I was lucky enough this week to hear about the work that the Holy Spirit is doing among the Pashtun people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Those who convert from Islam to Christianity do so in the face of severe persecution. Labelled apostates by the Taliban their lives are forfeit, and they often have to leave behind family, communities and possessions. Martyrdom is a daily reality, and yet God is moving powerfully among them.
There are 49 million Pashtuns in the world (30 million are in Pakistan), yet they are one of the most unreached people groups for the gospel. In their culture to be Pashtun is to be Muslim, so choosing to accept Jesus means breaking this connection. However over the last decade thousands have been called out of Islam into the truth. Even among the Taliban God has been bringing some into the light.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. – Rev 12 v 11
For the moment this all has to be done secretly, becoming a Christian means you are no longer safe where you are. They have to be moved to other parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, or into Iran. Any property they have has to be left, taking what they can carry they become refugees overnight.
Mountain Spring Ministries is a Pashtun led organisation that is supporting, training and encouraging Christians and seekers among the Pashtun.
They have asked for the following to be prayed for
- Team safety and wisdom
- Protection for the coordinator as he travels in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran
- Strength and comfort for the believers
- What to do about the believer’s children, who will miss out on schooling as they flee.
- The wives and children of those who have been martyred, and are left destitute.
- Protection for those Muslims who are seeking the truth, our speaker said they had 700 contacts who are on this journey.
- Mountain Springs run 2 safe houses for Christians and their families who are on the run for their lives
- They also provide training and communications equipment (mobile phones) for leaders in the area.
- As illiteracy is high among the Pashtun, one to one and audio materials need to be used to disciple Christians.