Christian Leaders Blast Biden Administration’s Afghanistan Failure That Led To Taliban Takeover

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden listens during a tour of the African Americans in Service corridor that honors the contributions of African Americans in the military, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2021. |

The Taliban's occupation of vast parts of Afghanistan has prompted a flurry of reactions from religious leaders and Christian groups.

Following the devastating situation in Afghanistan, The Christian Post gathered responses from evangelical pastors, local activists, and faith-based humanitarian assistance groups.

Several pastors spoke out about the recent unrest in Afghanistan, urging Americans to pray for the Afghan people and the U.S.' current leadership.

Harvest Christian Fellowship's Pastor Greg Laurie voiced "shock and deep concern" and called the U.S. military pullout "grossly mishandled."

In citing reports of humanitarian workers on the ground in Afghanistan, Laurie warned that "anyone identified as a Christian could be killed for their faith, and that they risk betrayal or falling victim to an honour killing by their own family members."

"Americans deserve answers on how our leaders allowed the collapse in Afghanistan and takeover by the Taliban, and unfolding humanitarian crisis," said Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor Jack Graham in Plano, Texas.

Graham urged Americans to "pray for our military and American and Afghan civilians."

The departure from Afghanistan is "a shameful affront to the God-given rights of the Afghan people, especially its women & girls" said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, head of the Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

He urged Biden to "regain control of the situation immediately & take responsibility for the overwhelming human cost imposed by this failure."

The World Evangelical Alliance, a coalition of evangelical churches comprising over 600 million Christians, thinks the Taliban's return in Afghanistan is not surprising.

"We are very concerned about the recent developments in Afghanistan and the dire prospects for all those who do not fit within the Taliban's view of a society," said Bishop Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, WEA Secretary General.

He noted that women would undoubtedly be denied fundamental rights like higher education, jobs, and self-autonomy.

He also projected that "the plight of religious minorities, particularly Christians," would deteriorate as the Taliban continued to rule Afghanistan.

Despite a supposedly democratic administration, religious minorities have experienced challenges in Afghanistan for two decades.

"We should not pretend as if everything was well in Afghanistan prior to the Taliban taking control of the country," he said.

He pointed out that religious minorities had suffered in Afghanistan because of the country's "Islamic Republic" constitution. Minorities "will suffer even more now" including Shiites and Muslims who have turned Christians.

"Our hearts cannot help but ache for the many Afghans who are longing for freedom but once again have to live in fear within their own nation, as well as the many who have fled to other countries as refugees leaving behind everything," he said.

The Biden administration has placed Christians in Afghanistan in "great danger," said Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes, a grassroots organization that urges Christians to vote.

"It's hard to view the events of the last few days as anything other than an abject failure of the Biden administration," Yates added. "It has already cost lives, and we know the suffering will continue."

Yates said the administration's "finger-pointing and defensive rhetoric" does not reflect "strength, wisdom, or compassion."

Refugee resettlement groups say the U.S. has a particular responsibility to accept Afghan allies who fled their nation.

World Relief, the NAE's humanitarian arm, claims it has a "moral responsibility" to rescue Afghan allies who "risked their lives to protect American troops and civilians ahead of the Taliban takeover."

World Relief's Jenny Yang urged the U.S. to "lead a worldwide effort to assist and protect vulnerable Afghans wherever they are, and to help create safe spaces for those who are forcibly displaced."

Likewise, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) urges the Biden administration to admit thousands of Afghani refugees.

According to LIRS President Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, the U.S. has a "moral and military obligation" to the "American-affiliated Afghans." The Afghans who have supported the U.S. effort for two decades were not evacuated, she said, but "there is still time to act" to "save our Afghan allies."

"There are still roughly 80,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders and their families in grave danger," Vignarajah added, expressing appreciation that "almost 2,000 SIV applicants had reached the U.S.