Italian Caritas Concerned about the Fate of Christians in Kabul

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The Agency has been working in Afghanistan since the 1990s and will probably have to suspend activities.

Newsroom (August 16, 2021 8:11 PM, Gaudium Press) Currently, the world turns its eyes to Afghanistan, where thousands of people are fleeing after the rapid advance of the Taliban, which conquered the capital, Kabul, yesterday. Now the Italian Caritas Agency is concerned about the fate of Christians in that capital. The Agency has been working in the eastern country since the 1990s.

Yesterday, the organization declared that it fears for the safety of Christians in Kabul and that it might suspend its activities due to the prevailing instability.

Italian Caritas attention is directed to the most vulnerable.

“But the instability of the situation will lead to the suspension of all activities,” the organization said in a statement yesterday, adding that “fears are growing about the possibility of maintaining a presence even in the future, as well as for the safety of the few Afghans of Christian belief.”

Clergy must leave

Caritas also said that the few Catholic priests and religious still present in Afghanistan have no choice but to leave.

The Catholic presence in the country is minimal, among other reasons, because conversion to Christianity may carry a death penalty. According to statistics, there are only 200 Catholics. There is only one Catholic Church located in the Italian embassy in Kabul.

According to Caritas, “after a twenty-year war of incalculable human costs and billions of euros in expenditure, the withdrawal of the U.S. military is leaving the country in a tragic void.” The Agency is also assessing the situation of Afghan refugees on the border with Pakistan.

With files from National Catholic Register

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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