Persecution for one’s faith in Jesus Christ is still a foreign concept for believers in North America but globally, it’s one of the largest issues facing the church of this era although we’re told in the Bible to expect it as true followers of Christ.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Matthew 5:11
360 million Christians live in places where they could experience extreme hardship or worse for their beliefs living in countries that are hostile towards Christianity or western influence. Nowhere on earth is this persecution felt greater than in Afghanistan.
When the US withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban took over the country in just ten days—to the horror of millions of Afghans.
News outlets told stories of Afghans’ desperate attempts to escape. But few ever told the stories of the Afghan Christian community—an underground church network with as many as 20,000 men, women and children and one of the fastest-growing church movements on earth.
These Christians have been threatened with death. Many have already paid that price. Many have sought to escape. Still others are looking for ways to reach their fellow Afghans with the gospel.
From Underground to the Unreached:
God has sovereignly orchestrated circumstances for Afghan Christian families who fled the Taliban to connect with Live Global and EveryEthne missionaries from ABWE. These underground Christians are pastors, ministry workers, IT specialists, tailors, pharmacists, artists, Bible translation printers, and women’s activists who have been on the run for a year and a half. They’ve left Afghanistan, but they are trapped in a refugee camp where they remain at risk and within the Taliban’s reach.
These families are pursuing life in the United States—not just for safety, but also to minister among the more than 80,000 displaced Afghan expected to flood into the US in 2022 alone. To do so, however, requires R1 (religious worker) visas.
Through Live Global and EveryEthne, ABWE can provide the needed visas to get these families of Afghan underground church members out of the refugee camp Middle East.
In cooperation with the US government, we have fully vetted these faithful servants and secured all needed documents. Lord willing, these families will soon arrive in the US to begin their ministry: serving fellow Afghan refugees and reaching Muslims for Christ.
They will be strategically placed in teams of 2-4 family units in cities where there are significant Afghan populations. This team approach will allow them to be mutually encouraged while complementing each other’s ministry skills. In each location, they will be partnering with an anchor church and with EveryEthne and Live Global missionaries who are already serving among Afghans.
Because of their deep understanding of their own languages and culture, these Afghan believers can relate to fellow Afghans in ways American missionaries can’t. With God’s help, we desire to see our collaborative ministry expand into other communities of Afghans and Muslims across the US and even into Central Asia and the Middle East.
“Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
Pray for the Afghan Initiative on the Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church:
Join us in prayer on November 6th, to pray for the Persecuted Church and remember the Afghan Initiative. Pray with your family, your small group, your Sunday school class, or with your whole church family that God would give strength to persecuted Christians all over the globe and that he would use the Afghan Initiative for his glory. Use the resources below for your time in prayer and share it with others!
Resources for your church service, small group, or study:
Want a Live Global or EveryEthne team member to visit your church? Email email@example.com to begin planning!