Afghan Christians Speak

Two years. It has been two years since the devastating fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

So... what is happening with Afghan Christians?

Some estimate that several thousand – all converts from Islam – lived in the country when the Taliban took control. Nearly all lived in utmost secrecy, keeping their faith hidden from even their own family.

An American who had lived in Afghanistan told me that she worked in the same office for over a year with an Afghan man before discovering that, in his free time, he was covertly producing Christian resources to spread the good news of Jesus Christ – materials that will outlast the Taliban.

Afghanistan competes for the most dangerous places on earth to be a Christian. With the Taliban in control, Christians went from being fearful of being found out, to being hunted.

You’ve got to wonder, of the Christians who survive the Taliban’s take-over, how are they able to live?

Like you, we’ve been praying for them. And God led us to some extraordinary people. Former U.S. military. Aid workers. Counter-terrorism experts. Attorneys. Missionaries. And Afghan Christians themselves.

Together, we are helping with food, rent, medical aid, and more for Afghan Christians in several countries – including Afghanistan.

Who are these Christians with a faith so strong and true that it withstands the Taliban?

What has happened to them since the fall of Afghanistan?

We asked them and then published Afghan Christians Speak to share their stories from three places: inside Afghanistan, as refugees in Pakistan, and in freedom.

Their stories reveal that even in a country devoid of Christian influence, God entices people to seek and find Him. Like a magnet in their hearts, they are drawn to Him despite the risks.

And God compels other people to help. A network of dedicated people, many working clandestinely, has grown to save lives. Many are Americans who are shattered by the injustices done to Afghans and are doing all they can to rescue them.

These stories are in the Afghan Christians’ own words. We disguised their names, and edited any information that could identify them. Incredibly, even those who live outside of Afghanistan still face threats from extremists for converting. Their family members in Afghanistan could be attacked just for being related to a Christian.

When you read Afghan Christians Speak, you can know that their profound gratitude extends to you. You are part of their story through your prayers, and through Christian Freedom International, you are part of the critical network that helps them to survive.

Your support provides life-saving items – for Afghan and other persecuted Christians.

Thank you!

Will you also pray for their deeper needs?

  • Pray for faith to live as citizens of the Kingdom as Jesus described in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3 – 12)
  • Pray for God’s peace and guidance in the midst of fear and instability.
  • Pray for the ability to have fellowship, and to get an education and jobs.

Please share this page with your friends and church. Bring them into the network of Christians helping persecuted Christians.

Afghanistan is a full Islamic country. Islam is the official state religion. Approximately 99.7% of the population is Muslim.

Islam began to be practiced after the Arab Islamic conquest of Afghanistan from the 7th to the 10th centuries. Before Islam, Christianity was one of the religions which was practiced there. After the attacks of Arabs and Muslims, Afghanistan fell under their control and Christians had to pay tributes and ransoms to them to live.

After some time, the economic pressures, attacks, and persecutions by the Islamic authorities against Christians caused Christianity to decrease. Most were killed.

It’s written that Afghanistan was one of the first communities that accepted Jesus Christ’s message and stayed loyal to him for 11 centuries. Nowadays Christianity is growing again. People are finding the facts of who the real God is.

It is estimated that 5-10 thousand Christians were in Afghanistan and a majority left after the coming of Taliban. They are facing too much persecutions and threats. Open Doors organization said Afghanistan was the most dangerous country for Christians in 2021 after falling to Taliban.

Still some Christians are living there. They fellowship secretly or do online fellowships. They seriously need our prayers. They can’t unveil their faith. They have to act as Muslim especially under Taliban government. Afghanistan’s constitution says if anyone leaves Islam and converts to another religion, he/she must be sentenced to death.

That was the experience that I had, acting as a Muslim for 7 years. I had to do it for the safety of my family and myself. But nothing can stop people from knowing Jesus even in the present tough situations in Afghanistan. People are questioning, why should we always live in these bad situations and what are the causes?

To find answers, people (especially youths) are led to Christianity because they have never lived in peace for decades, even for centuries. They are seeking new ways and new things. Nowadays youth have access to mobiles, internet and social media to watch and learn more about Jesus, Bible and Christianity.

Some Christians are still in Afghanistan. Some fled to neighboring countries. And some have made it to freedom. Here are a few of their stories.

“The Lord is the refuge of the oppressed, a refuge in the time of trouble” Psalms 9:9

This verse is very clear. I have placed myself under God's protection and God has helped me. He put good people in my way like you [Christian Freedom International] and one of my best friends [an American].

I believe that nothing is accidental. God has plans for us, and we must believe it. Maybe this faith that I have is crazy in the eyes of many, but I believe this in my heart.

