Finally, something has eclipsed the pandemic in the news: the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It is fraught with political nuances and challenges for those of us who may not have been following the story closely for years, going back to the time before and during the western nations’ war and occupation that sought to keep the nation under some form of democratic rule.
But with the final withdrawal of American troops, the Taliban has solidified its control. And with that will come some form of Islamic law, which is concerning to many women, as well as to Christians in general.
It is said that this nation is second only to North Korea in its record for persecution of Christians. And that is only apt to get worse, not only in Afghanistan, but in other middle eastern countries, where terrorist groups may feel empowered by recent events favouring the Taliban.
I want to encourage you today to take some time to pray for Christians and churches in Afghanistan, and throughout the middle east. Pray for protection, for peaceful co-existence, and for the power of the gospel to triumph over hatred and persecution. And pray that western nations will stand up for the rights of women and religious minorities in these countries.
You may have trouble finding the words, but give that to the Lord, too. He will know the groaning of your heart.
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words” (Romans 8.26, NLT).