In the reality of today’s Afghanistan as the Taliban take power, a Taliban spokesperson told a BBC reporter that they will reimpose their version of Sharia (religious) law, which includes such things as stoning for adultery and amputation of limbs for stealing. The fate of women is uncertain. The spokesperson assured the BBC that women would be respected, allowed to work, and be able leave their homes without a male escort; girls would be able to go to school. But this was not true when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 – 2001. Women who for two decades have had those rights, now worry their freedom will be taken away. Those who have attained professional and political power fear they will be killed. The women and girls of Afghanistan face an uncertain future and will need courage, strength, international support, and empathy for their suffering. The latter is expressed in the following prayer psalm.
And so we pray this news . . .
“God of Justice and Mercy,
Hear my cry;
Hear the wail of my sisters.
See our lives in disorder,
Our dreams of peace and security in the dust. . . .
We are cast aside by the powerful.
Our strength ebbs with each sigh of despair.
Stress is our constant companion,
We watch our world crumble
and can only weep.
But You, God, can give us strength.
You can nourish our souls and
revitalize our minds.
You can touch us with Wisdom,
Banish sorrow from our brows. . . .
You have granted Wisdom to women of ages past.
You have healed the sick and
brought forth life from the old.
You have raised up the lowly and
felled the powerful.
You have been just and sure.
With Your aid, we waver no more.
We stand up in faith and praise. . . .
For You are the God of Grace,
Mighty in Justice and Mercy.”
— adapted from “Psalm of Wailing Women” by Diane Kessler
in Lifting Women’s Voices: Prayers to Change the World
(A Prayer for the Women and Girls of Afghanistan Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on August 16, 2021 see HERE ).