President Joe Biden has expressed firmness in standing by the August 31 deadline of withdrawing U.S troops from Afghanistan, causing Christian groups to call for the immediate evacuation of American citizens and their allies regardless if it's beyond the said deadline.
On Tuesday, the Democratic leader said that the U.S. is "currently on a pace to finish" the evacuation, which deadline is set for next Tuesday. The U.S. and several NATO allies continue the evacuation process to ensure the safety of its citizens and Afghan allies from Kabul airport.
While Biden admitted that "each day, operations brings added risk to our troops," he declared, "The completion by August 31st depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who were transferred, who were transported out and no disruption to our operations."
"I've asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timetable should that become necessary," the Democratic leader said, as per Voice Of America. Meanwhile, several Christian groups are clamoring for an extension of a deadline, which Taliban leaders have already called an "occupation extension," hinting that they have no plans of letting the U.S. and other Western leaders extend the August 31 deadline.
According to the Christian Post, Bethany Christian Services president and CEO Chris Palusky lamented in a statement that "tens of thousands" of people are still "at grave risk of danger" in Afghanistan. Palusky argued that standing by the "arbitrary" Afghanistan evacuation deadline will result in "a death sentence for many." He concluded by demanding that the U.S. extend the deadline after August 31.
Another religious group, Church World Service, which has deployed staff members to Fort Lee in Virginia to assist in refugee arrivals, also urged President Biden to move the "arbitrary and harmful" deadline to evacuate people out of the Taliban-affected Afghanistan. The group's senior vice president for Immigration and Refugee Programs Erol Kekic argued that the Biden administration has a "moral obligation to create a safe pathway out of Afghanistan for all those in danger to U.S. territory."
On Tuesday, former Obama administration official and president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Krish O'Mara Vignarajah called upon President Biden to honor the "sacred oath" to protect "all U.S. citizens, Afghan allies, and other extremely vulnerable Afghans" and said that the oath must not be broken "at the eleventh hour."
World Relief, a global Christian humanitarian organization, expressed their disapproval over President Biden, as the group's officials accused the Democratic leader of threatening to "abandon" the U.S.' Afghan allies to appease the Taliban and comply with the August 31 deadline. Like Vignarajah, World Relief president and CEO Myal Greene stressed the Biden administration's "moral obligation to protect Afghan lives at this critical hour."
Al Jazeera reported that Taliban leaders on Tuesday warned the U.S. that it will not allow an extension of the deadline. Germany already expressed that they and their Western allies simply cannot evacuate all Afghans who need protection before August 31.