Violence, Political Pressures Impact Persecuted Christians in Afghanistan

(School children listen to a speech by a Christian leader during a protest rally in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata August 29, 2008 after Hindu mobs ransacked a church and clashed with Christian villagers in the eastern state of Orissa. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw)

Violence and bloodshed fill the streets of Afghanistan as decision-makers try to make progress. Yesterday, militants targeted people gathered in shops and markets to celebrate Afghanistan’s 100-year independence.

Reuters reports numerous bombings and rocket attacks in two eastern cities. The assaults wounded at least 72 citizens, including 20 children. It comes on the heels of an Islamic State bombing over the weekend that killed 63 and wounded nearly 200 people at a wedding ceremony in Kabul.

At the same time, ongoing talks between U.S. and Taliban leaders center on security guarantees and U.S. troop withdrawal. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department announced plans to cut troop numbers nearly in half. Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War warn of civil war once the U.S. and NATO withdraw their respective troops.

Voice of the Martyrs USA spokesman Todd Nettleton says there’s a connection between recent terrorist activity and ongoing political discussions.

“These bombings are not happening in a vacuum. They’re happening in the midst of things that will affect Afghanistan’s future for the next hundred years.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth