The Underground Church In Afghanistan Joyfully Embraces The High Cost Of Following Christ

In the face of intense persecution and the recent advances of the Taliban, the underground church in Afghanistan stands resilient. Embracing a sheep among wolves perspective, these believers prioritize their faith over worldly comforts.

Rather than assembling in grand buildings or recognized churches, believers gather in small groups and homes, defying the constant threat of persecution. Despite the potential dangers, they find the value of worship, learning, and growth as disciples to be far greater than the offerings of this life.

The Underground Church’s Flourishing Amidst Challenges

Despite the challenges faced by Christians in Islamic nations, the underground church continues to grow, even under the Taliban’s control. How does the gospel manage to spread in such restrictive conditions?

Navigating Darkness with Hope

As fear spreads through the streets of Afghanistan under Taliban rule, disciple-makers, with a peace that surpasses understanding, offer hope to others. Despite the constant threat of persecution, these believers remain a source of peace for those around them. One disciple maker says:

“It’s very different to talk with believers than talk to others who aren’t believers because in spite of their fear, there is hope. Then there are others. Even with the Taliban outside, these others are the most relaxed people that I’ve been meeting here. They just kept their lives and their engagement with God…The difference between light and dark is so visible. Many of my Muslim friends have told me how much it means to them that I have chosen to stay. Right now they can clearly see the religion of Islam they have been following leads to darkness. They have said my presence has brought them hope.”

The stark difference between believers and non-believers highlights the visible contrast between light and darkness.

Facing the Threat Head-On

While some Christians in the underground church chose to escape during the initial Taliban takeover, others decided to stay. Their commitment to making disciples outweighs the potential harm inflicted by the Taliban. Their mantra, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” reflects their willingness to risk their lives for the sake of others’ salvation.

Dreams and Visions Illuminate Darkness

While disciple-makers are certainly playing a role in what God is doing in these closed nations, Jesus is reaching people in many ways. Muslims are reportedly having dreams and visions of Jesus, offering a glimmer of hope. These visions depict Jesus as a “man in white,” providing comfort and calling individuals to him. Where adversity flourishes, so does the church as Jesus draws people to Himself in a variety of means. 

The stories of the underground church in Afghanistan illustrate not only resilience but also the profound impact of faith in the darkest corners of the world.

The Underground Church

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”