August Prayer Partner: An Urgent Call to Prayer for Afghanistan
August 17, 2021
Like many of you, I’ve been watching the news reports out of Afghanistan with a sense of lament and grief. I know well what the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan is likely to mean – I lived and worked in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011 alongside many brave Afghans who were seeking to build a better country. I’m grieving with them and, most urgently, concerned for the many friends who remain in the country, fearful of retribution – like my friend and translator “Khaled,” who saved my life multiple times. He is now stuck in limbo, as his Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) application to come to the U.S. has been pending approval since 2018.
Even beyond those who directly served as translators for the U.S. military or in other ways served the U.S. government and thus should qualify under U.S. law for the SIV program, many other Afghans are likely to face persecution, including Christians and other religious minorities, women and girls who have pursued the opportunity of education and those who served alongside U.S. non-governmental organizations. The number of refugees fleeing Afghanistan is likely to increase dramatically.
I now live and work in North Carolina, where I help to mobilize evangelical churches on behalf of World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table to advocate for and serve immigrants. One way that the EIT’s leadership has done so is by sending this letter to President Biden, urging him to keep his commitment to Afghan allies of the United States who are now at risk. Churches in communities like mine in North Carolina are eager and ready to welcome these individuals, just as evangelical churches have welcomed refugees for many decades.
I cannot personally control who is evacuated out of Afghanistan, though I’m doing all that I can from here to advocate for Khaled and others whom I know. But I can pray, and I’d urgently ask that you join me in prayer:
- For the emerging church in Afghanistan, that it will persevere in the face of persecution, and that the gospel would shine bright in this time of darkness
- For Afghans at risk because of their service alongside the U.S. government, that they would be quickly and safely evacuated
- For other Afghans who face persecution under the Taliban, that they would be protected and, if they must flee, that they would find refuge, whether in neighboring countries or abroad
- For the Taliban, mindful that God calls us to pray even for our enemies and that, if God can intervene and redirect the life of a persecutor of the church like Paul, he can do the same for leaders within the Taliban
- For President Biden and decision-makers within his administration, that they would have wisdom and courage to keep their commitments – and that of our nation over decades – to those facing persecution on account of their association with the United States
- For churches throughout the United States, that we would not only pray and advocate for Afghans and other refugees, but also eagerly welcome them into our communities in partnership with organizations like World Relief, Bethany Christian Services and others
I’d ask you to please consider taking some time to pray today, and also to add this virtual prayer meeting to your calendar to join me and others next Monday, August 23 at 4 PM ET/3 PM CT/2 PM MT/1 PM PT to pray for the situation in Afghanistan. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the link to join.
Advocacy Mobilizer, World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table
The Evangelical Immigration Table is a broad coalition of evangelical organizations and leaders advocating for immigration reform consistent with biblical values.