The Jesuits and the Missionaries of Charity have been present in Afghanistan since 2004, two years after the re-establishment of the Catholic Mission in the country.
Newsroom (August 18, 2021 8:06 PM, Gaudium Press) The activities of the Society of Jesus in Afghanistan have been suspended indefinitely after Kabul fell into Taliban hands. Two Indian Jesuits and four Missionaries of Charity are waiting to be repatriated.
“We are not sure when or if the situation will improve. At the moment, the missionaries are safe and ready to leave when India resumes flights relocating Indians stranded in Afghanistan,” said a Jesuit source in New Delhi.
Work of the Jesuits and the Missionaries of Charity in Afghanistan
The transition of power has turned into a dramatic and chaotic process, creating great uncertainty, especially among the religious. It is feared that the Taliban will assemble lists of organizations and people they intend to strike.
The Jesuits and the Missionaries of Charity have been in Afghanistan since 2004. They arrived two years after the re-establishment of the Catholic Mission in the country, focusing on assisting refugees in education. In total, they have trained 300 teachers responsible for educating 25,000 students.
Catholic Church in Pakistan
The Catholic Church in Pakistan also fears the consequences of the return of the Taliban to power in the neighbouring country. According to a Camillian priest, “the retaking of Kabul will have serious consequences for the Church in Pakistan.”
The source believes that the return of the Islamic group will increase intolerance toward religious minorities in Pakistan while spur Pakistani fundamentalist forces to take revenge on the country’s Christians for the defeats of the past two decades. “Fundamentalism will grow. And as always happens in such cases, it will be the Christians who will pay the price,” he laments. (EPC)
Compiled by Gustavo Kralj