Desperate Afghan Refugees Find Aid and Hope

(Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

An Afghan woman who fled Taliban rule lived the nightmare that tens of thousands of other Afghan refugees are trying to avoid.

Taiba* and her two young children arrived at the office of a Middle East-based ministry exhausted, hungry and destitute after fleeing a Taliban raid on their household, which the new rulers suspected was not sufficiently Islamic. Witnessing the execution of her father and the abduction of her husband, she and her children had to leave home, town and country with only the clothes on their backs.

“They said to my father, ‘Turn around,’ and then shot him as they shouted out, “Allahu Akbar [jihadist slogan “Allah is greater”], and he died,” Taiba said. “They abducted my husband, and I took my two children and fled through Iran by bus.”

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August, Afghans fleeing their harsh rule by land have few options; the Taliban control most exit points and have said only those with valid travel documents are allowed to leave – which excludes refugees fleeing in terror without any paperwork.

To the east and south lies Pakistan, which has said it will not accept Afghans after previous waves of refugees turned police and much of society against them; to the north are the largely unwelcoming borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan; to the west, Iran’s vast border is difficult to control and has long been a key transit route to Europe or the Middle East.

Even before the Taliban regained power, 2.2 million Afghan refugees had already landed in neighboring countries, and 550,000 people were forced from their homes this year, adding to the more than 3 million people who were already internally displaced, according to U.N. figures.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray Afghan refugees experience God’s love and healing power through local missionaries.