Not a single public Christian church left in Afghanistan

Well, this is all going rather well isn’t it folks. Apparently the only places of Christian worship are now on military bases:

There is not a single, public Christian church left in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. State Department.

This reflects the state of religious freedom in that country ten years after the United States first invaded it and overthrew its Islamist Taliban regime.

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In recent times, freedom of religion has declined in Afghanistan, according to the State Department.

“The government’s level of respect for religious freedom in law and in practice declined during the reporting period, particularly for Christian groups and individuals,” reads the State Department report.

“Negative societal opinions and suspicion of Christian activities led to targeting of Christian groups and individuals, including Muslim converts to Christianity,” said the report. ”The lack of government responsiveness and protection for these groups and individuals contributed to the deterioration of religious freedom.”

Most Christians in the country refuse to “state their beliefs or gather openly to worship,” said the State Department.

….read all

Is there possibly a pattern emerging? We invade a country and the Christian population flees or goes underground? Could there be a correlation perhaps?

3 comments on this post.
  1. Tim:

    Perhaps Richard Dawkins is secretly working over there. Os course! That would also explain why he can’t get to the debates this month!

  2. Deb:

    I lived in Kandahar in 1966-1969 and Afghans were not allowed to convert to the Christian faith, full stop. If word got out that they had converted then they or an elderly family member were arrested and imprisoned, where limb torture was applied until the infidel faith was rejected.

    Foreign expats were allowed to worship freely within our own communities. At the time, there was my family (we were American protestant), two American families who were LDS (Mormon) and a devout group of Filipino and Vietnamese Catholics. My family worshipped in our home within the USAID compound, then drove out to Kandahar International Airport, where the families who were Catholic lived, with a casserole or a pudding, and joined them for their mass and a meal afterwards. On the Sundays where the circuit priest from Kabul travelled the long journey down to Kandahar (he was the only Catholic priest in Afghanistan we even knew about), his man-servant attended with him. This servant was an employee of the Afghan government and was there specifically to make sure none of the Afghan houseboys, gardeners, cooks, etc., were anywhere within earshot of the mass. This priest also supplied mass for the small expat community in Lashkar Gah (Helmand Province). There was an American family who lived in our tiny American expat community in Kandahar, supposedly there working for an NGO, but we all knew the father was a protestant evangelical missionary. Eventually the Afghans found out and they had to leave the country immediately. In my father’s instructions from the US State Department, and in keeping with American Embassy rules, under no circumstances was ‘proselytising’ to Afghan locals allowed by foreign expats.

    Until 11 September 2001, most Christians in the Western World did not even have Afghanistan or Afghans on their radar. They knew very little about the Afghans, their culture, languages, etc. They cared not one iota until it became the socially trendy and oh-so-self-righteous thing to do. They cherry-picked the trendy bits for political gain (like women wearing burqas) before they understood the cultural needs or traditions. They lumped all Afghans into one pot, not understanding the differences between Sunni or Shiite, the true state of education for male/female children, the tribal traditions, etc. I find it a bit rich now that there is all of a sudden this concern about a loss of Christian Afghan believers in the country. Westerners have been extremely naïve and incompetent in their knowledge of exactly what daily life for the average Afghan is like. They think by superimposing the Western principles and practices of freedom, community infrastructure, government, health and education they will make life for Afghans better. And that they will convert to Christianity in a heartbeat.

    Get real. The West and, together with our military and political leaders, not to mention our media and reporters who have biased agendas, have not helped the cause of Christ one bit. It certainly has not helped to have Christians in the Western World display rampant, hateful bigotry towards the Muslims in their own neighbourhoods. If you can’t show love and respect for them at home, you will never win them over for Christ elsewhere.

    The Afghans are wonderful people and deserve so much more than the money our governments have wasted towards the misguided efforts over the past 10 years (or 40 years, from my perspective). And we Christians in the West have much yet to learn…

  3. Garibaldi:

    An sloppy, inaccurate, muddled report of a report that sheds very little light on what is going on in Afghanistan regarding Afghan or ex-pat Christians, churches and church-structures.
    Your question/observation, however, is a good one “…We invade a country and the Christian population flees or goes underground…” This century, Western foreign policy of the UK and USA, in the form of military invasions, has more often than not resulted in the weakening, dwindling, and destruction of much of the Christian population in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world. God, have mercy.