Afghanistan (MNN) — A country with one of the world’s worst human rights records also has the top-performing global currency this quarter.
Billions of dollars from humanitarian aid, the Taliban’s tight currency controls, and rising trade with Asian neighbors pushed Afghanistan’s currency above the U.S. dollar. Yet poverty holds the Afghan people tightly in its grip.
Unemployment is rampant. Two-thirds of Afghan households struggle to afford essential items. The United Nations says another decrease in foreign aid could lower per capita income to $306, a 40 percent drop from 2020.
The Taliban tyranny feels familiar. “People on the ground [say], ‘Yeah, it’s like it was before; in some ways, it’s even worse,’” John Weaver, author of Inside Afghanistan, says.
“My hunch is it will continue to get worse as things go forward because that’s just how they (the Taliban) view life and society.”
Despite these difficulties, “secret Christians” continue to meet. “In the midst of being like sheep among wolves, they’ll still gather to encourage and pray for one another,” Weaver says.
Plus, the Body of Christ is growing as Afghans encounter the Gospel. “All we can say is praise God for social media, praise God for the internet; praise God for His word that’s available in many different ways,” Weaver says.
“Thankfully, God is always working even in this oppressive context.”
Pray for understanding as new believers learn how to follow and serve Jesus.
“The discipleship process does happen; it just doesn’t look like what we’re used to [in the West],” Weaver says.
“It’s low-key, it’s one-on-one. Some of these believers know other believers and are aware of resources they can access.”
Header image depicts Afghan currency. (Wikimedia Commons)