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Afghan Christians boarding private planes. (Image credit: Glenn Beck/Facebook)

1,200 Afghan Christians evacuated and flown to safety

By Aaron Sseruyigo & News Agencies

Glenn Beck, a popular American media personality and founder of Mercury One, a humanitarian aid and education organization, says 1,200 Christian refugees have been rescued from Afghanistan which is currently under Taliban rule.

According to reliable sources, Beck’s audience across various social media platforms donated over $30 million in just 3 days to fund the rescue mission. The evacuations are being coordinated by the Nazarene Fund, a US non-profit that helps persecuted Christians and other minorities.

Beck explained in a report by CBN News that the organization needs prayers ”because anyone seen helping these refugees will be putting themselves at risk of retaliation.”

“There’s been amazing response from the international community. Zimbabwe said they’ll take Christians. That’s a country struggling itself. We’ve had an amazing outpouring of countries that will take Christians,” Mr Beck said.

He added that some of those countries they’ve worked with want to help, but are very nervous.

“The spiritual warfare going on right now. Everything has been a battle. It’s a battle of good vs. evil,” Beck said.

The Taliban, regarded by many governments and organizations as terrorists, retook Afghanistan’s capital – 10 days ago – almost two decades after they were driven from Kabul by US troops.

Open Doors, a charity that challenges Christian persecution, ranks Afghanistan as the second-worst country for believers. It says that under former president Ashraf Ghani, Christians faced ‘clan pressure’: in other words, persecution was most likely to come from friends and family. Converts to Christianity risked being killed, or at least disowned, by their family, clan or tribe. In some cases, conversion was treated as a psychiatric condition. There are cases of former Muslims being sectioned.

The constitution of Afghanistan establishes Islam as the state religion and, according to a US Department of State report, religious minorities have to exercise their faith ‘within the limits of the law’. Conversion from Islam is apostasy and can be punished by death, imprisonment or confiscation of property. Proselytizing is also punishable by death.

The number of Christians in Afghanistan is thought to be below 20,000, perhaps as low as 1,000, according to reports. Sources say that most Christians in Afghanistan are underground, so getting a precise estimate of their number is nigh-on impossible.

In an Instagram update, Mr Beck said a third plane full of evacuees had taken off on Tuesday.

“Now 1200 Christians evacuated and flown to safety. It has been a good day!” he wrote.

While the mission has been launched primarily to evacuate Christians, the Nazarene Fund said other religious minorities, American citizens and “vulnerable” people were among the people on the flights.

Nazarene Fund CEO Tim Ballard was quoted by Christian Today as saying that the planes have taken the evacuees to an undisclosed “safe” country.

“We’re sending them as fast as we can, including some other kind of more asymmetrical strategies to pull other people out who didn’t make it to the airport,” he said, adding, “We are doing all we can.”

In an earlier update, Tim reportedly stated Christians found with a Bible app on their mobile phones or identified as such on their ID card will be “summarily executed”.

In another video he said, “There are many Christian Afghanis who converted over the last two decades. Why? Because the US government provided freedom, the infrastructure, constitutional protections that allowed them to confidently become Christian and proudly put on their ID card that ‘I’m a Christian’. Those ID cards are now their death warrants.

“When the Taliban sees that, they are summarily executed. If they try to get to the airport and they see even a Bible app on their iPhones, they are summarily executed.”

If you’d like to contribute to the effort to help Christians evacuate Afghanistan to a safer country, visit The Nazarene Fund.


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