As the Taliban takes full control in Afghanistan, Christian pastors are pleading for prayers as they and their families hide in fear from the conquering Islamic extremist group.
Since the weekend, hundreds of Afghans have flooded Kabul’s airport, desperate to catch a flight out of the country and avoid the harsh Islamic rule of the Taliban. A growing mass of refugees is crossing the border into neighbouring countries. Josh Manley, a pastor of RAK Evangelical Church in the United Arab Emirates, has received anxious emails and messages over the past few days and hours from church leaders with whom he has built partnerships over the past decade. In an article published on the Christian news website, 9Marks he reveals: “One house church leader sent me a picture of the small room he was hiding in with his family. He wrote, ‘This is where I am living. We are hidden right now in different areas.’ “Another pastor wrote, ‘We can’t go out like normal. It’s dangerous. We moved to one of my friend’s houses, but it’s not safe at all.’” Mindy Belz, senior editor at WORLD Christian news magazine, tweeted that pastors say they received letters from the Taliban saying they know where they are and what they are doing, “The leaders say they aren’t going anywhere. So it begins,” she writes. Open Doors has also issued a call for urgent prayer for the country and the small group of Christian believers in Afghanistan, which is ranked No 2 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List.