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Afghanistan

RegionCentral Asia
Sources of PersecutionIslamic Oppression
Population34,169,000
Christian Population1,000
ReligionsIslam
GovernmentIslamic Republic
LeaderPresident Ashraf Ghani
Score89/100

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: ISIS And The Taliban – Competing For Power. 
In Afghanistan both Islamic State and the Taliban compete for control. In 2016, extremist attacks displaced around 400,000 people and left over 8,000 people dead.

It is illegal to have any faith other than Islam and converting to Christianity isn’t allowed. Baptisms are a crime punishable by death. Shops and businesses of suspected converts have been destroyed. Some Christians have been sent to mental hospitals for leaving Islam. Others endure extreme hostility, discrimination and even death. Families often have to hide their faith from their own children as they never know who has been recruited by Islamic State. This makes personal growth as a Christian difficult.

A Young Nation. 
50% of the population is under the age of 20 and unemployment rates are on the rise. Many young people are at risk of being recruited by extremist groups or drug dealers. The sale of illicit drugs, like opium, is increasing and plays a big part in funding the Taliban's activities.

Care In Small Numbers. 
Christians have to be careful when they meet, even in small numbers. Often they are secretly watched and followed by the Taliban, Islamic State or the government. When they meet with a bigger group, or engage in activities like Bible distribution, they're pulled in for interrogation. 

“We are not afraid but strong and hopeful. We know He will come again. That is why there is so much pain and suffering. That is why there is persecution. He is coming back and those who do not know Him need Him in their lives. For now, we – His followers – need to live with thankful, prayerful hearts.” – Afghan Brother

Pray for Afghanistan

Pray for the Christians displaced from their homes and who have lost loved ones in attacks by Islamic State and the Taliban.

Pray for the protection of those who have converted from Islam to Christianity. Pray they can find fellowship and a boldness to evangelise to their friends and families.

Pray that the Afghan government will allow Christians to worship in freedom.