Friendship in Afghanistan

Our sisters were present in Kabul, Afghanistan, for 60 years. They had to close the community at the beginning of this year. Fr. Giuseppe Moretti was the chaplain at the Italian Embassy, where the little sisters used to go for days of solitude and prayer during the years when they were the only religious, and even the only Christians, in the country. He shared his thoughts:

In all those years they never left Kabul: not during the Soviet occupation, not under the Taliban regime, not during the bombings. The little sisters remained alongside the Afghan people as long as they could. And now it is all ending because of the lack of vocations...

Afghanistan 2018Afghanistan 2018
They spoke Farsi, lived like Afghans, slept on a mat on the floor, and wore the traditional dress. Because of that the sisters were loved and respected. Lately, they obtained the Afghan citizenship. They would joke, "It's no longer true that there's no such thing as an Afghan Christian!"

The Sisters were also respected by the Taliban. They went every Friday to pray in the embassy chapel, even though the em¬bassy was closed during the civil war. The Taliban knew who they were but always let them enter. A cross was clearly visible on the chapel facade. The head office of the Religious Police was just nearby. They could have destroyed the chapel but did not.

At the beginning of 2000, the Religious Police went looking for the little sisters at home. At that time, they were living in a building constructed by the Soviets. The building manager, a mullah [a Muslim scholar], stopped the Police and told them, "The sisters are not to be touched! These women must be respected!" So the Taliban just entered the apartment and left, leaving them in peace.

What was striking was the little sisters' way of being close to those in need, "in silence." Even with the arrival of NATO in 2002, they always politely refused any interviews, not only to avoid notice or being considered as spies, but more precisely because of their dedication and discretion. So many women used to come to them looking for support, comfort, and strength, and they always kept their stories secret.

The Little Sisters were Afghan among the Afghans. We must preserve their story.