Afghan Christians are totally vulnerable with no political power. They have no-one to appeal to. They don’t even generally qualify for special immigrant visas to the United States or other Western countries because they have avoided working for American organizations or working for the Afghan military. To do so potentially exposes them to attention and danger.
As the world watches the disaster unfold in Afghanistan, there’s another chapter of the story we’re not hearing nearly as much about. The Afghan church, a growing body of believers that’s experienced incredible growth, now faces life under the Taliban.
Early indications are not encouraging. Almost as quickly as the Islamic fundamentalists is taking control of cities, Christians are being notified that they are being watched.
Yesterday, I spoke at length with World Magazine Senior Editor Mindy Belz, who explained what is happening in Afghanistan. As part of the interview, she described what the Taliban takeover means for the Christian church in Afghanistan. Here is an excerpt from our interview.
Here is a transcript of a portion of my conversation with Mindy Belz:
[The Afghan church] is a unique community, mostly aged 40 and younger. They are all Muslim converts. It’s one of the fastest growing churches in the world. Since they are a tiny church, now doubled in size, they are considered very fast-growing. There are perhaps only 2,000 people. But they are an important force in Afghanistan, simply because of the force that the Gospel is. Because of the love of Jesus, the reach they have is a real thing in a dark, Taliban-shadowed country.
About two years ago, a number of these church community leaders did something amazing and brave: they decided to change their identity, their religious affiliation in particular, on their national identification cards.
Read more on this topic here.