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What does persecution look like in Afghanistan? What is life like for Christians?

It is impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed.

If a Christian’s family discovers they have converted, their family, clan or tribe has to save its “honor” by disowning the believer, or even killing them. Christians from a Muslim background can also be sectioned in a psychiatric hospital, because leaving Islam is considered a sign of insanity.

Meet a secret Afghan believer

“How we survive daily only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”

What has changed in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan remains the second highest country on the World Watch List, and persecution is only very slightly less oppressive than in North Korea. The Islamic State group and the Taliban continue to have a strong, violent presence in Afghanistan, with the Taliban controlling large regions.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

All Christians in Afghanistan are extremely vulnerable to persecution. Areas controlled by the Taliban are particularly oppressive, but there is no safe way to express any form of Christian faith in the country.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Afghanistan?

Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Afghanistan.

Pray for Afghanistan

  • Pray for protection for the small percentage of Afghani believers. Pray that God would make “seeing eyes blind” and that anyone who might be looking for secret Afghan Christians would not discover them.
  • Pray that despite their isolation, Afghan believers would be strengthened and encouraged in their faith. Pray they would find safe ways to access the Word of God and communicate with other believers.
  • Pray that God would be at work in the hearts of Islamic extremists—such as members of the Taliban and the Islamic State group—that they would come to know the love of Jesus and that He would turn their lives around.

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About Open Doors

For more than 60 years, Open Doors has worked toward a simple goal: strengthening Christians, wherever they are threatened for their faith in Jesus.

We started because of a vision God gave our founder, Brother Andrew—a man better known by his nickname, “God’s Smuggler.” God convicted Brother Andrew with the words of Revelation 3:2: “Strengthen what remains.” And that’s still what drives us today.

In more than 60 countries, Open Doors is on the ground, bringing support and help, wherever we’re needed most. Working through local churches and Christians of every culture and language, we want to live out the command Jesus gave His followers: to be one.

Whether believers need long-term or emergency aid, Open Doors is there.

When Christians don’t have access to Bibles or Christian resources, Open Doors is there.

When believers are thrown out of their homes and forced to flee their families, Open Doors is there.

When Christians are persecuted, attacked, discriminated against and targeted because they follow Jesus, Open Doors is there.

And when you support the work of Open Doors through prayer and giving, you can be there, too. If you want to learn more about the problem of persecution—and how to pray for your persecuted family—read the 2021 World Watch List, Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 most dangerous places for Christians.

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