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According to a recent report released by Amnesty International, thousands of asylum-seeking Afghans in Europe are being deported at a time when civilian casualties in Afghanistan are at their highest levels on record. As a result, Afghan Christian converts in vulnerable situations are being sent to a country where they are at serious risk of torture, kidnapping, death, and other human rights abuses.

During the year 2016, the United Nations Assistance Mission reported that 11,418 people were killed or injured in Afghanistan. Attacks on civilians took place in every part of the country, and most of them were carried out by armed groups -- including the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Within the first six months of 2017 alone, 5,243 civilian casualties were documented.

In May 2017, Farid was deported to Kabul from Norway. Although his family are from Afghanistan, he grew up in Iran and later made his way to Norway where he converted to Christianity and was baptized. After residing nine years in Norway, during which time the 32-year-old learned Norwegian, his claim for asylum was rejected.

In another case, a 24-year-old Afghan Christian convert, deported back to Kabul from Sweden in March 2017, must now live in hiding. After criticizing Islam on social media, his photo was circulated in Kabul and his hometown, placing the young man's life at tremendous risk.

As the mere act of changing one's faith from Islam is considered an apostasy by the Afghan government, Christian converts can legally face the death penalty. Learn more about the persecution facing believers in Afghanistan.

Please pray for the asylum seekers who are being deported to this dangerous area of the world. Despite these perilous times, may they be supernaturally sheltered under God's mighty wings of protection (Psalm 91:4) and wonderfully comforted by His loving presence. Intercede for the governmental leaders involved, asking God to give them wisdom, an awakened sense of their accountability to Him, and compassion for the individuals and families at risk. We are reminded in Psalm 121 that true "help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth...."

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with ministry partners to provide Afghan Christians with evangelistic and discipleship radio broadcasts to equip followers of Jesus to present the Gospel in a specialized, culturally relevant, and context-sensitive way.

Project Funds: Underground Church, Relief & Development

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
36,643,815 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity
Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek and others

Religions (%)
Islam (99.7), Christianity and other (0.3)

Government type
Presidential Islamic republic

Leader
President Ashraf Ghani (2014)

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Afghanistan

Pray for the protection of these Afghan believers, and for the consistency of their witness, as God continues to build His church according to Matthew 16:18 ("the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it"). In addition to protecting them from physical danger and harm, ask God to insulate these minority Christians from the spiritual oppression surrounding them. May these dedicated followers of Christ mature spiritually and grow in both faith and number.

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