This was the simple reply that Farad* scribbled on the note he found on his door. Farad pastors an underground church in Afghanistan, and the Taliban had left a note on his door. It read: “We know who you are and we know where you live.” Farad wondered if he should quickly gather his family and possessions and flee, as so many had. But what would happen to his congregation? What would happen to the new Musl_m converts that were waiting to be baptized? How could he abandon them? God had called him to reach his community, regardless of the cost. Farad’s hand trembled slightly as he grabbed a pen. He almost certainly sealed a future of increased persecution and possible death, as he wrote, “We’re not leaving.”
Farad is a hero of the Gospel. He is part of a great company of Believers worldwide who do not love their own lives unto death. He preaches the Gospel when it is convenient, when it is not convenient, and even when it might very well cost him his life. The world is not worthy of his courage and those like him. Pray for Farad and all of the pastors in Afghanistan who have declared, “We’re not leaving.”
*Farad’s name has been changed.
The fallout from the situation in Afghanistan has ripple effects for the Church throughout the region. As I was about to send this update, I received the following urgent messages:
Our Power of God Bible College in Islamabad, Pakistan, is under increased security pressure. We are in the process of better securing the facility because of new threats. The debacle in Afghanistan has emboldened radical Isl_mists worldwide, and terror attacks are increasing against Christian targets. I am not able to share any pictures, but this is an excerpt from an urgent email from our leader in Pakistan:
“As you can see the street, we have cover the whole area with security cameras and wire. We also have to install barriers to check the people crossing from the street especially during class time and worship time.”
Would you join us in securing our facility for our Brothers and Sisters in Pakistan who are pursuing the call of God? They are preparing to take the Light of the Gospel into one of the darkest regions on earth.
Governments around the world capitalized on COVID-19, and now its resurgence, to sanction and limit church activities. I often hear of other pastors and ministers risking their freedom, and sometimes their lives, to gather and worship freely, as Jesus commanded (Hebrews 10:25). Many churches worldwide are still closed by government mandate, and some are limited to a tiny fraction of their total capacity.
Pastors are being arrested, and churches that refused to close have been fined more than their annual income, both here in North America and around the world. All the while, liquor stores, strip clubs, casinos, abortion clinics, grocery stores, and other retail outlets are allowed to be fully open. This is happening all over the world. This is not by accident – it is a concerted effort to silence the Church and stop the spread of the Gospel. There is a spiritual battle being waged against the proclamation of the Gospel. There is always a spiritual battle being waged behind the scenes.
How should you respond?
Thank you for standing with us as we take the Gospel to the nations of the world. Despite all the craziness, fear, and paranoia swirling here at home and abroad, this is the promise that we stake our lives upon:
MY GENERATION WILL SEE THE GREATNESS OF HIS POWER!
If you have a prayer request, reply to this message, and we will believe God with you!
Love and blessings,