Prayers are still desperately needed for believers in Afghanistan.
In a recent interview with Reuters, a high-ranking Taliban commander, Waheedullah Hashimi, confirmed that Afghanistan would not be a democracy under the Taliban—and that they will implement no law but Shariah. “There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country … We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is Shariah law and that is it.”
During their rule in the 1990s, the Taliban ruled with an extreme interpretation of the Shariah law; they imposed brutal rules for women and instituted violent punishments on infidels, including believers who have left their Muslim faith to follow Christ.
Brother Sam*, Open Doors Field Director for Asia continues to ask for prayers: “These are uncertain times for Christians in Afghanistan. It’s absolutely dangerous. We don’t know what the next months will bring, what kind of implementation of Shariah law we will see, but we continue to ask you to intercede for our brothers and sisters. They are facing insurmountable adversity. We must pray without ceasing.”
In an interview with CBN, local believer Hamid* shared fears that the Taliban will eliminate the Christian population. “We know a Christian believer who we’ve been working within the north, he’s a leader and we’ve lost contact with him because his city has fallen to the Taliban,” Hamid said. “There are three other cities that we have lost contact with our Christian believers.
“Some of the believers are known in their communities; people know that they converted from Islam to Christianity, and they are considered apostates and the penalty for that is death. The Taliban are famous for carrying out that punishment.”
Since the Taliban took full control on Monday, chaos and an eerie sense of calm has come over Afghanistan. Images of locals stampeding to board U.S. military planes have flooded social media, while, on the streets and marketplaces, rifle-brandishing members of the Taliban roamed to keep the peace.
Please continue to lift up our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. A verse prayer for Afghanstan, based on David’s Psalm 57:1-5:
Have mercy on them, my God, have mercy on them, for in You they take refuge. They will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. We cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates us. He sends from heaven and saves, rebuking those who hotly pursue. God sends forth his love and his faithfulness. Your children in Afghanistan are in the midst of lions, forced to dwell among ravenous beasts. Men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth. Amen.
5 Ways To Pray For Afghanistan
With the collapse of the government, the declaration of Shariah law, the expansion of extremism, food shortages and the raging pandemic, Afghanistan needs urgent prayer from the global Church right now, more than ever.
1. Please pray for the small group of believers in the country. They are walking on eggshells and are uncertain who to trust. Pray specifically for those whose faith is known in their communities. Pray that they find strength, wisdom and supernatural peace in God’s promises.
2. Pray for the displaced. A new wave of refugees is 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 journey.
3. Pray for the women. Many women fear that Taliban rule means they will be stripped of opportunities for education. Women involved in education during the past years could also be at risk—pray for their protection.
4. Pray for the sick. Though under-reported in international media, COVID-19 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.
5. Pray that the country will not be a haven for extremists. The Taliban government of 20 years ago are known enablers of extremist Islamic organizations. With their newfound control over Afghanistan, the country could be host to a new generation of terror groups.
*Name changed for security reasons
Top photo copyright: IMB.org; illustrative image.