Afghan refugees share their stories of courage and faith - and how your prayers and support are helping them persevere.
Afghanistan isn’t in the news as much anymore, but for enormous numbers of Afghans, the Taliban takeover continues to have a devastating impact. Many of the country’s small Christian population are still living in desperate conditions in neighbouring countries. In this update, you can hear from some of these courageous believers who continue to follow Jesus despite the cost.
Sitara*, Narges* and Maryam* are living in a neighbouring country, but were at risk of being deported to Afghanistan. That would be very concerning for anybody – but these three women have diplomas from university. That put them at particular risk: going back would most certainly have grave consequences as the Taliban regime considers education for women an abominable practice.
In a video from earlier this year, Sitara said, “The world knows how the Taliban are against women’s education and women working outside. They don’t want women to be educated because they will give birth to educated children. They will give society educated children, who, maybe someday, will stand against the Taliban.”
Many people prayed for these courageous women. With the support of Open Doors, they were able to get official refugee status. Now, they all have their refugee cards and receive an allowance from the state. This means they can breathe again, without the fear of getting deported. People with refugee status aren’t allowed to work in their country, so the allowance provides the money they need to survive. It is a small amount, but it is still better than nothing.
Sitara, Narges and Maryam are so grateful to God for all He has done for them. They know this would not have been possible without the support of Open Doors local partners – or Open Doors supporters.
When Hadija* and her daughter Narmin* first spoke to local Open Doors partners, they were being extremely brave. While every possible caution was taken to ensure their safety, and their names and identities were never revealed, they were afraid of being discovered. This is mainly because they had relatives who were high-ranking Taliban officials in Afghanistan.
For the same reason, Hadija and Narmin don’t feel that they can attend house church meetings. But they are still thirsty for fellowship and discipleship, and so meet with the house church leader in their home. He visits them, prays with them and encourages them. Please pray that, one day, they will be able to return to the church. When local partners first met with Hadija, her health was not very good – but, praise God, it has improved because Open Doors partners helped her get treatment.
A group of refugees, mostly men, recently came to a country neighbouring Afghanistan. There are about 100 people. The police are keeping them in a special camp under strict surveillance because they suspect some of them to be extremists, whose sole purpose is to spread their radical Muslim ideologies in the region.
Church members who lead the ministry among Afghan refugees went to meet them, build relationships with them and share the gospel. They also took some essentials like clothes, hygiene products and food. Open Doors local field workers must be cautious as they serve these people because they are constantly being watched.
*Names changed for security reasons
Come and meet the risk-takers of the persecuted church at this year’s Standing Strong. Discover which events are coming up in autumn and winter 2023.
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Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.