Religion Unplugged

What the Afghan government’s collapse means for Christians, Muslims, refugees

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-in” features analysis, fact checking and top headlines from the world of faith. Subscribe now to get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. Got feedback or ideas? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

On Oct. 19, 2001, as I drove to a prayer breakfast in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, the radio crackled with news of U.S. special forces on the ground in Afghanistan.

This was not a particularly shocking development since air and missile strikes in retaliation for 9/11 had started 12 days earlier.

Then religion editor for The Oklahoman, I quoted the breakfast’s keynote speaker — Steve Largent, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member then serving in Congress — in the story I wrote.

“We have been sent a very important wake-up call,” Largent said that Friday morning. “Let’s not go back to sleep.”

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All of us — at that point — felt an urgency about the war in Afghanistan and the effort to destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.

Nearly 20 years later, my attention had diverted elsewhere until Afghanistan burst back into the headlines — in a major way — this past week.

It’s impossible to keep up with all the rapid-fire developments, but these stories delve into compelling religion angles:

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

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