CV NEWS FEED // Christians and others in hiding from the Taliban in Afghanistan are now facing starvation and freezing temperatures as winter begins, according to a Catholic aid organization.
Jason Jones, president of the Vulnerable People Project (VPP), told Tracy Sabol of EWTN News Nightly that his organization has been “overwhelmed with requests” from Christians currently being hunted by the Taliban. “We’ve created a system to deliver food, wood, coal, and propane for people because it’s getting very cold,” said Jones. “We have Christians in safehouses all over Afghanistan and it’s getting very cold. So that’s become the big challenge for us now.”
While the VPP continues to work to evacuate and resettle people in neighboring countries, “the U.N. has predicted over a million people dying of starvation this year in Afghanistan,” he said. “And by God’s grace so many of these Christian communities now are connected with us, and so we have this big burden of making sure that they have food and that they have heat, and that they have a roof over their heads.”
Mustafa Assady, director of the VPP, confirmed reports that some families have felt compelled to “sell” their own children in order to stave off starvation. “People are desperate for food and when they have multiple kids they want to make sure to feed at least some of them, and they think that by selling them they will guarantee food for that child as well as the remaining family members,” Assady said.
Jones estimates that there are still “tens of thousands of Christians … in hiding” in Afghanistan. “Right now, they’re very cold, right now they’re very hungry, and right now they’re fearing for their life,” he said.
Assady and Jones mentioned that the VPP recently received a thank you note from a group of young women whom the organization had succeeded in getting resettled in a neighboring country. The girls reported that “they had given up hope that God would spare their life. They were just praying that God would preserve their chastity and their honor,” said Jones.
Asked what American Catholics could do to help, both Assady and Jones emphasized prayer. “We’ve had a lot of miracles,” Jones said. “Miracle after miracle after miracle. And so we need everyone, everyone to keep praying. That’s something all of us can do — to be thoughtful of them.”
Assady added that the girls who sent the thank you note had been prayerful throughout their ordeal. “When they had given up hope, they still prayed [and] they asked me to join them in prayers,” he said. Until the last moment, Assady said, “I thought that they were going to die, or worse … they would become sex slaves.” He believes that their prayers played a role in the VPP’s success in evacuating the girls.
Sabol suggested a comparison between the “big day” of that rescue and the prayers of the pro-life movement while the Supreme Court considered the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which could potentially lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
“Our foreign policy reflects Roe v. Wade,” Jones replied. “Abandoning Afghanistan so thoughtlessly the way we did, Joe Biden saying [he had] ‘no regrets’ — that’s the fruit of Roe v. Wade.”
“That’s the fruit of denying our founding principle, the inviolable beauty and dignity of the human person,” Jones said, referring to the Declaration principle that “all men” are “created equal” with “unalienable rights.” Politicians “threw that principle around to inspire Americans to go to war and to nation-build,” Jones added, “but when they wanted to leave they forgot everything they said.”
“And so Dobbs is about more than just protecting the child in the womb from violence,” he concluded:
It’s about uniting our nation, and it’s about us once again becoming the city on the hill. Because sometimes I feel like there’s no city on the hill in the world anymore. There’s no country people look up to. And Dobbs, I think, is the beginning of the United States moving towards a culture of life. …We’re the most powerful country in the history of the world. How beautiful it will be when we once and for all truly assent without contradiction to our founding principle.
Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas, the day when the Catholic Church honors Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of people in danger from sex trafficking.
Readers can find the full EWTN News Nightly segment here.