begun when we gave vulnerable people access to skills… We know you will help us by living the gospel, using your freedom and sharing Jesus with those who have come to your neighborhoods. Please continue to stand with us.”
The ministry organization that monitors persecution of Christians around the globe on an ongoing basis, concluded, “Afghanistan is now an extremely dangerous country in which to be a Christian, taking the top slot from North Korea which has held that dubious honor for the last 20 years.
“This reversal is sadly not a result of North Korea becoming safer for Christians – it has scored higher this year than ever before. But our research reveals that whereas in North Korea Christians will be imprisoned, in Afghanistan they are likely to be executed more swiftly.”
The ministry reported, “And tragically the rise of the Taliban has encouraged other Islamic extremists who now feel they can prevail through persistence. Jihadist violence has increased, taking advantage of corrupt and weakened governments and the apparent lack of international will to promote and protect human rights.”
It pointed out Islamism now is gaining ground in West Africa.
“Perhaps most worrying of all this year is not just a rise in the violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief, but the increasing absence of any regard for human rights at all. Governments are becoming more totalitarian, using technology to oppress Christians and other minorities. China’s model of centralized control of religion is becoming more influential. As they export the ideology and technology of oppression, their model is emulated in countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Malaysia.”
The organization said in Afghanistan now, if men are found to be Christian, they are executed. Women may be left alive but would face a life of slavery.
North Korea, still second on the list of the “most difficult and dangerous countries in the world in which to be a Christian in 2022,” provides “no religious freedom” at all.
“If Christians are discovered, they and their families are deported to labor camps as political criminals or killed on the spot. Gathering with other Christians is therefore almost impossible and must only be attempted in utmost secrecy.”
Somalia, where Christians often are “killed immediately upon discovery,” is third, Libya fourth and Yemen fifth.
Filling out the top 10 were Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran and India.
The Christian Institute pointed out the annual report says “across the 76 worst countries, almost 6,000 Christians were murdered for their faith last year, and more than 360 million Christians continue to experience ‘high,’ ‘very high’ or ‘extreme’ levels of persecution for their faith – a rise of 100 million from just two years ago.”
“Even before this year, it was impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire and violent consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed,” possibly by their family, clan or tribe.
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