When the Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan last August, the terror didn’t end there. Although the eyes of the world have turned their attention to the war in Ukraine and other crises, the danger that Afghans are facing—especially Christians—continues.
On 15 August 2021, the Taliban established their own government in Afghanistan, called the Afghan Islamic Emirates. After taking over, the Taliban announced that the country would be governed by Islamic Sharia Law.
According to Sharia Law, anyone who converts from Islam to another religion faces life imprisonment or, commonly, the death penalty.
Because of the Taliban’s terrifying regime, thousands of Afghan Christians have been forced to flee their hometowns as they are hunted by the Taliban. Tragically, our contacts on the ground reported that some Afghan Christians were discovered and assassinated on the spot.
The problems facing Afghan Christians don’t end here. Because they are on the run, these believers have lost their possessions, employment, and livelihoods. By using all their savings to stay on the move and seek safe refuge, these families lack basic funds to purchase food, clothes, and shelter.
Our partners in Afghanistan have identified 260 Christians who are known to the Taliban and therefore at risk of being discovered and killed. The stories of these believers are those of persecution and suffering, but, through it all, hope that they will be able to settle and start anew in other countries.
Who are we helping?
Like many Afghan Christians on the run, Arman* has left everything behind for the chance to evacuate Afghanistan. Arman is a 24-year-old university student who converted to Christianity in 2017. In a bold act of faith after his conversion, Arman changed his national identity card to say that he was a Christian, not a Muslim. Since the Taliban have come to power, however, Arman is afraid that they will use his information in the national database to track him down.
Members of Arman’s village know of his faith, which puts him at risk should anyone reveal his Christian identity to gain favour with the Taliban. Because of this great risk, Arman was evacuated to a neighbouring country and has been granted temporary safe housing. To flee Afghanistan, Arman had to leave behind the rest of his family, who do not have passports. His safe housing is temporary, and he is in urgent need of permanent resettlement.
Maalik and Zahra* are a married Christian couple whose lives are also at risk under Taliban rule. Before the change of power, the two were active members of the house church network in Afghanistan. Maalik worked in various government agencies for fifteen years, and Zahra worked as a doctor in the government hospital.
The Taliban are targeting people who worked for the previous government, as well as educated women who have worked outside of the home. Their lives are not only threatened by the Taliban but also by their neighbours, who know about their Christian faith. Because of this, Maalik and Zahra and their two young children have been forced into hiding. Like Arman, they are desperately waiting for a permanent place to settle.
Arman, Maalik and Zahra are just three of the Christians who have been forced to flee for their lives. There are many who remain trapped inside Afghanistan, waiting to get to safety. It is growing increasingly difficult for our contacts to stay in touch with these believers, whose phones are being tracked by the Taliban. Their whereabouts are kept secret, and they change locations frequently to avoid detection. Amidst their constant moving, the children of these families are unable to attend school.
Our mission is to help each of the 260 believers who are known to the Taliban evacuate Afghanistan and restart their lives in a safe country.
How can you help?
The task ahead is monumental. It will take a great deal of prayer and support to bring these believers to safety, and we cannot do it alone. We invite you to stand with us in prayer for our Afghan brothers and sisters as they face this persecution.
If you feel led to give financially, please know that 100 per cent of the funds donated to this mission will be used to provide food, shelter, travel documents and safe relocation for these Afghan Christians. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.
Thank you for standing with us as we stand with them.
*Note: All names have been changed for the protection of these believers.