Afghan Christians 'Panicking' as They're Turned Away from US Evacuation Flights: Report
In what conservative commentator Glenn Beck slammed succinctly in an Instagram message as “Afghanistan betrayal,” Afghan Christians are being turned away from the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, as time ticks away for them to escape the Taliban, according to new reports.
A report by the Catholic News Agency said that although the Taliban have made no secret of the group’s antipathy to Christianity, Christians were not given priority status by the Biden administration, which bestowed it upon women, journalists, academics and other populations the administration considered important.
And that means Christians will be left behind when the frenzied flight to find safety ends before the Aug. 31 deadline for U.S. forces to leave Afghanistan.
“I was told by contacts from various groups working to rescue those still in danger in Afghanistan — who must remain anonymous — that the State Department, at least at a certain point, was not implementing the lists that they require the organizations to compile — even though they have sent them multiple times,” said Faith McDonnell, director of advocacy at Katartismos Global, an Anglican nonprofit group, according to CNA.
“It seems at present as if no one is getting any priority unless they have some sort of special connection inside the airport.”
GOP Rep on Religious Minorities in Afghanistan: Christians Are Being ‘Hunted’ by the Taliban https://t.co/6mWDUIOLTU
— The Quiet Man (@QuietManinMinn) August 26, 2021
Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia said Tuesday that Christians are in danger, according to Townhall.
“The environment, obviously, under Sharia law, creates an extremely dangerous situation for anyone who is of any other faith, probably, the top of which, is Christians. And of course, not only us but many offices have been in contact with many Christians who are being literally hunted by the Taliban right now. Every effort possible is underway to try to evacuate those individuals and I’m sure those efforts will continue with unceasing resolve until we get those people to safety,” Hice said. “[T]heir lives are our biggest concern.”
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said priority for fleeing Afghanistan should go to “Afghan religious minorities, in recognition of the severe risks they already face, which will only heighten after the end of the U.S. evacuation,” according to a statement by USCIRF Commissioner Frederick A. Davie.
According to CNA, McDonnell said that in the rush to pack planes, lists prepared in advance amount to just so much confetti.
“Several organizations have reported that even though these organizations‘ aircraft have passenger manifests, the airport personnel are loading different people [from] those on the manifest onto all the aircraft that are departing,” she said.
“Others have reported that at times, one government agency is rejecting people that another government agency has approved and tried to bring into the airport,” she said.
Amid the chaos and cross purposes, Beck’s nonprofit group, The Nazarene Fund, is working independently of the Biden administration to rescue Afghan civilians. Beck, who posted a moving message about the crisis on Instagram Wednesday, has said that based on the more than $25 million received, he hopes to get 7,000 people out of Afghanistan by Friday.
The Biden administration is NOT telling you the truth about what’s going on in Afghanistan. TONIGHT on GlennTV, I join you from the Middle East as the Nazarene Fund’s rescue mission continues. pic.twitter.com/YZi8bFPcqI
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) August 26, 2021
Nina Shea, a senior fellow and director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, told CNA that Beck’s planes may be the only option for Christians in the Afghan crisis.
“I’ve started receiving panicked emails from Afghan Christians through their Western contacts. They are not being allowed to board USG [U.S. government] flights in Kabul. I’m advising them to try to board Glenn Beck’s flights instead,” Shea said, according to CNA.
“Kabul is falling apart and our people are panicking. The next 72 hours are going to be very dark,” Jason Jones, a podcaster who runs a nonprofit humanitarian organization called The Vulnerable People Project, wrote in an email to CNA.
“Kabul has descended into chaos and confusion and our citizens and friends are collapsing into despair. People are being contacted by the State Department and told to go to the airport only to be sent away,” he wrote.
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