AFGHANISTAN — It’s now more than six months since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan. While tens of thousands have fled Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021, those who remain continue to watch, wait and suffer. The United Nations recently released a report which stated that 400 civilians have lost their lives since the Taliban takeover, and more than 80% of these have been killed from attacks linked to so-called Islamic State. Watch the courageous story of Gulshan* a secret Christian in Afghanistan hiding her family and her faith from the Taliban. If discovered, she knows they’ll be killed.
*Name changed and voice altered for security purposes. Gulshan is using a different language so that her accent and dialect will not reveal her identity.
Gulshan* – Afghan Christian *Name changed for security purposes:
“The Taliban are going door to door snatching young girls and destroying families. And God alone know who informed them about the whereabouts and identities of believers.
“If they find us, they kill believers on the spot. How can I look into the eyes of my daughter? How do I tell her that the dispenser of death will spare her life?”
When the Taliban took back control of Afghanistan in August 2021, life for believers like Gulshan became even more dangerous than before.
Christians simply cannot live openly and women are especially vulnerable to abuse.
“Our real fear was that we were given over to the mercy of the Taliban – not just the regular Taliban but those Taliban who have a religious ideology that mandates them to kill. Those Taliban who consider the education of women not just a crime, but an actual sin. The Taliban who stone women simply for communicating with a non-family member.
“Young female university students who would’ve become our future lawyers and doctors are now confined to their homes. It seems their fate is fixed: forced marriage to a Taliban soldier. All of her life she will be his slave, his victim – and will endure his abuse.
O Lord, save these girls from these beastly men! Dear Lord, do not let them lose hope in a better tomorrow.”
On top of the threats from the Taliban, millions of Afghans are facing severe food shortages and are struggling to survive.
“For the last three days my entire family has been surviving on one bowl of lentil soup. I don’t know how to continue to take care of my family as the lentils are about to run out. Our neighbours’ children are very young. I wonder whether they are able to get milk for their children. I wonder how the youngest one is. I have not heard his voice for many days.
“Dear Lord, please give him life and health.”
Despite the extreme persecution she faces, Gulshan keeps looking to God for help – and asks for our prayers too.
“Our faith is in Christ and will remain so until our last breath. It is our great desire to join with our brothers and sisters and worship God together. But now this is not possible. We can only meet our pastor in the dead of night so no one can identify him or us.
“I do not have the courage to share with you the sensitive details of my joys and sorrows. It is so dangerous. But I know that my Jesus and yours is one. Through prayer, we are united as we are the body of Christ. May the Lord make you aware of our pain. And we are assured that our united prayers in Christ are the solution.”
*Name changed for security purposes.
About Open Doors UK
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.