Online Afghan ministries report an increase in the number of Christians within Afghanistan who access virtual Bible study and visit social media accounts of online churches. Despite the draconian rule of the Taliban group in Afghanistan, it seems it didn’t hinder followers from seeking the word of God and strengthening their faith.
In 2020, a Korean missionary in Turkey started the Afghan Bible College (ABC), an online college which trains the next generation of leaders of the Afghan Christians. ABC has 10 affiliated lecturers and has 50 students from five countries, reports Christianity Today.
The reality of church is now online. —Reza Jafari, creative manager for SAT-7 PARS
Parwin Hosseini, an Afghan immigrant living in Turkey, shared her story of how she came to know Jesus. She left her native country and a bleak future to pursue her studies in Istanbul. A Turkish pastor gifted her a Bible in Dari, her native language, and connected her to an Afghan church.
“There was no local church where I could explore my questions about God,” she disclosed. “But once I found answers abroad, I accepted Jesus.”
Hosseini is now a coordinator for ABC. “I want to evangelize women and then equip them for ministry.”
Open Doors ranks Afghanistan as the top country in its World Watch List. Christians in Afghanistan face extreme level of persecution and it is dangerous and even life-threatening to profess faith other than Islam. Some apostates are reportedly admitted to a psychiatric hospital since leaving Islam is believed to be a sign of insanity.
“Believers in Afghanistan are in danger and under oppression,” said John Kim, founder of ABC. “Students are eager to study the Bible—but are afraid.”
ABC reports that the ministry helped 300 new believers to Christ in Afghanistan. Through video testimonies, 10-minute sermons, online ministry and Sunday worship, ABC students are trying to reach out and connect with many Afghan Christians.
Kim also started church planting in 2017. Afghan Hope Church now has 10 congregations in several cities in Turkey, serving 150 believers. All the churches have Afghan pastors.
Another ministry that is helping Christians in Afghanistan is Church4Afghanistan, a new service of Christian satellite television SAT-7 PARS. Church4Afghanistan uses Facebook to offer a pastor-led talk show for secret home gatherings. After one month, the service tallied 8,000 unique views, 88% from within the country. What’s remarkable was that the Farsi-language SAT-7 PARS Facebook page got its largest share of viewership, 49%, from Afghanistan.
“The reality of church is now online,” said Reza Jafari, creative manager for SAT-7 PARS. “When people hear that Christianity is not about force but love, they are shocked. The pace will be slower in Afghanistan, but interest is growing.”