An Afghan public official recently said, “Numerous Afghans have become Christians in India. This is an offense to Islamic laws, and according to the Quran, they need to be executed.” According to news sources, this is just the latest of numerous such statements, all calling for extreme measures in resisting and suppressing the spread of Christianity among Afghans.
This most recent statement, made by Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, specifically referred to Christian conversions in India, a country that has become a sort of haven for 200-250 Afghan Christians living in Delhi. Afghan Christians who fled to Delhi were originally welcomed and assisted by the Delhi Bible Fellowship, but due to the safety concerns that came with their presence, the Afghan believers have since established their own separate church – the Afghan Church of New Delhi.
To make matters worse, India is not obligated to grant asylum to our Afghan brothers and sisters. This often makes simple tasks like buying a SIM card or renting a room precarious. This predicament probably weighs heavily on Afghan believers, because, as evidenced by Hanafi’s statement, the Afghan government isn’t oblivious to what’s happening in New Delhi. Many members of parliament are outraged that Afghan Christians in India are sharing the gospel with other Afghan visitors or residents. To them, any threat of conversion is a threat to Afghan culture. As a result, the Afghan National Security Committee is investigating the situation further.
All this simply goes to show that the Afghan government is staunchly committed to Islamic law and actively opposed to Christian conversion. This obviously has huge implications for Christians in Afghanistan as well as abroad; our prayers ought to reflect these implications.
- … for Afghan Christians to be both bold and wise as they live out their faith in an extremely hostile environment.
- … for Afghans abroad to come to know the Lord and grow strong in their faith, unashamed of the gospel and intentional in their declaration of it.
- … for the church abroad to to support the Afghan church wherever it may be – Afghanistan, India, the US, or anywhere in between.
- … for missionaries in Afghanistan to act wisely as they faithfully share the Word and encourage Afghan believers.
- … for Christ to be exalted by Afghan Christians in Afghanistan and in all nations.
Information for this post was gathered from Voice of the Martyrs and The New York Times.