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World News

Pray for Afghans to find Jesus says Christian development worker

by Donna Birrell

Christians are being called to pray for civilians in Afghanistan as Taliban insurgents capture more key areas of the country. 

The Taliban now has control of around 65 percent of the nation.

But what is it like to be a civilian caught up in the conflict?

Andy Dipper is the Principal of All Nations College and has been a development worker in Afghanistan.

He tells Premier we need to pray for the safety and sanctuary of ordinary people who are trapped in the conflict:

"It is absolutely tragic. And as ever, it's the individuals, those that are trapped in these situations of gunfights and of oppression that are the ones suffering, and of course, it's often the women. It's often those with disabilities. It's the marginalised. It's children, who are the ones that are now fearing for their lives.

"And of course, as they watch the foreign military troops exiting, as they have been doing so since the early part of 2021, there's all sorts of questions that are being asked about what interest does the world have in Afghanistan today?"

Andy Dipper was speaking as US President Joe Biden said he "doesn't regret" pulling American troops out of Afghanistan - despite Taliban gains.

"I'm sure for most people, they are very fearful, because they live very fragile lives at the best of times. And there is very little in the way of state support for any civilians in Afghanistan. So many people are feeling very, very fragile.

"Just in the last 24 hours, I've had some Afghan friends send me messages about how on earth can we survive? How can we get out of the country? Is there any way that we can legally and legitimately bring our families out of the country into a place of safety? And of course, there are very few options indeed."

Andy Dipper says praying for the safety and sanctuary of people in Afghanistan is vital:

" Our prayer, I think, should be that they would be able to remain safe or find a place of safety, particularly for those who are vulnerable in society, the marginalised. And that they will be able to continue to have shelter, to have food, to have access to health services, to be able to have  education for their children at this time, the basics.

"We should also be praying that those people find Jesus, that they find that hope that only Jesus can give."

"There is hope. There's always hope in Jesus, of course, but also we pray for good decisions. We pray for the leadership, the government of Afghanistan, we pray for President Ashraf Ghani, that they would make good decisions for all the people within Afghanistan, and that we don't see this return to absolute despair, like we saw in the mid 90s. There are big pressures all around, but actually there is also huge hope."

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