Afghanistan (MNN) — It looks like voters may be heading to the polls for a second time as candidates prepare for another go-round in Afghanistan elections. Preliminary results aren’t expected until April 24, but early reports indicate that none of the frontrunners hold over 50% of the national vote.
Open Doors USA says no matter who wins, there won’t be much change for Christians. A recent poll shows nearly 60% of Afghan voters still want to see Islam in the political sphere.
“Whatever the news emerging from Afghanistan may be in the next few weeks, let us not forget two things: there is hope for the country, and we need to continue in prayer,” says *Daniel, a persecution analyst for Open Doors World Watch Research.
Afghanistan sits at #5 on the Open Doors World Watch List, a compilation of the world’s 50 worst persecutors of Christians. The war-torn country’s first round of elections, held this past Saturday, were relatively peaceful and heralded as a victory for democracy.
But one attempted attack in Kabul at the end of March highlights the dangers Christians face on a daily basis.
“The Taliban claimed to have attacked a church, but they chose the wrong door,” Daniel explains. “The ‘church’ was a Christian expatriate daycare center where, according to neighbors, services for expats were occasionally held.”
According to a report carried by the New York Times, the Christian daycare center was thought to be an underground church. A Taliban spokesman reportedly told journalists the church was “celebrating its first anniversary in Kabul, and the insurgents timed their attack to what they thought was that celebration.”
Instead, terrorists engaged in a four-hour gun battle with the daycare’s neighbors: guards of a U.S. government contractor and Afghan police. While the shooting was underway, police were able to evacuate two dozen people from the daycare center, including children.
Praise God for diverting the attackers. Ask Him to protect similar undercover operations that are trying to advance His Kingdom in Afghanistan.
Christianity is forbidden in Afghanistan, and converting a Muslim is punishable by death. Despite the risk, secret believers are sharing the Gospel, and followers of Islam are becoming followers of Christ.
* Full name not disclosed for security reasons