You’ve probably heard a lot about Afghanistan last year, especially after the Taliban takeover in September 2021 and the withdrawal of American troops. That is why they are our first country in our “Pray With Us” series! We are going to give a brief overview of what life is like for the people of Afghanistan, as well as practical ways to pray for them!
Simple Statistics (britannica.com)
Population: 33.4 million
Official Religion: Islam (about 99.7% of the population)
Life Expectancy at birth: Male- 63 years, Female- 66 years
Urban/Rural Population: 24.4% Urban/75.6% Rural
We included these statistics because they give us a small glimpse into life in Afghanistan. It’s heavily populated, but 75% of its people live in rural areas. One of the biggest concerns for living in a rural area is the lack of clean water. The life expectancy also communicates how accessible medical services are. Afghanistan is not as developed as it could be, and the internal conflict with the Taliban only makes it harder.
Religion in Afghanistan (from the U.S. Department of State)
Islam is the national religion and those who belong to a different faith are limited by certain laws. However, if someone converts from Islam to another religion, they will be punished by death, imprisonment, or confiscation of property. No one is allowed to speak negatively of Islam, not even on the internet.
Christian Afghans, a minority, are often persecuted and therefore must be very careful at all times. Now that the Taliban are in control again, there is even worse persecution and pressures on them.
Practical ways to pray for Afghanistan:
Pray for the Afghani refugees who have been forced out of their homes.
Pray for access to clean water and healthcare for those in rural areas.
Pray that the unrest would lead Muslims to question their religion and search for the true God.
Pray for non-Muslim minority groups to be kept safe from extremists.
Pray that Afghani women would have their rights restored and many would know Jesus.