Within hours of capturing Herat, the Taliban’s fighters were out patrolling streets trying to convince residents of Afghanistan’s third-largest city that life would soon return to normal. “Business will continue as normal and people are happy with us and, with our services, they will be happier,” said a Taliban terrorist. Hamid has serious doubts about those claims. “Right now we fear the Taliban are going to eliminate the Christian population of Afghanistan,” he said. Hamid, not his real name, is among thousands of Afghans who’ve come to faith in Jesus Christ over the past two decades. We’ve concealed his identity for safety. “There weren’t a lot of Christians 20 years ago during the Taliban time but today we are talking about 5,000 to 8,000 local Christians and they live all over Afghanistan,” Hamid said.
Hamid said he’s very concerned about the future of Afghanistan’s Christian community. “We know a Christian leader who we’ve been working with in the north. We have lost contact with him because his city has fallen to the Taliban,” Hamid said. Most of the Christians there converted from Islam. “Some of the believers are known in their communities, people know that they converted from Islam to Christianity, and they are considered apostates and the penalty for that is death,” Hamid said. “The Taliban are famous for carrying out that punishment.” Taliban fighters are reportedly now going door-to-door forcing families to give up their daughters, some as young as 12, to be sex slaves for their men. “I have four sisters that are single, they are at home and they are worried about this,” Hamid said.
David, a foreign national, has worked in Afghanistan for the past 3 decades. We’ve taken similar precautions to protect his identity. He saw the Taliban’s brutality up close while living in Kabul during its last reign. Now comes fear of a return to the days of regular executions, floggings, stoning to death, and hand chopping. “They have a strict literal interpretation of Islamic law.” Despite the threats, David says there’s a hunger among Afghans like never before to know God in an intimate way. “People are seeking in their heart for peace, seeking for a true relationship with God, for meaning in life and an understanding of who is God.” Hamid said “The Christian community in Afghanistan is strong. They are trusting Jesus, they are walking with Jesus, despite the potential of being eliminated by the Taliban.”