In the aftermath of the terrorist takeover of Muslim-dominant Afghanistan, Christians are under a death sentence; and many have fled to nearby countries, some to Europe. However, many followers of Christ are insisting on staying – but why?
American Family News posed that question to Jeff King, who heads International Christian Concern (ICC). His simple explanation: they've got a calling.
"They say 'Look, the Lord has put me in this place for such a time as this. My calling is to reach the dead around me, to bring the dead to life,'" he explains.
"… Persecution has always been part of the Church and so that's the real story," King continues. "In the darkness the light shines – and many will see them and many will come to faith. But it is a dangerous road ahead, no doubt."
Indeed, ICC recalls that the days of Taliban dictatorship in Afghanistan in the late 1990s were marked by oppression, violence, hate, and discrimination against many communities, including Christians. Now, believers "will be targeted," says an ICC spokesman – adding that it's likely the Taliban will impose "extreme measures to suppress the Church."
The U.S. has declined to accept the Christians who want to leave, but King says ICC is working with the federal government.
"It's a little crazy, but you know often times the government and the different organs of the government are just lost on people's faith and persecution. They don't understand it and they don't know how dangerous it is," he laments.
"But the big push is that we're trying to get a special status for Christians to have ourselves and other groups. If we can get that, that'll speed the way to bring Christians in."
ICC can't provide many details about what it is doing inside Afghanistan – but King notes that after the crisis is over, ICC will work on ways to spread the gospel in a country turned over to Taliban terrorists.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that America's major religious faiths and denominations are preparing to receive an influx of refugees from Afghanistan. Among those gearing up to help are Jewish and Islamic groups; conservative and liberal Protestant churches; and prominent Catholic relief organizations.