Afghan Christians among those being deported from Pakistan

By January 4, 2024

Pakistan (MNN) — Authorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan are playing hot potato with the lives of 1.7 million Afghans. Two months ago, Pakistan began mass deporting undocumented Afghan foreigners. Those born in Pakistan or with special immigration visas have also been caught in the mix.

The Pakistani government cites terrorism threats as the main reason behind the deportations. Nehemiah with FMI says, “Especially after the fall of Kabul in August 2021, Pakistan parties have recorded that about 25% of terrorism activities have increased in Pakistan.”

According to the United Nations, over 450,000 Afghans living in Pakistan have been pushed to the Afghanistan border so far. There, they are stranded.

“This is very cold weather right now there,” Nehemiah says. “They don’t have facilities. They are just sitting there under the open sky and they have nowhere to go.”

Afghan Christians who made the trip from Afghanistan to Pakistan.
(Photo courtesy of FMI)

Afghan Christians in Pakistan are no exception. FMI supports indigenous church planters in Pakistan, and several of the ministry’s Afghan partners have been affected by the deportations.

Nehemiah explains, “We have a very large ministry among Afghan nationals from years and years. Many of FMI Muslim-background believers are church planters who…maybe their parents were Afghanis but they are living in Pakistan, or they were born in Pakistan. But now they are struggling with the situation as well.”

Entire Afghan church congregations in Pakistan now have to travel to Afghanistan – a nation run by the Taliban terror group.

FMI is in touch with these congregations – some even led by FMI church planters. Other FMI partners are also offering support as they can.

We may not know what God is doing through this movement of His Church in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Yet there is Gospel hope.

Nehemiah says, “Of course, this is a sad situation. But I find joy in the situation by saying that we have people and partners who are able to go and start their congregations in Afghanistan as well.”

Pray for wisdom and courage for displaced Afghan believers. Ask the Lord to protect the remnant Church both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pray for Afghan Christians to lead others to Christ through their faithful example wherever they go.



Header photo courtesy of FMI.

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