The Taliban blitz in Afghanistan has Western leaders and Christian advocates on edge. “The Taliban has been ‘waiting in the wings’ these last 20 years, ever since they were pushed out of power. Now it seems within a few weeks they will control the entire country,” Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says.
“It is not good news for our Christian brothers and sisters. It’s not good news for anybody in Afghanistan.”
In a matter of days, the Taliban quickly gained control of Afghanistan’s second-and third-largest cities, giving it momentum and territorial strength. By Friday, only three towns remained under government control, and one was under siege. The United Nations warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe as foreign diplomats and citizens alike flooded out of the country. (That catastrophe is now taking place)
A photo was caught from a video that was recorded by RAWA in Kabul using a hidden camera. It shows two Taliban from the department of Amr bil Ma-roof (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Taliban religious police) beating a woman in public because she has dared to remove her burka in public.
Should the Afghan government surrender control – a seemingly inevitable event – believers know what to expect under Taliban rule. The terrorists controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. They didn’t wait long to “set the tone.” The United States Embassy in Kabul announced reports of the Taliban executing some surrendering Afghan troops last week. “We don’t have to wonder what they’re going to do. We’ve seen it,” Nettleton says. “We know about the oppression of girls; they provided a haven for Osama bin Laden; Christians were persecuted under the Taliban.” Open Doors has ranked Afghanistan as the world’s second-worst persecutor of Christians for years. That isn’t likely to change whether the Taliban takes over or not. “It won’t be worse in the level of persecution, but I think it will be worse in terms of the numbers because there are more Christians in Afghanistan than there were 20 years ago,” Nettleton says.
“We know there are followers of Jesus Christ in every single province of Afghanistan.”
Afghan believers face oppression and danger whether foreign troops have a presence in the country or not. However, the absence of aid organizations and advocates presents a new set of problems. “Most foreigners have left the country; NGO workers, others had to leave in the face of this advance of the Taliban. That poses some [logistical] challenges of delivering aid, of being there to help [believers] and the Afghan people,” Nettleton says. “Right now, a lot of what we can do is pray for our brothers and sisters because the situation is so fluid and because the delivery of aid on the ground is so fraught with danger.”
How to pray
Pray for wisdom for Afghan believers deciding whether to stay in their country or flee. “It is absolutely crucial that we lift them up in prayer,” Nettleton says.
VOM helps believers who want to relocate, but that isn’t an option for everyone. “Our contacts in Afghanistan heard directly from some Christians who are saying, ‘Listen, God has placed us here; He will sustain us, He will get us through this,’” Nettleton says.
“They are choosing to stay, to be a lighthouse [and] a minister of the Gospel, despite what they know is coming.”
Pray for discernment and God’s protection over believers, whether they choose to go or stay. Pray also for Gospel opportunities “in a time when the Afghan people are open to hearing the Word of God,” Nettleton requests. “We’ve heard reports of an openness among Muslims who are watching what the Taliban is doing. Remember, the Taliban says, ‘We are the best Muslims, we are following Muhammad the way he should be followed,’ and so when they come in, and there is violence and abuse of women, people look at that and say, ‘Wait a minute, if that’s what the best Muslims do, what other teachings are out there?’”
9 thoughts on “Our Brothers and Sisters in Afghanistan”
Lord, I ask that you place a hedge of protection around Afghan believers. Make the Taliban blind to their presence lest they be converted. Father, strike the Taliban and make them incapable of acting against your children. Make them as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, blind and stumbling around as they search for a door they will never find. Turn our brothers and sisters into a cup of reeling for the Taliban, and let the Taliban lose their country to your Son. Bring revival to Afghanistan and lead the Taliban to the foot of the Cross. I ask it all in Jesus’ Mighty Name, the Name above all other names.
Amen and amen. I remember our pullout in Nam. Only God can help them for now
Sad but true. I served in Iraq, and was shocked when our exit from there didn’t immediately result in a similar scenario. That it took some time after for Daesh to do their thing strikes quite the contrast between Biden and Obama.
Indeed. Wars and rumors of wars.
I had noticed. Let us see what comes next.
Limited conflicts till the next big one. Another world war would be judgment day. I’ve seen my share Hope to miss that one.
I’m looking to be VERY rural in the event something goes pear-shaped.
I’m already there.
I will be, hopefully in the next few years.
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