Afghanistan (#2 on Open Doors World Watch List) needs our prayers. On Sunday, Al Jazeera released exclusive videos of Taliban fighters entering the capital city Kabul with ease, taking the reins in the Presidential Palace, and declaring an end to the 20 year-war. President Ashraf Ghani reportedly fled to Tajikistan over the weekend to prevent further bloodshed (although other sources mentioned Uzbekistan).
“It’s a heartbreaking day for the citizens of Afghanistan, and an even dangerous time to be a Christian,” says Brother Samuel*, Open Doors Field Director for Asia. “It’s an uncertain situation for the whole country, not just for secret believers. Our hearts are broken. We knew this could happen. We’re not surprised but this doesn’t make the pain any less.”
Afghanistan citizens are in a frenzy – lining up in banks in a last-ditch attempt to withdraw their savings and flocking the Kabul airport to flee the country. Many locals who’ve spent the last couple of years helping the US forces are now applying for visas to leave.
Though the Taliban promises a more modern and reformed approach to government, fears remain as to how they’ll impose Sharia law in the days to come.
Brother Samuel: “Secret believers in Afghanistan are especially vulnerable. Prior to Taliban rule, they already had a very difficult time living out their faith, as they had to keep it secret from their families for fear of being shunned, or worse, killed. Now that the Taliban is in power, their vulnerability increases tenfold. It would be almost impossible to be a follower of Jesus in this country. We’re monitoring the situation, but this is the time for us to ask God to have mercy not only on His people, but on this country as a whole.”
Please join us in praying for Afghanistan today:
- Please pray for the small group of believers in the country. They’re fearful and are uncertain who to trust. Pray that they find strength, wisdom, and supernatural peace in God’s promises.
- Pray for the displaced. A new wave of refugees are expected to come from Afghanistan to many parts of the Middle East and the rest of the world. Pray for God’s protection and provision over them in their journeys.
- Pray for the women. Many women fear that the Taliban rule would mean they would be stripped of opportunities for education. Women involved in education during the past years could also be at risk – pray for their protection.
- Pray for the sick. Though underreported in international media, Covid cases are spiking in the country and hospitals are limited in what they can offer. There is no certainty as to how the healthcare system will be able to sustain itself with the new Taliban government. Pray that the healthcare system will not collapse.
- Pray that the country will not be a haven for extremists. The Taliban government of 20 years ago are known enablers of extremist Islamic organisations. With their newfound control over Afghanistan, the country could be host to a new generation of terror groups.
Thank you for praying!
*Name changed for security reasons.