Talking about Afghanistan on the "AFA@TheCore" program, Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) recently pointed out that his ministry was in contact with many Christians who were in country when the Taliban took control last year, and they "absolutely knew" they would be given one chance to denounce their faith and turn to Islam to avoid certain death.
"That's how they treat Christians," Nettleton asserts.
Meanwhile, VOM knows of other Afghan Christians in the country who had not worked with westerners but were led to Christ online or over the telephone by another native also living and worshipping under the radar.
"Many of those stayed in the country, and they're still there sharing the gospel," Nettleton relays. "They're still there serving the Lord, but they are targeted; the Taliban is looking for them. They don't want there to be Christians in Afghanistan."
Even so, those believers continue sharing the gospel and encouraging people to follow Christ.
The VOM spokesman also told the radio program that China's Communist Party continues to frown on Christianity, noting that the persecution has picked up since Xi Jinping has been in charge. The government has closed churches, thrown pastors into prison, and found new ways to squelch religious expression.
Nettleton says Xi Jinping sees Christianity, and really any religion, as being in direct competition to the Communist Party for the control of hearts and minds in China.
"We've seen over the last 10 years the Chinese government come in and say, 'Hey, we want you as a church -- even the registered church, even the legal churches -- we want you to put a camera on your platform facing the audience in your church, facing the congregation, so that we can monitor who's there, what are they doing, how fervent they seem in the service,'" the VOM spokesman reports. "A lot of Christians, even, again, in the registered church, said, 'No, we're not going to allow your camera here.'"
The government has responded by closing down those churches.
VOM is in contact with many Christians who are still inside Afghanistan, as well as with many who fled to neighboring nations. Regarding them and the Christians in China, Nettleton says there are ways for believers to help their brothers and sisters, namely through prayer.
"We know God can move," he asserts. "God can do things that we can't do."