(Agenzia Fides) – The escalation of conflicts in the Afghan province of Helmand has forced the closure of more than 150 schools, leaving about 100,000 students exposed to the recruitment by the Taliban. For about two months a constant battle raged between government forces and the Taliban for the control of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, which the insurgent group almost took over in October 2015. Since then thousands of troops have been deployed, but only with the result of bringing the Taliban to a distance of 17 km from the city center. The rebels now control parts of Babaji, an area on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, and have consolidated their positions in the neighboring districts of Nad-e-Ali and Marjah.
The education system is paying a high price due to the conflicts. More than 50 schools in the districts around Lashkar Gah were closed for nine weeks because of the continuous fighting, leaving almost 30,000 students without classes, according to a statement from sources of the provincial Ministry for education. 104 other institutions in other districts, bringing together 70,000 students, were closed last year. The lack of opportunities for education and work have left few options for young people, and the Taliban are exploiting the situation by distributing pamphlets and audio cassettes, encouraging young people to join them, giving them money and weapons. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 18/12/2015)
- Pray for Christians, many who worship in secret, in Afghanistan.
- Pray for their families members who are often their greatest threat.
- Pray the young will see the darkness of joining the Taliban and turn away.
- Pray for those who are taken by force.
- Pray for the God’s presence to awaken many.