During his Sunday address, Pope Francis called on the public to pray for Afghanistan amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle Eastern country. “I join in the unanimous worry about the situation in Afghanistan. I ask you to pray along with me to the God of peace so that the din of weapons ends,” the Holy Father said.
He also appealed to the concerned authorities and individuals that they come up with peaceful solutions to the conflict through dialogue. “[I pray] solutions can be found around a table of dialogue,” Pope Francis stated. (Read: Pope Francis Urges Catholics to Pray for Peace in Middle East)
“Only this way can the martyred population of that country – men, women, elderly and children – return to their homes and live in peace and security in full reciprocal respect.”
The latest conflict in Afghanistan was caused by the pullout of United States’ military forces from its capital, Kabul. The retreat of the US troops resulted in militant group, Taliban‘s takeover of the city. Driven away from the capital for over two decades, the Taliban retook the Afghan capital, including the presidential palace.
According to reports, the group was able to seize the presidential palace after Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The Russian Embassy in Kabul said that the president left his country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash in tow. (Read: A Prayer for Peace In the World)
With the Taliban taking over Kabul, Afghan families are now seeking refuge and running towards the airport in hopes of catching a plane out of their war-torn country. Videos of people, including little children, running to the airport with gunshots noises in the background went viral on social media.
The international community has already released a joint statement that any Afghan who wishes to leave the country must be allowed to do so.