7 Ways to Show Support for Christians in Afghanistan
- Heather Riggleman Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2021 20 Aug
The fall of Afghanistan has captured the world’s attention as Taliban forces regain complete control of the country. The Taliban have been waiting in the shadows for the last 20 years and in what seems like less than a few weeks, they have complete control. Even with the U.S. military forces restraining the chaos, we know full well Christians and non-Christians alike in the country are facing dire and deadly consequences. As we have witnessed through the media, everyone is trying to flee the country.
Refugees and foreigners’ lives are being threatened. Women have been forced to leave their jobs because under the Taliban, they are not allowed to work, get an education, or leave their homes without a male relative. Christian pastors and churches are being persecuted. Many have been sent deadly messages to cease and flee because the Taliban know who they are and have threatened, they are coming for them.
With all the chaos happening in the country, Christians around the world are at a loss as to how we can help Christians who are facing persecution in Afghanistan. While the situation in the country continues to deteriorate, God is still God, and He is on the throne. Jeremiah 32:27 reminds us, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”
Indeed, nothing is too hard for God, but He is not asking that we stand idly by and wring our hands. God calls us to be warriors for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can close the gap because our hope is not in politics but in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of all. Here are seven ways we can help Christians in Afghanistan.
1. Pray for Physical Protection and Provision
Because the country is 99 percent Muslim and being controlled by extreme terrorists of Islam, we need to go before the mighty throne of God and pray on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can pray for God to provide financially because they no longer have access to money. They simply cannot go to the bank and the ATMs are empty.
- Pray specifically our brothers and sisters in Christ would be granted visas to get out of the country.
- Pray specifically for safe travel. All neighborhoods and streets are now patrolled and controlled by the Taliban.
- Pray God would provide food, shelter, and a way to communicate for help.
“Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause,” (Psalm 109:1-2).
2. Pray for the Women
Women are being stripped of their rights. They have been forced to leave their jobs and the classroom. They are forced to wear the Hijab and they no longer have access to education, basic medical care, or the freedom to go to the grocery store. Pray for protection as the Taliban re-impose Sharia law where women can be stoned, put to death, or have limbs amputated for any reason.
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns,” (Psalm 46:5)
3. Pray for Spiritual Provision
Pray the Holy Spirit would roll over the land like the wind to infuse and strengthen every believer. Ask God to increase the faith of His children and give them the spiritual endurance needed. Pray that God will supply every need of theirs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philemon 4:19).
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9).
4. Pray for the Conversion of The Taliban
Pray for the Gospel to advance even in the midst of these dark days. Ask God to bring a revival in the middle of Afghanistan. Pray for God’s light to be seen among our brothers and sisters in Christ and that this light would also be poured out on the Taliban. Pray they may repent and come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Pray the country would not be a haven for extremists, terrorists, and those who do not know the Lord.
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name,” (Malachi 3:16).
5. Understand the History of Afghanistan
Understanding the history of Afghanistan gives us better insight into how we can come to their aid. Here’s a brief synopsis of the last 42 years. The war in Afghanistan didn’t begin in 2001 as some would assume. The 42-year war dates back to the Soviet Union. Here are some key events and dates of the last for decades.
1979 – The Soviet military invaded Afghanistan to bolster a pro-Soviet government.
1980’s—Groups of guerrilla fighters and holy warriors went to war against Soviet forces leaving about one million Afghans dead. The U.S. begins to aid the mujaheddin via Pakistan. In 1983 President Reagan welcomes Afghan fighters into the White House. Later the CIA supplies missiles to the mujahideen to help fight the Soviets. In 1987, the Geneva peace accords are signed by Afghanistan, the Soviet Union, the U.S., and Pakistan, and the Soviet Union is forced to withdraw from the country.
1990’s—Following the withdraw of Soviet forces, the Mujahideen leaders take over the capital but also turn on each other. Refugees continue to flee to other countries including Pakistan and Iran. Later in 1994, the Taliban emerge from extremist groups to take over the city of Kandahar with promises to restore order, peace, and security to Afghans. Then, they impose their ultra-harsh interpretation of Islam as they gain control. In 1996 al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden arrives in Afghanistan after being barred from Sudan. Through his leadership, the Taliban take over Kabul after killing the former president.
Through their terroristic leadership, they force women back into their homes, banning education for girls, and carry out punishments which include public executions, beatings, and even amputations for going against Islam. As the country falls deeper into the Taliban’s hands, the U.N. Security Council recognizes and imposes terrorist sanctions on al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
2001—Al-Qaida attacks the United States and the United States goes to war against the terrorists. For the last 20 years, the United States not only sought out and killed Osama bin Laden, the U.S. moves from combat activity to aiding the country in re-establishing a government, to helping the country begin to stabilize. However, in 2006 the Taliban re-emerge, while the country receives help from NATO to take over security operations. Later, ISIS emerges as both ISIS and the Taliban continue with violence in the country. For a more complete history of the country, visit here and here.
6. Support Refugees
Support and pray for refugees that are fleeing the country. Pray they find shelter and a haven wherever they go, and that the Gospel is not only shared with them but that the Gospel is an example to these refugees as the way, the truth, and the life. Countries like the U.S. and Canada have launched programs to aid refugees. We can find ways to physically, spiritually, and financially support these programs.
“For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me,” (Matthew 25:35-36).
7. Donate to Relief Funds and Agencies
If you have the financial means, seek out ministry-supported organizations your local church supports. This will help support Christians while giving you the confidence to know where, what, and how your donations are being utilized.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life,” (1 Timothy 6:16-19).
No matter which way you choose to support Christians in Afghanistan, may we all remember we were once enemies of Christ. May we be thankful for the grace of God as we storm the gates of heaven for the Christians facing persecution and asking God’s provision not only for them but for His lost children as well. We, as a body of Christ, can rise up and stand in the gap for Christians in Afghanistan.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Constantinis
Heather Riggleman is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor for Crosswalk. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 22 years. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and a contributor to several books. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.