Afghans are beginning to see the stark contrast between extremist Islam and the gospel truth as the new Taliban regime continues to cement its hold on the country's government.
According to CBN News, despite dramatic headline-grabbing stories, such as those that focus exclusively on martyrdom, Joel Richardson of Global Catalytic Ministries (GCM) says Afghan Christians are simply ordinary people living out their Christian faith.
Richardson explains that history demonstrates that repressive Islamic rule only culminates in church revival.
"Iran has the fastest growing Church in the world. Seven years after the ISIS blitzkrieg, there's a revival in northern Syria...the establishment of Islamic government provides ripe soil for the Church to grow," he pointed out.
The Afghan Church, on the other hand, is said to follow suit.
"They're still actively meeting, studying the scriptures together and sharing the gospel. We actually have a report from one of our leaders who has been sharing the gospel with Taliban members that came into their village and they've actually be engaging in Bible studies and prayer," said Richardson.
While many are fearful and despairing, Richardson said that it is in their vulnerability that they continue to press ahead and find beauty in it all.
The calm before the storm
A recent report from an Afghan Christian to GCM stated: "There is pain and joy right now. God hasn't left. There is no need to fear what the Taliban is doing, yes, bad things may happen to us, but God will do something and glorify his name."
While Richardson is concerned that this might be "the calm before the storm," he asserted that Christians in that region have surrendered to God's plan regardless of the circumstances.
"They've given their future, their fate, over to the will of God, knowing that it could result in martyrdom. They understand that very, very clearly, yet they're pushing forward regardless," was his solemn remark.
At the moment, the most urgent prayer request is favor and providence. The Afghan Church wants to stay hidden from those who threaten to destroy them while continuing to carry out Christ's great commission of making disciples in their nation.
Global Catalytic Ministries (GCM) is said to be taking a proactive role in praying for, supporting, and advocating for Afghan Christians. Their report states that amid persecution, the Afghan church is advancing at an unprecedented pace and is second now to Iran.
While many are fleeing the country, others want to stay so they can preach the gospel to their own people.
The best days are still to come
On August 24, 111 Global reported that, although the underground church in Afghanistan is facing difficult circumstances, many members are demonstrating incredible perseverance.
It mirrored Richardson's words that Afghan Christians are still leading Bible studies, prayer sessions, and spreading the gospel.
What is noteworthy, according to the report, is that the Afghan Church believes their brightest days are ahead of them and that the greatest wave of redemption among Muslims will emerge from the ruins of this tragedy.