Global leaders and Afghanistan’s neighbors end a two-day, high-stakes meeting to answer the question: “What now?” Taliban forces gained control of key border crossings in a recent surge following United States troop withdrawals, putting regional leaders on edge. Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry two-thirds of the Afghan-Tajik border was under Taliban control.
As foreign forces head home and the Taliban gains territory, thousands of people are on the move. Over 270,000 have fled since January, the United Nations reports. More than 5,600 left their homes in the past two weeks alone.
“It’s so important for us right now to stand with them (Afghan believers),” International Media Ministries President Denise Godwin says.
“What an intense time to be praying for people to find hope and have wisdom from God in how to operate in challenging times.”
The U.S. says it will begin evacuating Afghans who helped them at the end of July. The evacuation, dubbed Operation Allies Refuge, begins one month before the forecast completion of troop withdrawals. Former President George W. Bush, whose administration launched the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, expressed concern in a conversation with Politico.
Bush mentioned Afghan women and girls, whom he said could “suffer unspeakable harm” at the hands of the Taliban, as well as Afghan interpreters and their families:
“It seems like they’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people. And it breaks my heart.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
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