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Christian family escapes Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Isaiah CAMPBELL | US MARINE CORPS | AFP

Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP - published on 08/23/21 - updated on 08/24/21

The Italian Fondazione Meet Human helped relocate a Christian refugee family from Kabul to Rome.

On August 21, in the midst of the rapid fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, a Christian refugee family from Kabul—including eight minors—arrived safely in Rome, Italy.

Ali Ehsani, an Afghan exile and writer, described the situation of Afghan Christians to AsiaNews saying, “[T]hey move from area to area. They want to leave the country but have no one to help them. I am looking for a humanitarian channel that can help them.”

Ehsani is a Christian who fled Afghanistan in the 1990s after seeing his parents and brother killed. For Ehsani the story of the Kabul family was personal—a reminder of his own experience.

Ehsani had been in contact with the Kabul family for months. “They had not heard from their father for two days, ” said Ehsani. He feared they must have been discovered.

Fondazione Meet Human provides aid

Ehsani was able to connect the Christian refugee family, whose identity remains undisclosed for their protection, with Fondazione Meet Human. The foundation is a new effort supported by the San Michele Arcangelo Foundation. Fondazione Meet Human, which enjoys the endorsement of Cardinal Robert Sarah, was created “to meet and support experiences of true humanity in the world committed to the integral realization of the person.”

Fondazione Meet Human agreed to make arrangements to care for the refugees once in Italy. The only thing that remained was to transport the family safely to the Kabul airport.

Against all odds, the Italian military provided safe transportation. With Ehsani’s help, the Christian family was evacuated on an airlift for Italian citizens and Afghan refugees organized by the Italian government.

“We are grateful to Italian civilian and military authorities for this complicated and demanding rescue operation, not to mention the many people who worked for its success,” said Daniele Nembrini, president of Fondazione Meet Human. “It might be a drop in the ocean, but the ocean is made up of drops.”

Dark future for religious freedom

Las week Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), said in a statement that he expects Sharia law to be reimposed in Afghanistan.

“Our analysis, unfortunately, does not leave much room for hope,” Heine-Gelden said. “All those who do not espouse the extreme Islamist views of the Taliban are at risk, even moderate Sunni.” Shia Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities will face greater suffering and oppression. “This is a huge setback for all human rights and especially for religious freedom in the country,” said Heine-Geldern.

Fondazione Meet Human was able to rescue and support a Christian family, saving them from an uncertain future in a country now largely controlled by the Taliban. “Now they will have to try to overcome the fear and suffering they went through,” Ehsani said of the Kabul refugee family. “But there are certainly many more families like theirs still in Kabul.”

Tags:
Afghanistanhuman rightsRefugees
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