As the Taliban continues to impose its will in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, this war-torn country and its people are once again in the headlines. The videos, images, and reports coming in are harrowing and heart-breaking. Various groups of Afghans are currently in the Taliban’s crosshairs, including those who identify as Christians. Though this region has long been in need of prayer due to its massive spiritual and physical needs, recent events have (hopefully) given Christians a new impetus to pray.
New Prayer Requests
We have learned recently that Radical’s Urgent partners and their projects in Afghanistan have been visited by the Taliban. Bibles and Christian literature are deemed illegal and possession of them can carry a death sentence. Would you pray for our partners and their work there? Other reports have also surfaced of Afghan pastors asking for prayer.
In addition to our Urgent partners, we can pray that God would protect and preserve his people throughout Afghanistan and that he would be merciful toward non-Christians in the country as well. We lament the suffering and loss of life for all Afghans. Praying for God’s justice against the Taliban and for their removal is surely part of such a request.
We can also pray that our brothers and sisters in Christ would persevere in the faith. Even prior to recent events, this was already one of the most dangerous regions in the world for Christians. Those who identify with Christ are in continual danger of losing their possessions, their families, and even their lives. Who knows how many believers have had to suffer in the last week. We should ask God to work in these believers by his Spirit so that they might see afresh that the glory that awaits them is greater than any suffering they might have to endure (Matthew 5:10–12; Mark 10:29–30; Romans 8:18).
Finally, we can pray that the current realities of fear, violence, suffering, and death, as terrible as they are, would be used by God to help Afghans see their desperate need for a Savior. Whether in the immediate future or in years to come, our prayer should be that many more people in Afghanistan would come in contact with the message of the gospel.
Long-Standing Prayer Requests
As tragic as recent events have been, hardship and violence are not new to Afghanistan. In fact, Afghanistan currently ranks #1 in the Stratus which means that its spiritual and physical needs are deemed to be greater than any other country in the world. Consider some of these needs.
In a population of 38,739,889 people, 99.9% are considered unreached, which means there are relatively few people in the entire country who have access to the gospel. In terms of people groups, 67 of Afghanistan’s 72 people groups are considered unreached.
This hard-to-reach region has a host of physical needs, in addition to their spiritual needs, many of which serve as barriers to the spread of the gospel. According to Stratus, no other country experiences the same level of problems and dangers when it comes to war, law and order, security, and terrorism.
List of Needs to Pray for
For a list of needs in Afghanistan to pray for, see below. Note: this list was made prior to the current withdrawal of U.S. troops. It was taken directly from Stratus’s “Prayer Points” for Afghanistan:
- Acts of terrorism are prevalent
- State-wide peace is relatively low
- There is a relatively high level of perceived criminality
- Domestic abuse rates are relatively high
- Post-secondary education opportunities are lacking
- There is a lack of basic sanitation services
- There are high levels of religious persecution
- The safety and security of citizens is often in jeopardy
- There are ongoing domestic and international conflicts
Let’s pray that God would extend his mercy and kindness to the Afghan people. That the believers who are there would endure in these difficult days. To find out more, see the Afghanistan country profile on Stratus.
 See Josh Manley’s article titled “Afghan Pastors Ask for Prayer” for similar prayer suggestions and requests from pastors in the region.
To give directly to efforts among our Urgent workers in Afghanistan.