AN AFGHAN MAN’S LONGING FOR FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF
Since August 2021, Elham,* a man living in Afghanistan, has been in contact with the SAT-7 PARS Viewer Support team, who have walked virtually with him through the turmoil of Taliban control in Afghanistan and Elham’s ongoing search for truth and freedom.
“The people of Afghanistan are living through a disastrous nightmare,” wrote Elham to the SAT-7 PARS Viewer Support team as he watched his country fall to the Taliban last year. “As a human being I ask: please don’t forget to pray and offer humanitarian cooperation.”
Since then, Elham, who is highly educated with a Master’s degree in law, has remained in touch with the channel, sharing his thoughts and frustrations as time went on, providing a unique and on-the-ground insight into what is happening in the country.
“In my province, the leadership roles of the majority of functions are now in the hands of the Taliban,” he wrote soon after his first message. “All [government] departments, including law and land services, have been taken over by this group that embodies ignorance and terror.”
“After strenuous exams and hard work, I was able to enter the Afghan legal system and practise as a judge. My hope was to guarantee the values of justice in this country, but in just one moment everything has been turned upside down. Now all we can do is remain at home and devise some means of staying alive, and nothing more.”
FINDING HOPE IN DESPAIR
Surrounded by hopelessness, Elham increasingly turned to SAT-7 PARS’ live and pre-recorded programming for hope. In January this year, he contacted the channel to say, “Whenever I find an opportunity, I watch with enthusiasm your engaging programs, which are full of kindness. I have learned many valuable things so far, and when I watch your programs, I receive peace and feel empowered.”
Nevertheless, the challenges Elham and people in Afghanistan face are overwhelming. “I am grappling with a thousand and one difficulties because of unemployment, economic vulnerability, and endangerment of life and limb. All these have combined to make life miserable for everyone. The extreme and restrictive application of fanatic religion has brought darkness and misery into our lives.”
YEARNING FOR FREEDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
“I am always praying for a miracle in my life,” Elham continued. “I am not asking for a great thing – Just that I will be able to work in an environment that would allow me peace of mind and freedom to write the things I am forced to hold back. I want to be free to write a critique of extremist religion based on my studies without fear of intimidation, and in my turn to do work that will have a positive impact on society.”
In addition to watching SAT-7 PARS’ programs, Elham received several Christian resources from the Viewer Support team, which awakened a hunger for more information. “I have studied all the booklets about the Christian faith you sent; please send me the others so that I may learn more,” he said. As a result, his understanding of Christianity has grown.
Most recently, Elham contacted the channel in April: “About a month ago, the Taliban started doing house-to-house searches, and they were even confiscating people’s smartphones. I had a few articles about Christianity on my phone which I have had to delete as a precaution. Now would you please kindly send a few other booklets so that I can read and be encouraged?”
Please pray for Elham and people in Afghanistan, that God’s protective hand will be upon them and that they will find freedom in Christ. Pray that God will continue to use SAT-7 PARS to open the hearts and minds of the people and that the channel will be an ongoing support to viewers. Finally, give thanks for what God has already done in Elham’s life; may his thirst to learn more about God and Christ continue.
*Name changed to protect identity.