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Afghan Christians Face Death—But They Are Putting Their Trust in Jesus

World Magazine senior editor Mindy Belz, speaking this week to Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet, describes the Afghan church as one of the fastest-growing in the world, with most members younger than 40. Though they number only in the thousands, says Belz, Christians in Afghanistan “are an important force…simply because of the force that the Gospel is.” She adds, “Because of the love of Jesus, the reach they have is a real thing in a dark, Taliban-shadowed country.”

A couple of years ago, Belz explains, some Christian church elders in Afghanistan bravely changed their religious affiliation on their national ID cards. The reports of threatening phone calls, she adds, “implies that the Taliban has access to this government record.”

Many members of Afghanistan’s younger generation have never lived under Taliban rule. And Afghan Christians now feel alone and afraid, according to Rogers of SAT-7. That media ministry is being called a “lifeline” because it broadcasts Christian TV programs in Farsi, provides social media and live-chat platforms, and maintains a counseling line.

Through those resources, Rogers says, female converts to Christianity play an especially vital role by encouraging their peers. “They’re saying, ‘We’ve trusted in God’s providence and protection, and you can, too, because God loves you and cares about you,’” he says. “They remind them that Jesus said, ‘But take heart! I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33).

Afghan Christians Are ‘Trusting Jesus’

Despite the fear and uncertainty in Afghanistan, insiders say the Christian community remains hopeful. A foreign national who’s worked there for 30 years tells CBN that Afghans hunger for a closer relationship with the one true God: “People are really seeking in their heart for peace, seeking for a true relationship with God, for meaning in life and an understanding of who is this God.”

Hamid concurs, saying, “The Christian community in Afghanistan is strong. They are trusting Jesus, they are walking with Jesus, despite the potential of being eliminated by the Taliban.” He requests prayers of protection for the faithful, who remain incredibly vulnerable.

As Belz tells Stonestreet, Afghan Christians lack political power, have “no one to appeal to,” and usually don’t qualify for special immigrant visas. Working for Americans or the Afghan military would’ve exposed them “to attention and danger,” she says, so few had taken that route.

Even before America’s recent pullout, Afghanistan ranked second—just behind North Korea—in the latest list of most dangerous places to be a Christian. Taliban ideology demands that non-Muslims must leave Afghanistan or accept second-class status. On its website, ICC provides a sample script that U.S. Christians can use to urge elected officials to protect Afghan Christians.