The Catholic Church has been involved with refugee resettlement in an organized way ever since World War II, when millions of displaced people in Europe were resettled in various countries.
Just as Afghani girls were ready to return to school for the first time in seven months on March 23, the Taliban — which seized ruling power in Afghanistan last summer — that morning reversed its decision to reopen girls’ secondary schools, citing a need for more time to draw up policies in line with the Islamic law Sharia.
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.
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.”
Hours before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, Pope Francis expressed his hope for the peace and safety of the country’s citizens.
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.