Voice of the Martyrs, country to pray for this week: Afghanistan

Afghanistan remains mired in chaos as the U.S. prepares to decrease troop numbers from the “surge” initiated by President Obama in late 2009. Attempts to negotiate with the Taliban have been fruitless, and relations between President Karzai and members of parliament remain tense. The Taliban insurgency remains problematic, with political assassinations in July and an attack on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul in June 2011. Out of 76 people groups in the country, 70 are unreached by the gospel.

Category: Restricted Nation
Religion: Muslim 99.8%, Christian 0.1%
Ideology: Islam
Head of State: President Hamid Karzai

Converting from Islam to any religion is a crime, and proselytizing is illegal. There are no formal churches in the country. It is believed that several hundred Afghans now follow Christ. Christians experience intense persecution from family members and neighbors. Shoaib Assadullah was arrested in 2009 after giving a New Testament to a man who later reported him to authorities. The arrested Christian refused to recant his faith, despite promises of freedom if he would. Another Afghan Christian, Said Musa, was arrested after video depicting Christian baptisms was aired on national TV. Following international campaigns on their behalf, both men were eventually released.

Daily Prayer Request:
January 1:  Pray that the 71 unreached people groups will hear the gospel.
January 2:  Pray for Christian converts from Islam.  A parliamentary secretary has called for their execution.
January 3:  Corruption is widespread.  Pray for righteousness and justice.
January 4:  Pray for Voice of the Martyr's radio and television outreaches to new believers.
January 5:  Evangelists risk their lives to disciple new believers.  Pray for their protection.
January 6:  Pray that new believers in this Islamic nation will boldly share the love of Christ.
January 7:  Pray for President Hamid Karzai.