No. 2 Nation in Persecution of Christians: Afghanistan

Photo credit: IMB.ORG

Afghanistan is once again a close second behind North Korea on the 2019 World Watch List. An Islamic state by constitution, the country does not permit any faith other than Islam to exist. To convert to a faith outside Islam is tantamount to treason because it’s seen as a betrayal of family, tribe and country. Very often, there is only one possible outcome for exposed and caught Christians: death. In Afghanistan converts are considered literally insane to leave Islam. As a result, some may end up in a psychiatric hospital and have their homes destroyed. In addition to communal pressure, the security situation continues to deteriorate due to the influx of foreign militants who have pledged allegiance to ISIS. And the radical Islamic Taliban have also increased in strength; at least half of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces are either ruled or contested by the Taliban. Afghan Christians (mostly those with a Muslim background) are in hiding as much as possible.

Opens Doors Video on World Watch List

10 Most Dangerous Places To Be A Christian

Source: Open Doors

Dear Reader: Would you stop what you are doing right now and say a prayer for our brother and sisters in Afghanistan who are facing almost certain death if discovered. Pray also that the Lord Jesus would reveal Himself to the Muslim in dreams and visions, like He has done across the Middle East, and lead them to one of these “hidden” Christians and the Word of God, so that they may be saved.  We should also pray for their persecutors for they are blinded by the powers of darkness and know not what they do. 

“And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained:  And they cried out with a  loud voice, saying “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.”  Revelation: 6:10-11

Our God is in control of the present and the future; therefore, we should be patient like the farmer who waits for the early and latter rain. The Lord Jesus will come in terrible wrath one day to bring justice and deliver Israel and His people. Until that time let us remain faithful to Him and gather the souls that we can. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:21) 

Carl

Ranked No. 1 in Persecution of Christians

1. North Korea Ranks No. 1 for 18th Consecutive Year on World Watch List

The Christian persecution we read about in Scripture and history books is not a thing of the past. It still exists. Today, in the 21st century, we are living in a time when persecution against Christian believers is the highest in modern history. According to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List—an in-depth investigative report focusing on global Christian persecution—persecution is increasing at an alarming rate. Below, we look at the world’s 10 most dangerous places to be a Christian—countries where saying “yes” to following Jesus is truly a life-or-death decision.

For three generations, everything in this isolated country has focused on idolizing the leading Kim family. Christians are seen as hostile elements in society that must be eradicated. There was hope that new diplomatic efforts in 2018—including the 2018 Winter Olympics—would mean a lessening of pressure and violence against Christians. But so far that has not been the case. In fact, reports indicate that local authorities are increasing incentives for anyone who exposes a Christian in their community. If Christians are discovered, not only are they deported to labor camps or even killed on the spot, their families to the fourth generation share their fate as well. Communal worship is non-existent. Daring to meet other Christians for worship is a risky feat that must be done in utmost secrecy. Yet Open Doors estimates the number of Christians in North Korea to be 300,000 strong—believers who are defying the unjust regime and following Jesus.

Dear Reader: we will share the other nine nations one at a time to give you time to reflect on each nation’s actions against your brother and sisters.

Let us remember the writer of Hebrews instructions to “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” (Hebrews 13:3) Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering greatly and dying for the testimony of Jesus. Pray that they would remaining faithful even unto the point of death if need be.

Carl