Following the news about Afghanistan makes it easy to feel helpless, especially at the scale of these developments. The barrage of disheartening news can feel overwhelming, but our brothers and sisters in the thick of it all are responding with faith. The one thing they ask the global church right now is to pray for them. Through prayer, we can respond in faith the same way they do.
Pray for the lawmakers
Last Friday, September 24, a Taliban official declared the country return to executions, including Sharia punishments such as amputation, stoning, and flogging. The Taliban leadership has previously given the impression that they would enforce a more humane kind of governance since they took power in August, yet this new announcement only shows a return to their hardliner roots. Taliban sympathizers within the country have also expressed support for the adoption of these penalties. Pray for the lawmakers and implementers of the law to uphold and preserve human life in Afghanistan. Pray for the Lord to turn their hearts from their wicked ways.
Pray for flow of information in the country
More than a hundred media companies in Afghanistan have reportedly ceased operations. In the months leading up to the Taliban takeover, many reporters have already fled for their lives, and those who have stayed are living in fear that reporting on sensitive information, such as the situation of women, could cost them everything. Journalists – especially local ones – are afraid. Pray that Afghanistan would not fall into news censorship. Pray that Afghanistan citizens will continue to have access to reliable information. Also pray against misinformation – a lot of fake news about the situation of refugees and the situation of the underground church has been circulating in social media in and out of the country. Pray against the spread of lies.
Pray for the hungry
Winter is coming in Afghanistan. This exacerbates the already dire situation of locals who have not had enough food, and have been struggling since (and even before) the height of the Taliban conflict. Now that the Taliban has been in power for over a month and that the economy has virtually come to a standstill, food prices have skyrocketed. The World Food Program recently reported that 93% of Afghanistan people have not been getting enough food to eat. Ask God to have mercy and feed the hungry.
Pray for the sick
The World Health Organization says all aspects of COVID-19 response have dropped in the country, and that the health system in Afghanistan is ‘on the brink of collapse.’ They report that only 90% of the country’s healthcare facilities are at the risk of closing. Pray for the Lord’s provision over Afghanistan’s healthcare system and for His healing for all those who are sick.
Pray for the secret believers
Saad*, one local believer, tells our frontline partners that he and his fellow Christians are already known to the Taliban. “The list has been circulated with our names on it,” he says. He mentions that in their secret network all they could do is ask one another about how they are doing – “We call one another and ask about headaches, shoulder pain, injuries, old health concerns, all in a bid to remain connected,” he shares. “For now, this is all we can ask.” Pray for protection for the believers who have been exposed to the Taliban, and protection for those who are already at risk of being killed. Pray for believers who are missing, that their loved ones will be able to find them.
Pray for the ones attempting to flee
Many governments, NGOs, and ministries are involved in extraditing Afghan locals. Though many believers have chosen to stay, some desperately want to flee and they face huge risks. Many of those who want to flee are also without passports. Pray for the governments, ministries, and private individuals helping those leaving Afghanistan. Pray too that in this situation, where so many are choosing to leave, that the Lord will keep His church within the country alive. Pray that the believers who have chosen to stay would not falter in their faith.
Pray for the frontliners and the global church
Our frontline partners are working round the clock to meet with refugees and believers. Pray that they be covered in the Lord’s protection and grace. Pray for their safe travels and for access to the right places and people. Pray for good partnerships with co-laborers in the frontlines. Pray for God’s peace to fill their hearts, for God’s love to overflow through them as they minister to and come alongside Afghanistan refugees. Pray that they can step up to the plate of service and ask the Lord to bless them with much energy, capacity, and faith. Pray for the church around the world be prepared for the Afghanistan diaspora – pray for God to open their hearts to receive Afghanistan refugees with warmth. Pray that as a wave of Afghanistan asylum-seekers make their way to new areas, pray that the church would be able to reach them with the love and truth of Jesus Christ.
*Name changed for security reasons
Afghanistan in Crisis
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