People who have already suffered for decades from armed conflict, displacement, oppression, corruption and bad governance have once again been cast into fear and uncertainty as a result of the dramatic developments over the past few days. We pray especially for the women and girls of Afghanistan, that their dignity, rights and aspirations will not be denied again, but that they may have the access to education and to the rights and freedoms that they have been promised both by those in power and by the international community. The Taliban must respect the dignity and rights of all people in the territories they now control. We appeal to all relevant authorities - in Afghanistan and elsewhere - to ensure the safety and security of all Afghan people, including those who are fleeing the country in fear of violence, oppression and persecution.

Geneva 16 August 2021

World Council of Churches
Marianne Ejdersten
Director of Communication (on behalf of Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC acting general secretary and currently on vacation)