Afghanistan (MNN) — Afghanistan is turning into a hotbed of Islamic terrorism under Taliban rule. The United Nations warns against a security vacuum, saying al-Qaeda and Islamic State-K are growing in numbers and capacity.
Representatives repeatedly voiced concerns about instability at yesterday’s U.N. Security Council meeting.
“There cannot be a security vacuum [in Afghanistan] … this must be part of every discussion with the de facto administration,” said Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations and President of the Security Council.
As described here, life grows more difficult by the day in Afghanistan. Over 200 news organizations have shuttered since the Taliban’s takeover, and women have been forced out of the public arena. Approximately two-thirds of Afghans now live in poverty.
Despite the dangers, believers choose to stay and maintain a witness for Christ. “There are still Christians in Afghanistan. I think that’s good news for people to understand,” says Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs USA.
“Yes, many Christians had to flee when the Taliban [took] over because they knew their lives were at risk. But that doesn’t mean all the Christians left Afghanistan.”
Incredibly, God is using difficult conditions to introduce Afghans to Jesus.
“We have seen an increase in openness among Afghans since the Taliban takeover. There is more curiosity about the Gospel because the Taliban says, ‘This is what it looks like to be a good Muslim,’” Nettleton says.
“For an Afghan person who doesn’t like what the Taliban is doing, the question is, ‘Well, if that’s what being a good Muslim is, maybe that’s not what I want to be?’”
Help VOM reach the seekers here. Pray that Afghan Christians can persevere through opposition and persecution.
“Afghanistan is a very communal culture, so it’s hard to be under the radar. We know Afghan Christians who’ve had to move within the country because their neighbors were like, ‘Wait a minute, you used to go to mosque, and now you don’t. What happened? What’s going on?’” Nettleton says.
“[Believers] have to be very cautious and very careful. But they are sharing the Gospel, they are being bold, and it’s really kind of amazing.”
Header image courtesy of VOM USA.