As the Taliban celebrate victory in Afghanistan, there are grave fears for Christians and others left behind.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, writing for the the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), fears the ground has been laid for a "potential genocide" of the country's Christian minority.
"The humanitarian crisis that is developing as the Taliban returns to power is likely to become a genocide against Christians if the Biden Administration does not act," he said.
Pompeo, who has himself been criticized over his role in the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban, expressed concern at reports that the Taliban have a list of the names of Christians and are actively hunting them down.
He warned that the persecution of Afghan Christians is "only just beginning."
"Given that many of them are Muslim converts – a crime punishable by death under the dictates of Shariah Law which the Taliban has openly embraced – the possibility of there being a genocide against Christians in the wake of this withdrawal is extremely high," he said.
Estimates of the number of Christians in Afghanistan range from 5,000 to 12,000.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has said that the prospects for freedom are "harrowing".
It is calling for "robust, coordinated action" from UN member states to protect religious minorities, and urging countries to temporarily suspend the deportation of rejected Afghan asylum seekers fearing persecution if they are sent back.
Giorgio Mazzoli, ADF's Legal Officer at the UN in Geneva, said, "The harrowing prospects for freedom, democracy and the rule of law, compounded by a deepening humanitarian crisis, are forcing thousands of Afghan men, women and children into displacement within the country, and compelling many more to seek escape from persecution and oppression."
He continued, "As disturbing accounts of killings, harassment and intimidation against them are rapidly emerging, we urge [UN member] states and the international community to give utmost attention to these persecuted minorities and guarantee the conditions for their prompt and safe exit from the country, irrespective of whether they have valid travel documents."