When our Christian brothers and sisters in Afghanistan get up in the morning, they never know if they will still be alive that evening. Their once promising secret congregation of twenty-five has now been scattered.
The Rolla, Missouri Church of Christ recently set up an encrypted Zoom worship time slot for them—their only contact with each other. Even then, they have to guard against others overhearing them. One Christian travels four hours round trip by auto-rickshaw to go to rent a hotel room so he can participate in secret.
An unemployed Christian was put in debtor’s prison. While there, he refused to pray with the others five times a day to Allah. His debt was paid, and he fled with his family before they could re-arrest him for apostacy.
Another brother has a job among mountain chiefs who think nothing of killing anyone who gets in their way. Their spies and the Taliban watch his every move. He cannot get alone long enough on Sunday nights to join the other Christians for worship and mutual encouragement.
Armed robbers burst into the home of yet another of our brothers an sisters, beat him in front of his wife and children, and grabbed his computer and cell phone which were probably passed on to the Taliban for a bribe. Although both required passwords, the family feared the Taliban might break through them, so they fled to live elsewhere.
Neighbors accused one Christian family of harboring an American spy and later accused the family of being spies for Christian America. They have been on the run for over a year.
Our oldest convert from Islam has been discovered and gone into hiding in the mountains an average of once a year for the past eleven years. His wife has always taken their children to yet another province to protect them from being kidnapped by the Taliban and turned into slaves for life or killed.
One of our newest converts has a wife and six children. In an effort to avoid persecution, during the past year he has wandered with his family from one city to another, one village to another, from hidden valleys to high up mountain caves.
One of our Afghan brothers travels by auto-rickshaw every Sunday for two hours to go to a hotel to worship with us over Zoom so that his family does not find out he became a Christian. In the middle of our Zoom worship tonight, he got suspicious of shouting in the hall and told us he had to leave because the Taliban were there. After that, we did not hear from him for over an hour. We prayed that God would blind the eyes of the Taliban, even if they looked directly at him.
We learned later that the Taliban had burst into his room and ordered him out into the hall along with all the other hotel guests. The Taliban lined the guests up in the hall. They looked directly at him and then moved on to the next person. They didn’t demand to see his phone. They said nothing, and moved on. God had blinded their eyes.
WHAT CAN WE DO? All Afghan converts are given Bible names upon their baptisms. They love their Bible names, plus it helps them communicate with each other incognito. If you would like a list of their Bible names so you can pray for them individually, contact the Rolla, MO Church of Christ: https://seekgrowservelove.org/contact.html