Afghan Christians have resolved in their hearts, amidst tears and fears for the safety of their families, to proclaim, "We are not leaving the field."
Christian Headlines reported that an Afghan Christian is calling on the international community to remember the underground church, stating in a new video that, despite feeling abandoned, they will stay in Afghanistan to "continue God's work."
It was made public on Wednesday, five days after the Taliban seized control of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital.
To protect his identity, the man in the video had his face blurred and his voice changed in the four-minute footage.
He began his greeting with, "Hello, dear sisters and brothers," before breaking the terrible news that they were now living in Afghanistan on the first day of Taliban rule.
"I don't know what the future of this country will be," he said. "We are not able to control our emotions, because we've worked so hard for 20 years. All of our work over the past 20 years has been lost overnight. Only God understands how much pain we have and how broken our hearts are."
"We are crying not out of fear, but because our hearts ache for our beautiful country," he continued. "It has now been destroyed by this savage and extremist group. Every precious thing of value in our nation is now destroyed. The whole world has abandoned us. Those who said they support us, have now abandoned us to the worst situation imaginable. I don't know what is going to happen to us."
He also questioned whether living beside the Taliban regime could really be their fate, given all the uncertainties.
"My friends, we record this video today as a testimony. We want to remain in history," he went on. "We want to be remembered by our friends and loved ones that today we have been left in the field by ourselves."
Still determined, the Afghani Christian stated: "But we are not leaving the field. We will fight harder and will continue in God's work."
He said that their only plea is that the Christian community across the world remember them and the enormous difficulties they are now facing.
"If we are no longer with you, remember this word from our unbroken hearts," he added.
He further requests that if any of their children survive, that they not be abandoned.
"Please do not leave them alone. Please take care of them. Please do not abandon them. I'm sorry I cried and became emotional. My heart hurts. Send this to all of your friends as a remembrance. I hope this finds you under our Heavenly Father's shelter. Thank you."
Several mission organizations, notably Frontier Alliance International, shared the video, which was created by Global Catalyst Ministries - a Christian outreach to Muslims.
According to an International Christian Concern (ICC) report published on August 21, a humanitarian worker reported that there was a great deal of "confusion" in Afghanistan following the Taliban's distribution of "peaceful messages" declaring an "amnesty" for the rebels. Meanwhile, the Taliban has also unlocked jails, freeing criminals, bandits, and Al Qaeda and Taliban militants. There have also been reports of the Taliban searching houses looking for individuals they see as foes.
The ICC reaffirmed that the Christian population in Afghanistan consists largely entirely of Islamic converts. Some believe that the number of Christians is 8,000 to 12,000, which makes it one of the biggest religious minority groups in the nation. However, the Christian community in the country has remained mostly closed off and out of sight.
As converts, Afghan Christians are directly persecuted by extremist organizations as well as by society in general. Abandoning Islam in Afghanistan is regarded as highly dishonorable, and converts may suffer severe repercussions if their decision to leave Islam is revealed.
Consequently, many well-known Christians are forced to leave Afghanistan, or else face death.