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#1 in Christian persecution, Afghanistan


SCORE


98.33


REGION

Asia


PERSECUTION TYPE

Islamic oppression


RELIGION

Islam


PERSECUTION LEVEL

Extreme


POPULATION

38,914,000


CHRISTIAN

Thousands


GOVERNMENT

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan


LEADER

Hibatullah Akhundzada


PROFILE OF PERSECUTION

Violence 15.0/16.7

Church Life 16.7/16.7

National Life 16.7/16.7

Community Life 16.7/16.7

Family Life 16.7/16.7

Private Life 16.7/16.7


What does persecution look like in Afghanistan?

It is impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they must flee the country or they will be killed. This was true before the Taliban takeover: the situation has become even more dangerous for believers this year. The Taliban will make sure that Islamic rules and customs are implemented and kept. Christian converts don’t have any option but to obey them.


If a Christians new faith is discovered, their family, clan or tribe has to save its honor by disowning the believer, or even killing them. This is widely considered to be justice. Alternatively, since leaving Islam is considered a sign of insanity, a Christian who has converted from Islam may be forcibly sectioned in a psychiatric hospital.


Meet Sharifullah

The Taliban are killing our souls and spirits.

Sharifullah (name changed) is a traditional craftsman in Afghanistan. He is a secret believer, who devotes his life to shepherding the people God has entrusted into his care.


What has changed in Afghanistan?

The situation in Afghanistan made headlines around the world last year, as the Taliban advanced across the country and captured the capital, Kabul, on August 15, 2021. Many Afghans fled the country, and there was wide expectation that freedoms would be swiftly curtailed. For Christians, though, there were basically no freedoms to lose: Afghanistan had been No. 2 on the Open Doors World Watch List for several years, and Christian persecution remains extreme in all spheres of public and private life. The risk of discovery has increased, since the Taliban controls every aspect of government. This extends to owning documentation—including paperwork from international troops—that may help identify Christians.


Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Christians face extreme persecution wherever they are in Afghanistan. Control and supervision are stricter in rural areas than in most cities, but Afghans are expected to be loyal to clan, family and Islam across the country.


What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Afghanistan?

Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Afghanistan.


Christian population is Open Doors estimate.

Pray for Afghanistan

  • Please pray for secret believers in Afghanistan, that they will be protected from the violence of the Taliban.

  • Ask God to make Taliban leaders uphold and preserve human life, and that God would turn their hearts from hate to love.

  • Pray for Open Doors partners supporting Afghan refugees to be filled with grace and love.


Stories from Afghanistan


September 29, 2021


7 urgent prayers for Afghan Christians risking execution



September 29, 2021


A secret message from Christians in Afghanistan



September 23, 2021


‘Pray we can share the gospel’—On the ground with Afghan refugees


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