One year on from the capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban, SAT-7 viewers there are describing the disastrous impacts of tyranny, unemployment, and food shortages.
A questionnaire sent by our viewer support team to those with whom we are in regular communication asked what life is now like for them on the ground.
“An atmosphere of fear and intimidation rules society,” replied Arman, a 30-year-old lawyer who has been dismissed from his job and is currently unable to support his family. “Every moment we live with the possibility of physical violence, arrest, humiliating and insulting treatment, and even summary executions.” Worried about his young family, he said his sister, who is on a “meagre income”, has become their sole breadwinner.
Several viewers spoke of intense pressure to follow religious practice. “People have to attend at least three prayers [a day],” said Amin. “Staff in government departments who have not been expelled from their duties have been ordered to grow beards, wear traditional clothes and turbans. Those who fail to are removed.”
“Girls may not attend school after sixth grade,” said Basset, a teacher himself. “Christians have to stay underground. Opportunities for work and travel across town are limited and no one can travel with confidence.”
What is remarkable, however, is how viewers say God is supporting them.
“The only hope we have is in the true God who is the supernatural power who grants us comfort and grace,” said Arman. “This faith in the power of God has caused me to live with peace in my heart and mind, without anxiety and fear.”
Amin is alert to the dangers he faces as a Christian believer, but said, “My hope is in the Lord who will never leave me and is always there alongside me.”
Daanesh, a leader among local Christian families, said sometimes they are still able to meet in a home for prayer. He said they feel safe “as long as no one reports us or makes false accusations against us”.
He is looking beyond the current situation to what God has in store for Afghanistan: “Our hope is that the Lord will touch the heart of the people … and we will be able to build a church. Truly, the opportunities for sharing the Gospel in Afghanistan are very great, if only the work can be done.”
These faithful believers are walking with the Lord through the hardest times, and SAT-7’s programming and viewer support team are playing a crucial role in strengthening them. “Thank you for shining the light of faith into our hearts every day,” Daanesh said. “May you always know the grace and blessings of the Lord, walk in His peace, and be complete in Him.”
This article is extracted from the summer 2022 edition of SAT-7’s supporter magazine, Insight. The full edition will be available to read here from 24 August 2022