The conference also shared a link where Catholics can offer aid to incoming Afghani refugees.
Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA said he received news of the bombings while in San Diego for an archdiocesan convocation.
“I immediately joined the assembled priests to pray for the repose of their souls and the consolation of their families,” he said on Friday of the slain U.S. service members. “Together we beg the Prince of Peace for a time of dialogue and a profound respect for the priceless value of human life.”
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore condemned Thursday’s attacks, tweeting that he was “heartbroken by the increasingly violent events occurring in Afghanistan and the senseless loss of precious life.”
“Acts of terror are an attack against all of us and have no place in a civilized or just society. Please, I urge the members of our Archdiocese of Baltimore to join Our Holy Father, Pope Francis and our global community to pray for peace and an open dialogue that creates a path to solutions not more death and suffering.”
Cardinal Blase Cupich tweeted Thursday: “Let us pray for all involved in the attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan today. May our thoughts and prayers give their families and loved ones the strength needed during this difficult time.”
The New York Catholic Conference tweeted: “Please join us in praying for the U.S. service members and all who were killed or injured in today's horrific terrorist attacks in #Kabul.”
Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia tweeted: “I ask all Catholics and people of good will to pray for those killed in Kabul and all injured in today's devastating attack. May their families know God's healing love at this challenging time. Pray also that this developing situation finds peaceful resolution.”
Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Diocese of Austin invoked the intercession of St. Thomas the Apostle, patron saint of Afghanistan, praying that “our brothers and sisters be comforted, and may their physical, mental, and spiritual wounds be mended through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Afghanistan is over 99% Muslim, with the majority being Sunni. There are small groups of Christians, estimated to total between 10,000 and 12,000 people, including about 200 Catholics. Buddhists, Hindus, and Baháʼís also reside in the country, along with one Jewish man.
The Taliban previously controlled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. imposing a strict interpretation of Sharia law. Converting from Islam, seen as “apostasy” under Sharia, is a crime punishable by death.
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Many Christians suffered harassment and intimidation in Afghanistan even before the Taliban takeover; converts to Christianity are the frequent target of Islamic extremist groups. Christians in the country fear that Taliban attacks on Christian communities, including “mafia-style killings,” will start soon.
In 2019, some church leaders in Afghanistan— about 30 in total— agreed to change their religious affiliation to “Christian” on national identity cards which all Afghans are required to carry. Government records thus now identify them as Christians, making them targets for Taliban harassment, World reported.
Representatives of aid organizations and others told CNA Wednesday that Afghan Christians and others whose names appear on U.S. government lists of qualified evacuees are being turned away at the airport in Kabul.