Year: 2021
World Watch List: 02
Score: 94
Leader: President Ashraf Ghani
Population: 38.1 million
Christian: Thousands
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Islamic Republic
Source of Persecution: Islamic Oppression
Open Doors supports the persecuted believers in Afghanistan through:
  • raises prayer support

Meet “Secret Afghan Believer”

‘How we survive daily only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”

Persecution type: Clan oppression/Ethno-religious hostility/Islamic oppression

What does persecution look like in Afghanistan?

It is impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed. 

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

All Christians in Afghanistan are extremely vulnerable to persecution. Areas controlled by the Taliban are particularly oppressive, but there is no safe way to express any form of Christian faith in the country.


  • Pray for protection for the small percentage of Afghani believers. Pray that God would make “seeing eyes blind” and that anyone who might be looking for secret Afghan Christians would not discover them.

  • Pray that despite their isolation, Afghan believers would be strengthened and encouraged in their faith. Pray that they would find safe ways to access the Word of God and communicate with other believers.

  • Pray that God would be at work in the hearts of Islamic extremists – such as members of the Taliban and ISIS – that they would come to know the love of Jesus and that He would turn their lives around.

Photo credits: imb.org

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Related News

A Secret Message From Christians In Afghanistan

The burqas covering women from head to toe are back. The men with rifles slung across their shoulders have become permanent fixtures on the streets. Just two of many indicators of what life will be like in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Saad and Fatimah, two of the few secret believers in the country, have chosen to stay in their homeland. For more than 40 years, their families have practiced their Christian faith in the shadows.

7 Things To Pray For Afghanistan

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.

Creating Art In Afghanistan – ‘Everything Beautiful Is Considered Infidel; Signs Of Hope Are Removed’

Sharifullah* is a traditional craftsman in Afghanistan. He is also a secret believer, devoting his life to shepherding the people God has entrusted into his care. He and the small group of people he has mentored have spent many years turning sketches and ancient designs into colourful masterpieces, reaching out to their community with the gospel and their craft intertwined.

2021 World Watch List Map

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