Living out their faith behind a veil of secrecy, Sharifullah and his fellow believers knew that though 20 years of the Taliban’s reign had passed, they could very well return. Despite the dangers, they have continued their secret ministry, training women and men how to make beautiful and colorful crafts in a bid to share the gospel.
When what they feared happened four weeks ago, Sharifullah’s life came to a standstill. Within weeks of taking over the country, many artisan shops in Kabul were warned about the designs they were using in the crafts on display.
“You see, the Taliban want their ideology reflected everywhere, and so all signs of color, life and hope have been removed,” he says. Signs of joy have been painted over and replaced with Taliban slogans, which are a far cry from hope.”
Sharifullah describes watching men climb ladders to pain over “anything that was beautiful and hopeful.”
“Everything beautiful is considered ‘sick,’ ‘infidel,’ ‘murtid’ and filthy—a ‘friend of the West’ and therefore a friend of the ‘Kafir.’
“The Taliban are killing our souls and spirits. They don’t have to shoot us for this to be painful and hard, but they will shoot us. They are killing the souls of our children by taking all that is beautiful away from them.”