I want to start like this!!

God created humans free and gave them the right to choose. I am a Christian and I chose this by myself and there was no compulsion. I found the truth in this religion.

I must say that being a Christian in Afghanistan is very dangerous. Islam is the ruling religion in this part of the world. And extreme Muslims see Christians as infidels.

During the republican government, Christians were active secretly. I built a small organization. I had impressive growth in a short time. The activity was charity, cultural, and the most important part was preaching and inviting people to Christianity. I was very successful in this. But unfortunately, I had no connection with any church. I was moving spontaneously and independently.

This was a love for me. I moved without fear. I successfully invited 387 families to Christianity, and they all accepted in three years. This caused my life and family to be in danger of death during the fall of the government. On the second day of the fall of the government, those who knew that I was the leader of an organization and knew about my religion attacked my house.

I was not at home at that time. Taliban took my [relatives] and beat them a lot to hand me over to them. It is a long story that I cannot describe here. From that time, my family and I have been hiding. We cannot appear in public anymore because our lives are in danger.

Thank you for your help. It really saved our lives. I must say that what makes me persevere is my faith. Living in current conditions in Afghanistan is very difficult, especially being a Christian, which is a crime here. Christians are not safe. And I want to say something very important.

The Taliban put a reward for finding me. They said this person is a Christian and an American spy and an infidel who misled people during the republic. Whoever hands this infidel to us will receive a reward. Now you know how much my life is in danger.

Life in Afghanistan is like a nightmare for me. We do not have peace. We are deprived of going outside. I am like a prisoner who has no choice.

I want to thank you for helping with my house rent, medical, and food. It really saved our lives. Especially, what helped me so much is going to the doctor. I can't walk really, and this is so hard for me. I'm experiencing a very hard situation with this pain.

I want to thank someone who has become a bridge between me and you [Christian Freedom International]. I always disturb her, but she is still my friend and I have no one without her. I hope one day I can make up for it.

May God bring you all his glory and blessings.

I want to thank God for all blessings granted to me, and you for all the kindness and support you do for me and my family. God bless you and your family, dear sister.

I am an Afghan man about 40 years old, of the Hazara ethnicity and Christian beliefs, and married with children. I was born in an Islamic family.

My parents insisted that I read the Quran and pray from the fourth grade in Arabic. I didn't understand what I was reading. We did many things, for example, we mourned in the month of Muharram, the Islamic new year, and we beat ourselves, and the mullahs told us that it was rewarding.

We had no right to even think about another religion, lest we become sinners. When I was 35 years old, I got familiar with Christianity. I understood that this is the way of salvation, love, and light.

I converted to Christianity in 2018, although the situation was not good for the Jesus Christ believers. But the Lord helped me and showed me his light and blessing. I am grateful to my heavenly father, who chose me and enlightened my heart with his faith.

We knew that if neighbors or even some relatives know about our beliefs, it may be cause to death, because according to Islamic law, if someone converts from Islam to another religion such as Christianity, he becomes an infidel and faces the death penalty. We used to gather secretly for prayer and the place continuously changed.

I was threatened by phone in 2019 by a guy that spoke in Dari but Pashto accent. I did not share this with anyone and changed my phone number and left the province. During the republic period, we heard that some believers disappeared. Their bodies were found after a while. One of these murders was in 2007, a group of Christians came to Afghanistan from Korea and two were killed by the Taliban.

The situation was bearable until the Taliban came to power in August 2021.

The Taliban is an extremely extreme Islamic group. With their arrival, we could no longer gather and worship. They killed many people for being Hazara, let alone for being a Hazara and Christian. I worked with a company in Kabul, but as soon as Taliban came, I was unemployed, and the situation got harder for me.

I lived in isolation and could not go outside. After a long time, I went to my [relative’s] house but when I was returning with my son, I was targeted by three armed men who covered their faces and spoke in the Pashto language.

They shot two bullets at me in front of my son, and the third they aimed at him. Two struck me in my chest. I dove to block my son from getting hurt and took one bullet in my abdomen. After surgery and 10 days hospitalized, God wanted me to live, so I survived. I saw the miracle of Jesus Christ in my life. He healed me and saved my life.

The day after I was targeted, my family moved, in fear of another attack. A neighbor said that people with weird appearances asked about me and if he is alive or dead. After I was discharged from the hospital, I looked for a way to escape from Afghanistan.

I had never imagined that one day I may be under targeted attack. I had no enmity with anyone. But some of my friends and those I worked with doubted my faith and frequently questioned me. I think they were trying to kill me. But my Lord saved me.

With the help of an American friend, I found a way to Pakistan. This friend came like an angel to our life. My family is thankful for her kindness, and I am thankful to the Lord that always protects my family. I totally believe the great God never left my family alone.

