Finding encouragement in the Christian faith can be especially difficult in a country like Iran, where tight government controls prevent followers of Christ from meeting together.
Afghanistan’s Christian community is almost exclusively comprised of converts from Islam. Some estimate the Christian population to be between 8,000 and 12,000, making it one of the country’s largest religious minority groups. However, due to extreme persecution, the Christian community remains largely closeted and hidden from the public eye.
Sources: SAT-7 North America, International Christian Concern, Eternity
Their status as converts makes Afghan Christians direct targets for persecution by both extremist groups and society in general.
According to one Christian leader, the Taliban are searching through people’s phones, “We’re hearing from reliable sources that the Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately.”
As it is so dangerous to seek the company of other Christians, many Afghan believers are completely isolated. In many cases, known Christians must flee Afghanistan or risk being killed.
According to the Taliban’s ideology, Afghanistan is a Muslim country and non-Muslims must leave Afghanistan or accept second class status. For Christians, coming from convert backgrounds, the Taliban would consider them an apostate and subject to Sharia’s deadliest consequences.
Let us pray.
- Ask the Lord to intervene to protect and strengthen His children and to and restrain evil.
- Pray that the Lord would provide opportunities for believers to meet or have contact, to support one another during this dark time.
- Pray that the Lord may be at work in drawing many – even the hardest of hearts – to Himself.