A retired nurse who felt called to help Afghan refugees and the young Afghan mother she embraced as a mentor were killed after being hit by a truck while out taking a walk Feb. 15.
Last month, as Rozita Gerhardt helped Afghan refugees complete their asylum applications, she thought of her mother, who years ago fled Iran, and how this was just the first step of what will be a lifelong process.
Although the United States left Afghanistan at the end of August, it left behind thousands still affected by the resulting turmoil.
Over the course of the next six months, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Nashville will help resettle 150 Afghans into local communities as part of the effort to help them escape Taliban rule under the U.S. State Department’s Afghan Placement Assistance Program.
President Joe Biden said the decision to end 20 years of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan on Aug. 31 came down to limiting further loss of American lives in a place where the country no longer had vital interests.
As Aug. 30 ended in the U.S. and a new day began in a different time zone in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 31, 2021, the U.S. Central Command released a green-tinted photo of a soldier about to get on a cargo plane, a photographic coda to seal the historic moment that put an end to nearly two decades of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
In a new interview, Pope Francis appears to criticize the handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan by the United States that triggered scenes of chaos and violence at the Kabul airport, saying that while “I don’t want to judge” nevertheless “they didn’t take into account all the eventualities.”
There are an estimated 200 Catholics in Afghanistan — a tiny minority within the minority of around 7,000 Christians — and days after the Taliban took control of the country following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, a papal charity is sounding the alarm over their situation.
As thousands of Afghans who cooperated with NATO forces seek to flee the country in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the Jesuit Refugee Service UK is calling on the British government to provide safe routes to the country for asylum seekers.
As the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan winds down, American bishops are hailing government efforts to provide refuge for Afghans who assisted U.S. forces during the lengthy conflict.