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Pray for Afghanistan: Day 2

Dutch military troops in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan (Image, caption courtesy Remko Tanis via Flickr)

Dutch military troops in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan
(Image, caption courtesy Remko Tanis via Flickr)

Afghanistan has been a hotspot for conflict in modern history and a common battleground for international troops. As the December 2014 deadline for troop withdrawal draws near, pray it won’t leave Afghanistan in Taliban hands.

The country was taken over by Socialists in 1978, and Western forces came alongside Afghan rebels to try and reverse the Soviet land-grab. According to Peace Direct, the U.S., UK and Saudi Arabia all provided support to resistance groups. Over a decade later, Soviet troops withdrew and Afghanistan was declared an Islamic state in 1992.

As the country descended into civil war, the Taliban emerged as a political and religious power player. Terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies brought Western attention back to Afghanistan, the home base of Taliban leader Osama bin Laden, once more. Sanctions and targeted attacks began in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2001 that the U.S. and NATO began a major push on Afghan soil.

U.S. and UK troops ousted the Taliban government in December 2001. More troops were quickly sent by France, Germany and Italy to fight the Islamic insurgency.  In 2006, NATO took over Afghanistan’s national security, “its first-ever operational commitment outside of Europe”, according to BBC.

After more than a decade of conflict, foreign troops are packing up and heading home. Around 130,000 NATO troops are due to leave by the December deadline; the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops hinges on an unsigned security agreement.

With three days remaining until Afghanistan’s presidential and provisional elections, a strong prayer effort is needed. “Share” this series on social media and encourage more believers to intercede for Afghanistan.

PRAY: Pray that the withdrawal of international forces in 2014 will not lead to a return to civil war.

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