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Afghanistan: John and Mary

Afghanistan
John, Mary, and their baby Isa

Parents and Teachers: The January 2015 issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine includes a story about John, the son of a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. To subscribe to the free monthly magazine, visit our subscription signup page. As you read the magazines, you may want to share stories from this site about the featured Christians with your children. Then pray together for the people in the stories.

The Taliban
The Taliban is a group of radical Muslims in Afghanistan. Taliban means “students” in Arabic. Members of the group think that women should not go to school, and men should grow beards. They do not like TV, music, games, or some sports. Taliban radicals believe in harsh punishment for Muslims who become Christians.

John
John is the son of a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. When he was a youth, his father sent him to Egypt to study at a secret school for Muslim radicals.

John married a woman named Mary, had a son, and began teaching Muslim beliefs to others in Afghanistan. Then John’s father decided to send John to the Muslim hajj in Saudi Arabia. (Read more about the hajj here.) Taliban bodyguards traveled with John to protect him.

Dreams
While John was in Saudi Arabia, Jesus came to him in a vision and a dream. “I am your God,” Jesus said to John in the vision. “I am Jesus Christ.”

When John woke up, he felt like a different person. “I was completely cleansed from the inside,” he said. “I felt like I was a newborn baby.”

Mary’s Dream
John flew home to Afghanistan and told his father about his experiences with Jesus. “I found my God,” John said.

In anger, John’s father threw John in a basement bunker and kept him there for 18 months. He told John’s wife, Mary, that he had sent John to Egypt again.

When John was freed from the bunker, he went home to Mary. He planned to tell her about Jesus.

“I have something to tell you first,” said Mary. She told John that she had dreams of Jesus while he was gone! She believed in Jesus but had not told the family. John and Mary cried with happiness because of their new life in Christ.

Houses in Heaven
John’s father and other Taliban radicals continued to severely persecute John and his family. John and Mary had to move to another country to be safe. Through all the persecution, John and Mary could only weep and pray, saying, “God, You know.”

John still shares about Jesus with others, even though he knows that his witness for Christ will make some people angry.

“I want to show people in Afghanistan how to believe in Jesus,” he said. “God made many houses in heaven; He needs people in them.”

Read John 14:2. Who is speaking the words of the verse? What does the verse mean? How might the verse comfort John and Mary? What part of the verse did John talk about in the story?
To learn more about Christians in Afghanistan, download Bold Believers in Afghanistan from the Downloads section.

(Source: The January 2015 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)


International Day of the Bible

The Bible tells about King Josiah, who re-discovered the words of God. He read the words to all the people of the land to turn their hearts back to God. (See 2 Kings 22-23.)

International Bible Week is celebrated during the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. This year, the International Day of the Bible will be observed on November 24. People will read passages of the Bible aloud in public.

Ask a mature Christian to help you discover a story or passage in the Bible that is new to you. Read the passage aloud.

As you learn more about the Bible, remember Christians in the following countries who could be persecuted if they read the Bible aloud in public. (The list is not a complete list.)

  • North Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Somalia
  • Eritrea
  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Uzbekistan
  • Qatar

New Ideas for Afghans

Afghanistan
Girls skateboarding in Afghanistan

“Girls don’t go out and play!” an Afghan girl a told a visitor from the United States. Traditionally girls and women in Afghanistan have not had the opportunity to learn new activities outside their homes. Some strict Muslims in Afghanistan do not approve of girls even going to school.

A group of people from other countries started skateboarding classes in Afghanistan. Girls are welcome. Students can take other classes besides skateboarding. “[It’s] not just about skateboarding. It’s about giving people life skills and hope for the future,” said a spokesman for the group.

More Hope
The Bible talks of an even “better hope” that brings us closer to God. (See Hebrews 7:20.) Christians are bringing that hope to those in Afghanistan, too.

Christians in Afghanistan are telling others about their hope in Christ. Christian websites and radio broadcasts from outside the country are teaching people that not all Afghans are Muslims; some Afghans follow Jesus. This is a new idea to some viewers and listeners.

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christians who want to reach Muslims with the gospel. Learn more here.

To learn more about Christians in Afghanistan, enter “Afghanistan” in the search box, or Download Bold Believers in Afghanistan free from the Download section.

Photo credit: RhianonB / Wikipedia


A Good Advertisement

Afghanistan
A Muslim woman in Afghanistan

TV programs in Afghanistan are complaining about Christianity and Christians. The anti-Christian programs warn that many Muslims in Afghanistan are becoming Christians. On one program, a Muslim leader told the address of a Christian website.

Afghans are discovering new facts from the anti-Christian programs.

  • They are learning that not all Afghans are Muslims; some of them follow Jesus. Some viewers did not know that.
  • They are learning that there are Christian websites in their own language.

The programs are turning out to be a good advertisement for Christianity!


New TV Shows in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Afghanistan

New TV shows are causing disagreements in some Muslim countries.

Very strict Muslims in Afghanistan do not approve of music, movies, or TV. They are trying to stop a new reality talent show, Afghanistan’s Got Talent from airing on TV in Afghanistan. The show is scheduled to start this month.

“I am going to start a jihad* against those kinds of shows and programs on our television channels,” said one Afghan leader.

In Pakistan, a new cartoon show, Burka Avenger, features a superhero who wears a burka when she fights crime. (A burka is a tent-like robe that covers the body and face, or everything but the eyes.)

The Burka Avenger fights against evil using books and pens as weapons. In one episode, she fights villains who try to close schools.

In real life in Pakistan, strict Muslims in some areas have closed schools and try to keep girls from getting an education.

(Sources include Mohabat News)

Muslims in some countries do not agree with the rules of stricter Muslims. Some of them are looking the Christianity for answers. If they decide to follow Jesus, they will face persecution from Muslims who do not yet know him.

* Not all Muslims agree on the meaning of “jihad.” In this case, it is clear that the leader will work against the TV program based on his Muslim beliefs.