The Underground Church in Afghanistan Joyfully Embraces the High Cost of Following Christ

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.

Underground Church

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 underground church

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.”

Prayer Focus

Please join us in praying the Lord would continue to radically transform people in Afghanistan for his glory through believers in the underground church. 

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.

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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!”