The underground church in Afghanistan was already facing sharp persecution, even before the latest Taliban advances.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”Matthew 10:34-37
Despite the possibility of potentially deadly consequences, the underground church in Afghanistan continues to not only thrive, but grow exponentially. Believers don’t gather in public, in big, ornate buildings or in locally recognized churches. They get together as small groups and in homes, in spite of the constant threat of persecution. To them, worshiping and learning and growing as disciples is worth far more than what this life can offer. These believers truly understand the high cost of following Christ.
How is the Underground Church Flourishing in Muslim Nations?
No one knows exactly how many Christians are in Afghanistan, because they must keep their religion a secret. And even though it’s been almost a year since the Taliban gained control in Afghanistan, the number of Christ-followers continues to increase. It has never been a simple task for Christians in Islamic nations to outwardly practice their faith, yet it hasn’t stopped the gospel from spreading. But how?
From Darkness to Light
There is a plague of fear spreading through the streets of Afghanistan as the Taliban continue their reign. Taliban roam the streets looking for Christians, ready to punish anyone or anything that goes against their laws. Many are fearful, however, through the peace that surpasses all understanding, believers are able to show others how they can have peace too.
One underground church leader 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. ”
In the initial Taliban takeover, many Christians in the underground church escaped, yet many chose to stay. Their desire to lead their Muslim brothers and sisters to Christ is greater than any harm the Taliban can inflict on them. To them, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” They are risking their own lives, offering their bodies as living sacrifices in order that others will believe and receive salvation.
Dreams and Visions
Even in one of the darkest places on earth, many Muslims are experiencing unexplainable dreams and visions of Jesus. In these dreams and visions, Jesus appears as a “man in white”, calling to them and comforting them. Another underground church leader shares:
“A woman and her children moved to the city and have been having a hard time. She was so happy to receive these materials. The previous night, she had a dream that God would help her. God was in her dream and told her, ‘Don’t worry. I am with you. I will help you. Not just in this city, I am with you every place you go. Just don’t worry, and don’t fear. I am with you.’ The Lord is already speaking, and today just proved that we are workers for Him.”
Please join us in praying the Lord would continue to radically transform people in Afghanistan for his glory through believers in the underground church.
- Pray that believers would be strong and courageous, not afraid or terrified because of the Taliban.
- Pray that believers would trust the Lord their God goes with them; he will never leave them nor forsake them.
- Pray faithful believers will boldly share stories of divine transformation and accounts of their faith.
- Pray for the Taliban to hear and rejoice in the truth of Jesus.
- Pray that Muslims in Afghanistan would continue to receive dreams and visions of Jesus.
- Pray that Christians would be hidden in plain sight.
Support the Underground Church
God is reaching the people of Afghanistan despite constant persecution and the very real threat of death. The Church, although hidden, is alive and well in the Middle East. People are being radically transformed and changed through the power of the Holy Spirit, the faithfulness of believers in Afghanistan, and the generosity of believers like you all over the world. Please join us in supporting the underground leaders in Afghanistan by becoming a monthly partner.