Now we are in Pakistan. It is better than Kabul; however, sometimes the Pakistan police
annoy Afghan refugees and arrest them even though they have valid passports and Pakistani visas. Here also is an Islamic country and hard for us to declare our beliefs.

Even so, I am afraid. If Pakistan police arrest and deport me and my family to Afghanistan, what will happen to us? Taliban would not have mercy to my family. But we are not disappointed. We wait for God's will, which will be beyond my expectation.

Psalm 10:46: "Be still and know that I am God." We entrust our worries and fears to Him because He holds our future in His hands.

I migrated to Pakistan in 1997 due to persecution of the Taliban. I visited a library and asked for the Holy Bible. Later, I met four Americans. One gave me the Jesus Christ movie.

In 2001, I accepted this religion. After my baptism, I collaborated with those Americans in dubbing Jesus Christ movies in the Dari language.

In 2004, after the defeat of the Taliban, I returned to Afghanistan with my family. I continued my cooperation with the American brother with whom I helped dubbing movies. We had a secret team with several believers to know God and religion and related activities.

In 2021 until 2022, when the Taliban once again ruled Afghanistan, we were secretly living in an unknown location. The Taliban opposes those who worked in the former government and still stubbornly opposes those who do not follow the religion of Islam. Their slogan is Jihad or struggle for the religion of Islam.

I was once again forced to leave out of fear. My family migrated to Pakistan. Since then, [an American friend] and other believers have supported us. My family and I thank and appreciate all of you for this good work.

Here in Pakistan, we three families secretly gather every week and pray. To be honest, our life has always been full of problems and fear because we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we live in a society that is against other religions. Both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, we live in fear.

In Pakistan the police arrest Afghans and send them back to Afghanistan or imprison them. But we believe in our LORD that he is the Savior, and he can protect us from evils.

I would like to thank [Christian Freedom International] for helping us in such a difficult situation and we are able to pay rent and buy food. I hope their help will continue until we are transferred to a safe country. Because there is no education and work for us in Pakistan and we live with unknown future.

“Sometimes we get worried, worried about what will happen in the end and where we will end up. But when we refer to the Bible, our thinking changes and worries are separated from us. We are extremely grateful to God for this favor."

Me and the person who is now my wife, in the heart of Afghanistan, in the midst of an extremist Muslim community, our paths were intertwined and we were destined to face the journey of transformation.

Born into Muslim families, we lived in a world shrouded in darkness, unaware of the grace that awaited us. Fate brought us to university, where the fire of curiosity ignited in our hearts and was further ignited by the words of a Christian missionary.

In 2016, guided by the divine impulse to seek the truth, we dared to challenge the shackles of our minds. As we turned each page and absorbed each word of the Bible, our thoughts were changed forever.

We bravely embraced Christianity. But to our society we were infidels, strangers to whom we no longer belonged. My wife and I got married in defiance of the Islamic rules. We felt that we were full of God. Our faith in God grew stronger with each passing day.

However, our journey was also fraught with danger as threats loomed from every corner. We lived in the shadows, hidden from the judgmental eyes of those who once called us brothers. Our faith blossomed and we found comfort in glorifying God's name.

But when the wave of political developments swept our country, our lives hung by a thread. Fear clung to us like a relentless shadow. Not only fear, but very serious threats from those whom we would one day invite to Christianity.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban ruled, and panic spread everywhere. After 18 months, by God's will, we left Afghanistan. We came to a foreign land, where cultural differences made us different.

We do not know anyone. We are familiar with only a few families of our faith. We visit them once a week and pray and study the Bible. Our souls carry the weight of tragedy and leave behind the land we once called home.

But in the midst of darkness, we find a glimmer of hope as we stand together, united in faith and thanking God for the precious gift of fellowship in the midst of loneliness. Through tears and heartache, we cling to the grace that has brought us this far. The journey has been difficult, but we remain steadfast, trusting that our faith will carry us through the trials ahead.

In it all, we find strength because we know we are not alone. God's love embraces us and guides us through our darkest times. As we walk this uncertain path, we find comfort in the company of our fellow believers, bound by our unwavering devotion to the One who showed us the way out of the shadows.

“I don't know what and how the future will be for me, but I really believe God has a good plan for me. Please always have me in your prayers.”

Change of My Life

Afghan people are generally Muslim. They are born a Muslim and taught all Islamic laws and rules. They must follow and practice all of those laws and rules in their daily lives.

I was one of them. I tried to be a good Muslim and followed all the laws regularly. I have always believed in God who created the entire universe and controls it.

