Following Joe Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan last year, the war-torn country again dominated by the Taliban is at the top of the latest rankings of the worst nations for the persecution of Christians.
The list has been published by Open Doors USA, a watchdog organization that analyzes international religious persecution. Its 2022 World Watch List includes the 50 countries where Christianity is least tolerated.
CEO David Curry called the change at the top of this year’s list the “biggest seismic shift” in decades as Afghanistan replaced North Korea as the worst place in the world for Christians. North Korea has held the top slot on the list for the past 20 years.
As a decisive move to ultimately end American involvement in Afghanistan, Biden announced last year that all combat forces would be removed by the end of last August. The operation turned out to be a botched mission in planning and execution.
Biden assured Americans that the Afghanistan government installed by the US would handle the Taliban without further assistance. However, the terror organization moved in immediately after the American withdrawal and took over the country in a matter of hours. Billions upon billions of dollars worth of equipment and weapons were abandoned by the Taliban. Thousands of US citizens, legal residents, and Afghani allies were left behind. The military evacuation did not move to get our people or property out before lifting out all military personnel.
Curry said that since the withdrawal, Islamic extremists have been emboldened worldwide due to a “ripple effect.” Jihadis are targeting Christian women in particular. He explained that the Taliban considers Christians traitors and mortal enemies of their community. They consider the appropriate punishment for being a Christian is death. He said that Taliban militants began hunting down prominent Christians in Afghanistan as soon as the American forces were gone and added that every remaining Christian in the country is “either on the run or in hiding.”
Curry added that Islamic troops are now going house to house, looking for anyone collaborating with Americans or Christians.
Open Doors USA reported that around 1 out of 7 Christians worldwide live in fear of violent religious persecution. The most dangerous international region for Christians on the list is Sub-Saharan Africa.