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The tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan understandably dominates the news. So, I thought I’d share a few perspectives on Afghanistan with you:

1. Afghanistan is a country of 39.8 million people who speak Dari or Pahsto, dialects of Farsi. 97% Muslim. US State Dept estimating Afghan Christian underground Church 500–8,000 Christians. Others say 12,000-15,000. No one knows for sure.

2. 90% of world’s opium comes from Afghanistan, sold into the West, sadly much of it into the US where it’s processed into heroin and other opiates.

3. Afghanistan is #2 behind North Korea for persecution on the Open Doors World Watch List.

4. We’re hearing mixed reports of Taliban killing or violent harassment of Christians. No one is sure what’s happening with Afghan Christians.

5. Some believers have reported needing to flee but are unable to do so. Those who remain are under immense pressure. Some sharing that if their faith is discovered, they expect to be tortured or sentenced to death.

6. Afghan citizens are not legally permitted to convert to Christianity, although there are no explicit laws forbidding evangelizing by non-Muslims.

7. There is only one legally recognized Christian church building in Afghanistan, the Catholic chapel at the Italian Embassy.

8. Estimated 3 M Afghan refugees worldwide, nearly 1 in 10 of all refugees. Pakistan building a fence along its border with Afghanistan. Turkey has become a destination for Afghan refugees (200,000), along with Syrians and Iraqi.

9. With collapse of the government and the expansion of extremism, food and water shortages are occurring and the pandemic continues.

10. Result can be desperate people take desperate measures –people do anything to feed their families = Crime, Violence, Chaos, Family breakdown.

11. Since 2002, SAT-7 has broadcast daily throughout Afghanistan in Farsi, the language of Iran, which Afghan Dari speakers understand, and now also some Dari programs too.

12. SAT-7 is virtually un-censorable – anyone in Afghanistan with a TV, satellite transponder, satellite can access SAT-7.

13. Praise God for on ground Christian and humanitarian organizations trying to meet physical needs.

14. SAT-7 works to meet spiritual needs. For Afghans unable to attend secret, house churches, SAT-7 on TV is a last resort and a lifeline.

15. In the face of adversity, people ask, “Does God even exist?” “Does He care about what’s happening here?” “Why is God allowing this to happen?”

16. Enormous opportunity to speak Christian truth into a society turned upside down and seeking answers that make sense, a God who is there and is not silent.

17. "My sister and I recently turned to Christ. We live here in Afghanistan, and we fear difficulties relating to security – it is very challenging and frightening to attend Christian meetings or try and find other Christians."

18. "I ask that you pray for me, that the love of Jesus Christ will always be found in my heart and that He will never forget me because I am in Afghanistan, and I have no one beside me."

19. “As Christians we are in real danger. Sadly, in the past two to three days, my family and I have received death threats. In this emergency situation, I have no other way but to escape from the country. Please be our voice; please help us to be heard so that we can flee from this hell as soon as possible.”

20. What should we remember?

o God is sovereign. As Os Guinness said, “We don’t know Why, but we know the God who knows Why.”

o While we understandably pray for deliverance, protection, or even flight from Afghanistan…this may not be God’s will and purpose.

o SAT-7 Farsi Bible teacher Tat Stewart observed, “Suffering purifies the Church, and God’s glory will shine through for all to see.”

21. How should we pray?

o Pray for isolated believers and Afghan Church.

o Pray for the security of NGO staff, and American forces and allies, working to help desperate people.

o Pray for an anticipated new wave of internally displaced peoples and refugees.

o Pray for the vulnerable: women and girls, elderly, sick, ethnic and religious minorities.

o Pray Afghanistan will not become a haven for extremists.

o Pray for the Taliban, sinners like us in need of grace.

o Pray for SAT-7’s ongoing ministry in Afghanistan and Iran.

o Pray for peace.

Grace be with you.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021

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