My heart is heavy, as I watch the images and videos from Afghanistan and hear updates from Church leaders with knowledge of the situation. There are deep concerns over the take-over of Afghanistan by the Taliban, who in the past have been known for the persecution of religious minorities, suppression of women, drug trade, and human trafficking. This is a pressing moment. Churches and believers must stand in the gap and pray for the country, especially for Afghan Christians, those who are vulnerable, and those who have already fled or are trying to flee abroad.
I am presently in Germany and have been meeting with Bishop Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance. We’ve reflected together on the unfolding situation, and he has shared some wise insight.
“We are very concerned about the recent developments in Afghanistan and the dire prospects for all of those who do not fit within the Taliban’s view of a society. Women, who will be among those who have most to lose, will likely again be prevented from enjoying basic rights, including tertiary education, professional careers, and even freedom to move around on their own. What is less reported is the plight of religious minorities, including Christians, who have suffered severe oppression during the past twenty years and who are now at even greater risk,” Schirrmacher noted.
In addition to the oppression of religious minorities and the restrictions on women that are already being felt in many of the regions that fell to the Taliban in recent days, the country will likely again see a significant increase in illicit trade and slavery. Unfortunately, the Taliban is willing to finance their efforts through many illegal and immoral activities such as the drug trade and child sex trafficking.
As believers, our hearts ache for the vulnerable in Afghanistan–Christians and religious minorities, women and children, and all of those fleeing the violence and chaos. I invite you to join me in prayer for the most vulnerable. As we include our brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s ask God to project and comfort them and that even more people would come to know the life-changing story of Jesus, leading to revival.
Right now, Afghans are going through a dark time in their history, as their sense of security is being stripped away, but there is hope for the nation. Pray that God will strategically position righteous leaders and organizations in the country to bring about long-lasting transformation.