Image: Afghan Children
Consider these 10 factors as you lift up believers in the second-deadliest country for Christians
What and how do we pray for believers in a country that almost tied North Korea for the #1 spot on the 2018 World Watch List (one point separation)? With more than 30 million Afghan Muslims and only several thousand Christians, these faithful followers of Christ are up against persecution from both government and tribal society. Because Afghanistan is an Islamic state by constitution, other religions such as Christianity are seen as alien.
10 SPECIFICS TO PRAY FOR AFGHANISTAN BELIEVERS:
1. There are no church buildings in Afghanistan and many Christians are cut off from underground networks of believers. They feel isolated and unsure whom to trust. Pray that the secret church there would grow in unity and in numbers.
2. Afghanistan is second on the 2018 World Watch List for good reason. Christians are extremely vulnerable. Their families feel compelled to save the family honor by forcing believers to reconvert to Islam. If these efforts are unsuccessful, Christians may be disowned, banished, abused, kidnapped or even killed. The authorities and extremist groups form another threat to the lives of Christians. Pray for the safety of Christians and for strength to remain faithful in the midst of their persecution.
3. Pray for peace negotiations with the Taliban, that their power would be broken and this war-ravished country would know peace.
4. Women in Afghanistan have few rights; many are denied even basic education or medical care. They are often neglected, abused and mistreated, and authorities offer no protection. Pray that Afghan women would be protected and honored and that through the saving power of Christ, they would know the love of our Father in Heaven.
5. Afghanistan is one of the biggest exporters of drugs. The corruption and drug trade threaten the country’s development, even as they bind countless people in dependence on this “shadow economy.” Pray that Christ would break the power of corruption and drugs, and that the Christians’ lives of godly integrity would be beacons of hope.
6. Thank God for the many Afghans who are listening to Christian radio stations or downloading Christian materials from the Internet. Some are genuine, and often isolated, believers; others are disappointed with Islam and want to know more about Jesus Christ. Pray that God would change lives as the Word is preached through these media outlets.
7. Last year, 21 Afghan Christians lose their lives for their faith. Though “persecution incidents” often go unreported, the pain and trauma facing those who are left behind are immense. Pray that God would comfort the families of martyrs and strengthen their faith so they can endure in these difficult times.
8. Join Afghan Christians in praying for terrorists, extremists and others who oppose Christianity there and in the West. Pray that God would touch their hearts and draw them to Himself through His great love and mercy, and that their zeal would be for the worship and service of Christ.
9. Pray for awakening and breakthrough among Afghans. Pray that those who are lost will be saved by Christ.
10. Pray that God will raise up mighty warriors among indigenous believers to fight for Christ’s kingdom by praying, preaching the Word, and making disciples.
Father, strengthen us to pray faithfully for believers in Afghanistan, that they would be encouraged and strengthened each day with your mercies that are new every morning. We pray for the lost that they might know Christ and turn their hearts to worship and serve Him. And we pray for the nation that it would be freed from the tyranny of the Taliban and extremists, and that the Word of God would be spread across the land in saving power. In the name of Jesus who reigns over all His creation, Amen.