When I was in 12th class of school, our teacher told us about Jesus Christ, his miracles, his ascension, and his return, about Christianity and what Christians believe, what is the holy bible and why it was abolished. This was the day my life changed.

Questions came in my mind: Why holy Bible was abolished? If Jesus Christ is a savior (Messiah) at the end of this world (according to Muslims), why can’t he be the savior of all time? Why was he able to give life to the dead? Why was Jesus Christ born of a virgin? And why Christians believe he is the Lord and son of God?

These questions remained unanswered to me because I had no access to computer and internet to search about it. We had no right to ask about it from a Muslim teacher. They say it is called polytheism, a big sin to believe God has a son and even they call it infidel.

When I went to university, internet was available there. I was able to search to find the answers for my questions. I inquired and read so many articles, holy Bible and watched videos about Christianity and Christians to know more about what their beliefs really are.

The result was that I found who is Jesus Christ and who is the real and one and only God. I understood Jesus Christ is the Messiah who Jews were waiting for, and he is the Lord and savior who came to this world and sacrificed himself for sinners.

Everyone who really believes in God and study and research and read the Bible will find the truth. Because the signs of all that Jesus Christ did show us it is impossible for an ordinary man or even for a prophet to do it by himself.

Jews and Muslims both believe that Messiah will come. So many prophecies were told by prophets about Messiah that he will come and fulfill all the prophecies. After reading the Bible we can find that Jesus Christ himself was Messiah.

Finding a pastor friend

During 2014, I was trying to find someone who really knows about Christianity and to get help on how to read holy Bible (Word of God) and to learn more about Christianity. I was seeking by sending emails to different Christian organizations.

Finally, I received a message from a pastor who wished to help me on this way. He did everything for me to grow spiritually and helped me anytime I needed him. I believe he was sent by God to help me. He is still with me as a very closest friend and teacher (Praise God).

Emigrating to Pakistan to Seek Asylum

Being a Christian in Afghanistan is an impossible mission, to keep it a secret and always act like a Muslim, not to be leaked otherwise the only thing you would face is death.

From 2013 to 2021, I had to stay with my family because they needed my support, so I was always acting like a Muslim; prayed five times every day at mosque, fasting each Ramadan month and followed all Islamic laws. Even so, I was studying holy Bible on my mobile and had online fellowships and online programs as well.

It is a very hard job to act as a Muslim and heartily be a Christian at the same time.

By coming of Taliban in August 2021 everything was changed at once. Everyone tried to escape or hide. Most people ran to the airport, and I was one of them. I stayed for three days and nights in Kabul International Airport to enter the gates, but I didn’t succeed.

I deleted all my mobile data because they were checking mobiles everywhere. I was so disappointed, but I didn’t lose my hope, believed in God and prayed so much that his will comes for me. After coming of Taliban, life was full of dangers.

I decided to leave Afghanistan to seek asylum where I could have religious freedom and start my new life with more joy. I needed to leave Afghanistan even before these things happened. But because of my family I stayed there to help them. Finally, I left in Dec 2021. I didn’t know anybody in Islamabad, but I went there trusting God, and I knew he has plans for me there.

I had a budget to survive for one month. I thought everything will be done in one month and I will be accepted for asylum because most countries had announced they would accept those refugees whose lives are in danger and escaped Afghanistan. But things didn’t go as I was thinking.

In Pakistan

I searched on google to find organizations that would help me. Thanks to God, I found one who is working with persecuted Christians [Christian Freedom International] and its CEO was directly in contact with me about my situation.

During my stay in Pakistan, I faced so many challenges; visa problems, family concerns, persecution, waiting for an uncertain future, shelter, food and many other difficulties. I didn’t have a job or any financial support.

But I never lost my hope and trust in God. He replied to all my prayers and provided all I needed. Praise God, I was connected to a group who supported believers with shelter and food. As God says in Matthew 6:25: “I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing?”

In Pakistan I received a huge love from believers who have been as a family for me during those tough situations. We had great fellowships and learned many things from them about the Word of God and Christianity. I found beloved brothers.

After passing ten months in Pakistan, I received a humanitarian visa [to a free country].

Life Outside of Afghanistan

When I came to [a free country], I found everything so different. For me many things are new and special, like Christmas.  Now I can go to Church freely. Here we really enjoy praying and worshipping. It is outstanding.

I can fellowship and apply all things Jesus Christ ordered us to do. One of my favorite verses is, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8).

The difference in Christianity and Islam is the law. In Islam we must follow all the laws and Sharia which is in Quran and Hadith from which we learn extremism.

But the Bible encourages us to love each other. I found the exact thing (love) in a Christian community. Now I understand the meaning of these verses and the effects of it on societies and people.