On November 23rd, at a soccer stadium in eastern Afghanistan, the Taliban, Afghanistan’s governing body, invited residents through social media to watch the public punishment of 14 people to be flogged in front of hundreds of spectators, the Christian Post (CP) reported.
According to the British daily Telegraph, they were charged with crimes such as adultery and theft and were flogged 21 to 39 times, three of whom were women.
“Fourteen people, including three women, were beaten in front of scholars, officials, and residents on various charges, including adultery, robbery, and other forms of corruption,” the Supreme Court of the Taliban government publicly announced.
Taliban spokesman Omar Mansour Mujahid said the three women were released after flogging, but some of the men were imprisoned.
During the Taliban’s first rule of Afghanistan in the 1990s, the government carried out public executions such as stonings in football stadiums to silence dissent.
In August, The Telegraph reported that five people, including two women, had been beaten, citing a statement issued by Taliban officials in Zabul province.
Last August, the missionary organization Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) in its annual Global Prayer Guide designated the Afghan government a “restricted state” that targets and severely persecutes Christians since the Taliban took over. VOM described Afghanistan as “very hostile” toward Christians.
However, “Although Christians have migrated en masse to neighboring countries to worship freely, Afghan house churches also continue to grow,” the guide said.
Azra Jafari, appointed as Afghanistan’s first female mayor in 2008 until 2014, revealed in an interview with CP that the situation for women and the Hazara people has turned grim after the Taliban took over.
The Hazara are a Shiite Muslim minority people group of more than 3.5 million living primarily in central Afghanistan. They are known to be the most oppressed minority in Afghanistan, long persecuted by state actors and armed groups, and often working harsh labor or as slaves.
“The Taliban are conducting a deliberate campaign to kill or drive out members of this ethnic group. They are committing genocide against the Hazara,” Jafari said.
Source: Christian Today
The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and they were arrayed against the Ammonites.
(1 Chronicles 19:11 ESV)
Lord, who loves Afghanistan, we lift up and pray for this country. We hear the heartbreaking news that the Taliban has punished people publicly by flogging them in front of hundreds of onlookers.
Lord, we confess that everything in heaven and earth is yours, and all sovereignty belongs to you. How can sinful people possibly be righteous enough to judge and punish other sinners?
Let all the evil deeds of those trying to rule with human laws come to an end! May only you, our Lord, be established as King of Afghanistan, and may you rule with truth and justice.
Please have mercy on the Afghan people who are in pain and fear and without hope in this world. Let them find true hope in the only one who can give it: Jesus Christ.
May the Taliban realize their evil deeds and repent before the Lord Jesus, who forgives all men and can make us new creations if only we believe in the power of your blood.
We also praise you for the work you are already doing among your people in Afghanistan! Let the Afghan church rise up with stronger and more boldness, and let them overcome darkness by worshiping you and preaching your word.
Lord Jesus, we know that you accept the blood of your martyrs! May more people come to you and rise up with the gospel. May the global church run for the salvation of Afghanistan, because the gospel of your kingdom is never bound! Amen!