In April 2021, President Joe Biden announced that U.S. military forces would leave Afghanistan by September 2021. In the summer of 2021, the Taliban continued its offensive, threatening government-controlled urban areas and seizing several border crossings. In early August, the Taliban began direct assaults on multiple urban areas, including Kandahar in the south and Herat in the west. On August 6, 2021, the Taliban captured the capital of southern Nimruz Province, the first provincial capital to fall.
On August 15, 2021, Taliban fighters entered the capital, leading Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country and the Afghan government to collapse. Later that day, the Taliban announced they had entered the presidential palace, taken control of the city, and were establishing checkpoints to maintain security. Taliban forces took over Afghanistan and started raiding, torturing and summarily executing Christians, religious minorities and other high profile figures-especially women in governmental positions. They were in search of people who have worked with the previous Afghanistan government, as well as those who profess their Christian faith. As apostasy is a crime punishable by death under Shariah law these Christians were, and still are at extreme risk of being targeted with deadly violence. Now the dust has settled and the evacuations finished, but we must not forget about those left behind. CMG held a prayer meeting for these brothers and sisters who were left behind, as well as donated hours and hours of time by helping to compile lists of people needing immediate evacuation, consequently being a part of effort to help over 7000 people fleeing the Taliban.
After another war, displaced Gazan’s face a familiar plight. For eleven days this past May, a devastating war raged between the Israeli Defense Force and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, a small, isolated and impoverished coastal enclave. Israel and Hamaz agreed to a cease fire across the Gaza Strip border, bringing a potentially tenuous halt to the fiercest fighting in years. The true costs of the war will not be known for sometime. Palestinian health officials said 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed in the fighting, and more than 1,900 wounded in aerial bombardments. Twelve people in Israel, including two children, also died in the fighting.
CMG, thanks to the generous help and support of our partners, was able to step in and provide emergency relief to many of the families living in Gaza. We worked closely with the Gaza Baptist church to provide food relief to approximately 100 families in the Christian community. Death, inquiry, malnutrition, illness, and disability are some of the most threatening physical consequences of war, while post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety are some of the emotional effects. Shortly after the conflict we started a workshop to help people deal with the effects of war with Dr. Jim Witty, a psychologist specializing in this field, and we continue to conduct more sessions with those who have been effected.