The International Christian Concern (ICC) calls on Christians all over the world to unite in prayer in support of Afghan Christians following the Taliban's occupation of their country.
Mindy Belz of World Magazine tweeted that leaders of the Afghan house church network have "received letters" from the Taliban "warning them that they know where they are and what they are doing."
A person who works with house church networks in Afghanistan reports its leaders received letters last night from the #Taliban warning them that they know where they are and what they are doing. The leaders say they aren't going anywhere. So it begins.
— Mindy Belz (@MindyBelz) August 13, 2021
This was confirmed by ICC, which spoke with an Afghan Christian, who said that a Christian friend had received a letter from the Taliban threatening to seize his home.
In the interview, the unnamed Christian told ICC that Christians are aware of the risks involved in keeping their faith.
"Every Muslim-background believer like myself that convert[ed] to Christianity, he knows the consequences of their conversion," the person explained. "Islam is very clear, Quran is very clear, Hadith is very clear for the apostasy. They give three days after that [and] if they don't repent ... there is no mercy on those people."
When asked how the Western Church might assist, he said that "prayer and practical aid" are needed.
As Afghan Church members confront tough choices in the upcoming days and months, the main prayer request was that they would not succumb to fear.
"As members of the Afghan Church face difficult decisions in the coming months, we encourage you to pray that they would not be overcome by fear," the ICC stated.
According to the Christian who spoke in the interview, mistakes are made when choices are based on fear.
The ICC estimates that there are between 10,000 and 12,000 Christians in Afghanistan.
According to Christian Headlines, the majority of them are Muslim-background converts to Christianity. This makes them an easy prey for the Taliban, since conversion to Christianity is punishable by death under Taliban doctrine.
In addition to Christians staying strong in their faith, Crosswalk recommends five special prayer points in connection with the turmoil in Afghanistan.
Prayers are requested for the Afghan people, the soldiers on the ground, all of the leaders, the missionaries, and the Taliban.
"Lord, even when it doesn't make sense to our earthly selves, you call us to pray for those who persecute (Matthew 5:44). We lift up the Taliban to you today. We pray that your Holy Spirit would work in them and soften their hearts," reads the sample prayer for the Taliban.
In another ICC report, while the world is stunned by the speed with which the Taliban has retaken Kabul and returned to Afghanistan, concerned citizens in Indonesia's Muslim majority fear that it may encourage Muslim extremists to seek a caliphate.
Ridlwan Habib, an intelligence and terrorist specialist, stated that although he did not believe that the Taliban's win would directly boost the extreme movement in Indonesia, it might inspire extremist organizations in Indonesia to declare a state under Islam, Berita Satu reports.
He was reported as stating that "the spirit or enthusiasm to create an Islamic state can certainly be inspired."
The ICC noted that the growth of extremism in Indonesia has led people to pursue training or to join IS outside Indonesia. When ISIS was defeated, several of these militants were deported. Despite Jakarta's "de - radicalization" efforts, many reportedly clung on to their radical beliefs.
However, the Indonesian IS offshoot Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) continues to operate. This past Easter, JAD reportedly dispatched suicide bombers to blast a Catholic church in Makassar. A similar incident happened in Surabaya that claimed the lives of 13 people and injured more than 40 others in 2018.
Hence, the ICC thinks that the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan may inspire JAD and MIT (East Indonesia Mujahideen) to do the same in Jakarta. Kabul may soon become a training ground or a sanctuary for terrorists worldwide.