Rome Newsroom, Aug 3, 2021 / 04:30 am
As the U.S. is winding down its operations in Afghanistan after 20 years, there is much concern about the situation of the Church in the country. There is only one Catholic church in Afghanistan, located in the Italian embassy in Kabul, and consequently shut down as long as the embassy remained closed during the pandemic.
Afghanistan’s 2004 constitution defined the country as an Islamic republic. It is forbidden to preach the Gospel in public or to convert to Christianity.
This is the reason why missionaries and Catholics in Afghanistan rarely speak on the record: they apply some necessary prudence in a challenging environment. CNA spoke with them and agreed to their requests for anonymity.
In 2002, Pope John Paul II established a mission sui iuris, or independent mission, in Afghanistan serving some 210 Catholics with three priests.