The Taliban are conducting door-to-door searches for Christians and other minority groups. If they find any believers, they slaughter them on the spot.
The situation for the Christian community in Afghanistan has taken a turn for the worse since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021. Believers face regular threats from the Taliban and from the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), and are forced to practice their faith in hiding. If found, they face the death penalty right away.
Gulshan (name changed for security purposes) is a Christian woman and secret believer, whose relatives have been killed and her neighbours disappeared. They are at risk of starvation, as a result of food shortages in the country.
According to Gulshan “It is our great desire to join with our brothers and sisters and worship God together, but now this is not possible. We can only meet our pastor in the dead of night, so no one can identify him or us”.
Religious conversions usually influence the whole family. It is seldom for a woman to convert to Christianity on her own, mainly because of the grim consequences. If discovered, she will face violence, house arrest, forced marriage or sexual abuse. Women and girls have been painfully discriminated under strict Sharia law.
Male converts can face kidnap, harassment, repudiation, violence and death. Christian men are often forced to take menial jobs to avoid unwanted attention.
Thousands of Afghan refugees live in impoverished camps in countries bordering Afghanistan. There are many Christians among them.
Despite the country dropping from the first most dangerous place to ninth, Afghan Christians remain in grave danger, as leaving Islam is considered punishable by death under Islamic law.