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UK News

Christians called to National Hour of Prayer for Afghanistan

by Donna Birrell

Christians are being encouraged to come together for a National Hour of Prayer for Afghanistan this evening.

It begins at 7pm and has been organised by Jane Dodds who is a Christian member of the Welsh Parliament, the Senedd.

She tells Premier more:

"It's just to bring Christians together to focus on the situation in Afghanistan. We all know how powerful prayer can be, how important it is. And sometimes we all feel like we can't do anything in a situation as Christians so far away. But we can, we can pray. And the hope that I have is that as many people as possible will come together, either individually in groups or in a church, or there is an event as well on zoom, just to pray for that, just to concentrate on the issues that we know about from Afghanistan and in Afghanistan."

Jane Dodds worked with the Refugee Council for many years, so has a real understanding of the needs of people who are displaced and seeking shelter: 

"Many people will be arriving literally with nothing. And that was my experience, people would travel for long periods of time, much, much longer than we've seen in the last week or so. People travelled for days, weeks, months and they would have absolutely nothing. And in this case, we know that most people left with very little. So, it is about that welcome. It is about making sure they've got the practical things they need. 

"Many of them will feel be traumatised and have left people behind that they know. And they need to speak to people in their own language, they need to understand what's happened. They need time to familiarise themselves and just to be able to deal with such an awful situation. Most of them, as we know, came from Kabul airport. And you heard the scenes there. Many will be feeling guilty, many will be feeling so sad, yet relieved. And it's just acknowledging that mixture of emotions as well."

UK officials and the Taliban are in talks over how to secure "safe passage" out of Afghanistan for British nationals and Afghan allies. 

Jane Dodds, says she believes it's vital to keep communication channels open:

"As a Christian, I believe we should talk to everybody. And we should engage with everybody, we should make sure that we are listening, and that we have at the forefront of our minds, the safety and protection of all the people in Afghanistan now, particularly women and girls. So just trying to make sure that we have those conversations - all of those Taliban fighters will have mothers, they will have sisters, many of them may have daughters. So it is about trying to appeal to humanity and trying to reach out with compassion and care to the government in Afghanistan and to work with them as much as we can."

The National Hour of Prayer for Afghanistan is between 7pm and 8pm on Wednesday 1st September:

"Individually, you can sit and pray. You can get together a group and pray. It may be that your church opens up and I do know quite a few churches are opening up for that hour. And we also have an event online as well. So please do all you can, even if you can only join us for 10 minutes just to bring together all of our prayers for Afghanistan.

"We are here to serve. We are here to serve our communities. And we are here to serve our Lord."

Details about the prayer event can be found here :

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-hour-of-prayer-for-afghanistan-tickets-168656944461

 

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