KABUL, Afghanistan (BP)–“Amir” doesn’t know if his father became a Christian. But he does know that without his father, Amir — a Tajik from Afghanistan — never would have known Jesus Christ.
His father, a physics professor in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, exposed his son to Christianity by bringing home books and materials about Jesus and his teachings, along with various other world religions. Amir’s father wanted him to be able to compare other beliefs to Islam, the traditional religion of his family.
Soon life in Afghanistan changed radically.
In the fall of 1996, the Taliban, a strict Islamic group, took over Kabul. In their zeal to control Afghanistan, the Taliban specifically went after the country’s intellectual elite — people like Amir’s father.
One night, shortly before the Taliban took over Kabul, Taliban soldiers entered Amir’s house. They took his sister and killed his father.
But before his father died, he told Amir about a place he could go and learn about Christianity. Although he was skeptical, Amir was eager to learn more about the religion his father had introduced to him.
He began meeting with a Christian regularly for Bible study.
“I had a lot of questions that the Koran [Islam’s holy book] couldn’t answer,” Amir says. “I thought it was really [crazy] to follow religion. Fortunately, I found all of the answers in Christianity.”
Like most who disagree with the Taliban’s political and religious philosophies, Amir finally was forced to flee from Afghanistan to a neighboring country. He was separated from the rest of his family, but not before they also became Christians.
Tajiks remaining in Afghanistan live as prisoners to the ruling Taliban party. Public executions of dissenters are commonplace, even in front of children. The plight of women within the culture has made international news. Forced to stay hidden in clothing that shows only their eyes, women are denied even the most basic rights.
For the Tajiks of Afghanistan, no earthly hope exists.
But for Amir and other Tajiks who have met Jesus Christ, no matter who controls their homeland, their heart belongs to God.
“I ask everything from God now,” Amir says. “He provides everything for me. The difficulties aren’t important.”
Editors’ Note: The names of people have been changed for security reasons.