August 15, 2021, Afghanistan. The Taliban, having defeated the Afghan security forces in other areas of the country, entered the capital of Kabul, thus solidifying their total takeover of the country. United States military, diplomatic and business personnel, as well as other foreign nationals were evacuated, as thousands of Afghans tried to secure an escape as well. But most people of the country, exhausted from twenty years of war, had no options but to face what is presumed will be a strict and deadly regime.
A Taliban spokesperson told a BBC reporter that they will reimpose their version of Sharia (religious) law, which includes such things as stoning for adultery and amputation of limbs for stealing. The fate of women is uncertain. The spokesperson assured the BBC that women would be respected, allowed to work, and be able leave their homes without a male escort; girls would be able to go to school. But this was not true when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 – 2001. Women who for two decades have had those rights, now worry their freedom will be taken away. Those who have attained professional and political power fear they will be killed. The women and girls of Afghanistan face an uncertain future and will need courage, strength, international support, and empathy for their suffering. The latter is expressed in the following prayer psalm.
And so we pray this news . . .