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Country rank   9
Last year’s rank   1
Region   Asia
Population   40 754 000
Christians   Thousands (Open Doors estimate)
Main Religion   Islam

9Afghanistan

The Taliban’s takeover of power in August 2021 has forced most Christians either further underground or away from the country entirely. Many (if not all) house groups closed, with believers forced to leave behind everything they own. More than a year after the Taliban’s takeover, any promises they made about recognising freedoms have proved to be false. Following Jesus remains a death sentence, if discovered. The rigid form of society imposed by the militant group leaves no room for deviation, meaning Christians – almost all of whom are converts from Islam – must keep their faith secret. Leaving Islam is considered shameful and punishable by death under the prevailing Islamic law. Consequently, Christian converts face dire and violent consequences if their new faith is discovered, even from family members who must save their so-called ‘honour’ by getting rid of them.

Thousands of Afghan refugees are now living in countries bordering Afghanistan, often in poor conditions in camps for displaced people, and many Christians are among them.

Afghanistan’s lower rank on the WWL compared to last year does not mean that the situation for Christians has improved, but because of the tense situation it has become much more difficult to establish for which reasons people suffered persecution.

Meet “Gulshan”

“The Taliban are conducting a door-to-door search to find us. God alone knows who has informed them about the whereabouts and identities of the believers. If they find us, they kill believers on the spot.”

Gulshan, a secret believer from Afghanistan.

pray

Please pray

  • For the protection of secret believers and that God’s close presence will bring peace, joy and hope to their hearts.
  • That those who have fled to neighbouring countries will be led to places where all their needs are met.
  • That the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Taliban leaders towards women and religious minorities.

How does Open Doors support our family in Afghanisatn?

Open Doors raises prayer for persecuted believers in Afghanistan, and provides practical support to Afghan Christians forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

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