When the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan a year ago, there was much apprehension. But the Taliban left some room for hope when they promised to establish a modern form of Islamic rule. As the months progressed, much was revealed.
One year later, the Taliban has instituted a government founded on a fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic Law. Music and foreign tv and movies shows were banned. Men were required to grow beards and can only visit public parks on males-only-days so that they do not look at women. Women are barred from secondary education and required to be covered from head to toe with only a screen covering the eyes on their headpieces serving as windows. There are random door to door searches and checkpoints throughout the city.
Afghanistan has found itself politically and economically isolated, with its Central Bank unable to access its foreign currency reserves or even process international transactions. Millions were unemployed overnight after the closure of businesses, embassies, and organizations as foreigners were forced out a year ago. Prices of basic commodities have increased by 50%.
The economic collapse has led to a greater crisis in the form of mass hunger. According to the UN, 95% of their population are going hungry. An Afghan humanitarian official was quoted as saying, “People have nothing to eat. You may not imagine it but children are starving. The situation is dire, especially if you go to the villages. This is unbelievable in 2022.”
Ironically, the country is now at relative peace. The public executions that were staple during the Taliba’s rule in the ’90s have not resumed. There are no more US targeted airstrikes, suicide bomber attacks, or roadside bombs. The decades-long insurgency is over.
Another source of hope is that Afghans students who were able to leave the country and are enrolled in the universities of Central Asia are being reached and discipled by our Every Nation churches in the region. The faith goal of our missionaries is that these Afghans would be gripped with a passion to return home to disciple their nation.
One perspective is that the Taliban takeover is an inevitable phase in Afghanistan’s centuries old pursuit towards self-determination regularly interrupted by foreign intervention. Let us pray that Taliban’s Sharia based rule will expose the lies and the depravity of terrorism. Let us hope that it will create a hunger in the souls of the Afghan people for the one true God who rules in righteousness, peace, and joy.
- Let us lift up the Afghan people who are suffering the most. Pray for an end to the food crisis. Ask God for sufficient supply, a bountiful harvest, and for the economic and political factors affecting it to be resolved.
- Pray for a genuine spiritual hunger for the people. Let us intercede that all of this suffering will open the hearts of the people to the gospel and be drawn to the grace and mercies of God. Pray for local Christians still in Afghanistan to resume worship services and for indigenous church plants.
- Hold the ropes for the Afghan students being discipled at our churches in Central Asia. Pray for a harvest and for a vision and passion to return to their nation as pastors and church planters.
Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.
We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.
To learn more about this situation, you can check the news and resources in the links below.
- New York Times article on how the Taliban’s rule seems to have rolled back the clock for Afghanistan
- France24 article on how Afghanistan is suffering one of the world’s most humanitarian crises under the Taliban
- BBC article on how things have changed for Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule
- CNN article on the Afghanistan food crisis