A Christian in Afghanistan is pleading with the world not to forget the underground church there, saying in a new video that he feels abandoned but will remain in the country to “continue in God’s work.”
The video was produced by Global Catalyst Ministries – a Christian ministry to Muslims – and promoted by other mission groups, including Frontier Alliance International.
The roughly four-minute video shows a man in front of a camera, with his face pixelated and his voice changed to protect his safety.
It was released Wednesday, several days after the Taliban took control of the Afghanistan capital of Kabul and pledged a return to extremist Islamic rule.
“Hello dear sisters and brothers,” the man says. “... Today in Afghanistan is the first day of Taliban rule. I don’t know what the future of this country will be. We are not able to control our emotions, because we’ve worked so hard for 20 years. All of our work over the past 20 years has been lost overnight. Only God understands how much pain we have and how broken our hearts are.”
Afghanistan is home to an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 Christians – most of them converts from Islam, according to International Christian Concern (ICC). Converts from Islam will be killed or imprisoned under a Taliban regime, ICC said.
Several times in the video, the man pauses to gain his composure because he is crying.
“We are crying not out of fear, but because our hearts ache for our beautiful country,” he says. “It has now been destroyed by this savage and extremist group. Every precious thing of value in our nation is now destroyed. The whole world has abandoned us. Those who said they support us, have now abandoned us to the worst situation imaginable. I don’t know what is going to happen to us. Are we supposed to live alongside the Taliban’s rule? My friends, we record this video today as a testimony. We want to remain in history. We want to be remembered by our friends and loved ones that today we have been left in the field by ourselves.”
The man then declares: “We are not leaving the field.” He also asks the world to protect the children and families of Christians if they are killed.
“We will fight harder and will continue in God’s work. If we are no longer with you, remember this word from our unbroken hearts,” he says. “But please remember us – the great difficulties we now face. If any of us remain, if our children remain, I have a request: Please do not leave them alone. Please take care of them. Please do not abandon them. I’m sorry I cried and became emotional. My heart hurts. Send this to all of your friends as a remembrance. I hope this finds you under our Heavenly Father’s shelter. Thank you.”
Photo credit: Pixabay/Creative Commons
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.