Underground ministries in Afghanistan are reportedly losing contact with their networks following the Taliban takeover of the country.
The International Christian Concern (ICC) said the increased risk on Afghan Christians' persecution have become more complicated as communication with them have almost disappeared. The information comes from a report from Mission Network News.
"Since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in mid-August many ministries working with the country's underground church have been trying to evacuate at-risk Christians. In many cases, however, ministries have lost contact with their networks and partners in country," MNN reported.
MNN reported about a man named Abdar who went to Afghanistan in August to preach but have not been heard from since then by Nehemiah of FMI.
"He was with us for the last few months. He is from Afghanistan, studying in Pakistan, and he said last month that he was going to Afghanistan for evangelism purposes. It's been more than a week since we have been unable to hear from him. We have lost contact," Nehemiah told MNN.
Previously reports indicated that Afghan Christians have resorted to turn their phones off to hide from the Taliban who trace them through it. The Taliban is said to have advanced surveillance capabilities that are able to track Christians in Afghanistan through their mobile phones, pushing some to move to secluded locations to keep safe.
The offshoot to this is that the said Christians are difficult to find and impossible to reach by the U.S. government to rescue them. The Taliban was also reported to track Christians by checking if their phones have Bibles in them. Those who do are killed.
Nehemiah disclosed to MNN that the Taliban are strictly monitoring Christians and even threaten them through letters not to meet for gatherings or worship. Nehemiah said an anonymous man received such a letter. The said man's house was eventually possessed by the Taliban because of him being a Christian.
"One man received a letter saying his house now belongs to the Taliban. He's a simple man who makes crafts, and his entire savings are in his house. The Taliban will take the property and the assets of Christians," Nehemiah said.
A church leader named "Hamid" disclosed in an exclusive interview with CBN News last month that the Taliban is after the elimination of Christians from Afghanistan. Christians have grown in number in Afghanistan to roughly 8,000 as compared to 20 years ago.
"Right now we fear elimination. The Taliban are going to eliminate the Christian population of Afghanistan. Some of the believers are known in their communities, people know that they converted from Islam to Christianity, and they are considered apostates and the penalty for that is death. The Taliban are famous for carrying out that punishment," Hamid revealed.
According to the ICC, converts are often targeted by the Taliban because they are considered "extremely shameful" and those who are found to have converted from Islam to another faith, particularly, Christianity, "face dire consequences." This is why such converts are often in hiding out of the fear of being discovered by the Taliban.
"According to the Taliban's ideology, Afghanistan is a Muslim country and non-Muslims must leave Afghanistan or accept second class status. For Christians, coming from convert backgrounds, the Taliban will consider them apostate and subject to Sharia's deadliest consequences," the ICC explained.