by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The house church movement in Afghanistan is slowly growing, despite a surrounding environment of brutal tribalism and Islamic extremist violence that forces evangelism and worship to be carried out in secret, Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) reports.
Following the US withdrawal from the country last August, Afghanistan is now ruled by the Islamic extremist Taliban, who actively suppress human rights generally and Christianity particularly. “Afghan Christians cannot worship openly,” VOM reports. “They must worship in homes or other small venues, and evangelism is forbidden. Christians and seekers are highly secretive about their faith or interest in Christianity, especially following a surge of arrests in the past decade.”
Afghan Christians are routinely beaten, tortured, and kidnapped, VOM attests. Moreover, Christian converts from Islam are frequently murdered by their own family members or by Muslim extremists, including Islamic State terrorists, which have a presence in the country.
Nevertheless, although the repression at home has caused many Afghan Christians to move away so they can express their faith freely, Afghan house churches are continuing to grow, VOM says. In particular, there has been “significant Christian growth” among the Hazara, one of 40 people groups in Afghanistan.
“Indigenous, near-culture, and expatriate believers are boldly taking risks and using every possible opportunity to help believers grow in faith and connect with local house churches,” VOM said.
Afghanistan ranks number one on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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