CENTRAL ASIA — Forty-year-old Abdulla*, his wife Nilufar* and their three children fled Afghanistan when the Taliban came to power in August 2021. Now living as a refugee in Central Asia, he shares his story about what life is like for Afghan people – and Christians – remaining in the country.
*Name changed for security reasons.
Abdulla* – Afghanistan Christian:
“Ordinary people in Afghanistan live in great danger. When they get up in the morning they can’t be sure if they’ll live to see the night. And when they go to bed at night there is no certainty that they will live until morning.”
When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, many thousands of Afghans fled the country. Forty-year-old Abdulla, his wife Nilufar and their three children are now refugees in Central Asia. For those who remain in Afghanistan – especially for Christians – life is uncertain and dangerous.
“Many terrible things are happening that you will not hear in the media but that we learn from friends and relatives. They say the Taliban often go out in the evenings break into houses and just kill people for any reason. They just kill people with impunity, no questions asked. Just on the street, they can find any reason – if they find out that a person worked for the state under the previous government or they served in the army or worked in some office or in an American organization.”
“And Christians are being killed without a doubt. You can’t be a Christian. Being a Christian in our country was dangerous before. In Afghanistan, Sharia has always been higher than the law of the country. According to Sharia, a person who has abandoned his religion is worthy of death. So it was dangerous even before the Taliban and now the attitude towards Christians is even worse.”
Life for Afghan refugees living in Central Asia may be less dangerous, but many struggle to find enough work to provide for their families. Thankfully Abdulla has a job and has learned some of the local language. He is building a new life in a new location, helped by the community of God’s people.
“My new faith brought me to the church. It is not just a church. For me, they have become a close family. I can share everything that happens in my life trusting them more than even my own brother. My siblings don’t know a lot about my life, but my brothers and sisters in the church do. Therefore the church for me isn’t just a spiritual communion. It’s a real family.
“Many thanks for the prayer, for the support. Please continue to pray not only for us, but also for the Taliban. Of course, the Taliban are our enemies, but I ask you to pray for their salvation. And also for salvation for our relatives.”
*Name changed for security purposes.
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For over 60 years, Open Doors UK has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.