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Afghanistan: New Life Brings Risks


New Drivers
Change comes slowly in Afghanistan, but new things are starting to happen in the Muslim nation.

For many years only Afghan men drove cars. Radical Taliban Muslims ruled Afghanistan until 2001, and the Taliban forced women to cover themselves from head to toe in long robes called “burqas.” (See the photo at left.) It is not possible to see well enough to drive safely in a burqa.

Delawar, an Afghan driving teacher, had only one woman student at his school in five years. But now many women are signing up for lessons. He has taught 60 women to drive in the past six months.

Afghan women drivers still have many struggles. Some men don’t think women should drive. The men sometimes stare or yell at women drivers or block them from moving by parking in front of them.(Source: Independent News, 1-15-05)

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A little smaller than Texas.

Main Languages
Dari, Pashtu

At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 4:30 p.m. in Afghanistan.

Interesting Fact
Afghanistan is a land where Christians do not meet in church buildings. Instead they meet secretly in small house churches. 

After terrorists bombed buildings in the U.S. in 2001, the U.S. led a “war on terrorism.” As part of that fight, the U.S. got rid of the radical Muslim “Taliban” government of Afghanistan and helped the country set up a different government. This brought new hope, but Afghanistan still does not have freedom of religion. The Taliban still tries to force their radical form of Islam on others.

More than 95 percent of the people in Afghanistan are Muslims. Radical Muslim Taliban soldiers ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Under Taliban rule, music, television, games, and videos were against the law. Afghanistan is still a very Muslim nation, with about 48,000 mosques. (A mosque is a Muslim place of worship.) Some Afghans learn about Jesus through radio programs that are broadcast from other countries.

If someone in Afghanistan says they are a follower of Jesus, they risk serious persecution. Even family members and neighbors may attack them.

Radical Muslims do not want missionaries and Christian workers who share their faith with Muslims to come to Afghanistan. They have kidnapped Christians who came to Afghanistan to help people.