The highly criticized United States withdrawal from Afghanistan leaves local Christians and many other religious minority groups fearful following the Taliban takeover of the country.
Before the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, the country ranked second on an annual report of countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution released by Open Doors.
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The international NGO advocating on behalf of persecuted Christians, also found that there was a 60% increase globally of Christians being killed for faith related reasons in 2020 up from 2019.
The March for the Martyrs, the first large-scale march in U.S. history to stand in solidarity with Christians around the world, will be hosted in the nation’s capital this year. The march, hosted by For the Martyrs, has moved from Long Beach, California, amid the current situation in Afghanistan to raise further awareness.
The founding president of For the Martyrs, Gia Chacon, told Fox News that it couldn’t be better timing that the march will be held in D.C., sharing “everyone’s been paying attention to what’s been going on in Afghanistan … the reports of Christians who are now hunted down … killed for their faith.”
“We’ve heard reports of Christians who have been killed just for having a Bible on their phone and pastors being sent messages, warnings from the Taliban to cease operations from their home churches. Christians who are already under threat in the country are now facing an increase of violence and will continue to face this increase of violence in the country,” shared Chacon.
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Speakers at the event include survivors of Christian persecution, important leaders and strong Christian figures.
Former ambassador Sam Brownback, who was the former ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, will be sending a special message to March attendees.
He told Fox News that he right now there is the “highest level of Christian martyrdom in the history of Christendom. We really should be standing up for them more, even whether you’re a person of faith or not. These are people that are being persecuted simply for peacefully practicing their faith and they’re dying for it.”
Brownback shared that what is happening in Afghanistan is unfolding right before our very eyes in real time. He adds, “For the Christian community it’s horrible. I want to say it was livable when we were there and now it’s just become deadly.”
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Worried about being tracked, Christians are turning off their phones and moving in case the Taliban has the technical capabilities to monitor them, The Hill reported.
Speaking on the future oppression of religious minorities, Brownback shared that it “is going to be high tech. It’ll be a virtual police state. It’ll be facial recognition cameras. It’ll be you excluded from practicing your faith or else you won’t be able to use your currency, if they are able to digitize their currency.”
“If we don’t get these people out, it’ll be a genocide” shared the former ambassador.
Over a thousand attendees are expected at the march, bringing “all ages and all denominations of Christianity … together as one voice for the persecuted church,” said Chacon.
She hopes the event will catch the attention of those in Congress and the White House. She says they will continue to host the March for the Martyrs in Washington, D.C.
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March for Martyrs will start at 3 p.m. ET on the National Mall on Saturday, Sept. 25.