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Afghanistan Facts

Score: 93 / 100
Region: Central Asia
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Extreme
Population: 34,000,000
Christians: Thousands, Unspecified
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Presidential Islamic Republic
Leader: President Ashraf Ghani

Profile of Persecution

Violence 60%
Church Life 99%
National Life 99%
Community Life 99%
Family Life 99%
Private Life 99%

Where Persecution Comes From

Christian persecution happens in Afghanistan because it is an Islamic state by constitution, and other religions such as Christianity are seen as alien. As a result, government officials, ethnic group leaders, religious officials and citizens are hostile towards adherents of these religions. To further complicate matters, the tribal community in the country has even more power than the state, meaning that individuals who become Christians are heavily pressured to convert back to Islam. Family members, in particular, will do everything in their power to bring these Christian converts back to Islam or to exact atonement for the shame brought upon their family.

How Christians are Suffering

Because all Christians in Afghanistan are essentially converts, they are unable to express their faith, even in private. In many cases, upon being discovered, these converts are considered insane for leaving Islam. If they cannot be convinced to return to their former faith, they are sometimes committed to psychiatric institutions. Others experience loss of personal property and businesses, beatings and even death at the hands of their own family members and communities. Knowing this, believers risk everything when telling others about Christ, also endangering those they witness to.  Afghanistan Christian Persecution is a tragic tale that is both old and new and seemingly not going anywhere.

Examples

Due to security reasons, specific instances of persecution cannot be shared, but the case of a German Christian aid worker who was killed in May 2017 highlights the risk believers face in this country.

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Pray for Afghanistan

  • Christian converts from Islam face strong pressure from family, friends and neighbors to recant their Christian faith. Depending on the family, some even fear for their lives. Living openly as a Christian is impossible. Pray for their courage and protection.
  • The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan does not allow conversion from Islam. Conversion is seen as apostasy and brings shame on the convert’s family and community. Please pray for change to take place within the country. Pray for openness to religions outside of Islam.
  • The small number of Christian converts in the country must remain in hiding. The increasing level of violence creates a general sense of insecurity and there are no signs of improvement in the foreseeable future. Please pray for stability and peace in the country and in the minds and hearts of Christians living in Afghanistan.

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