Good News in Afghanistan

    As we approach the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, a number of Muslims are seriously exploring who Jesus Christ is. Even in Afghanistan, there are new members in the family of God. God's instrument for much of this is Trans World Radio, which has been broadcasting to the Middle East for more than forty years -- using Arabic, Farsi, Dari, and other languages. In recent decades it has expanded far beyond its original short-wave coverage. Today, using AM transmitters, Trans World Radio delivers signals so powerful they can be received in basements. Areas once so resistant that they would average one convert per missionary lifetime are now seeing accelerated conversion rates. Since September 11 Trans World Radio has received letters like this one from Afghanistan: "For a few months now, my family and I have been listening to each one of your programs. They make our hearts to come alive again . . . In our city and country that has been torn apart by war, where there is no peace or trust among the people, where everyone is worried if they can keep themselves alive for one more day, the message of Jesus Christ is our only light. I have sincerely trusted in His Word, and I am following Him." A Christian couple working in a secular profession in Afghanistan wrote, " . . . [P]eople in Kabul don't dare to buy a Bible. Instead, they get together in cellars secretly and listen to the Christian radio program and discuss it afterward, having a sort of Bible study. I really know the strong effect of Christian radio and what it means to the people there." Widespread illiteracy and a very rudimentary postal system probably mean the letters Trans World Radio receives are only the tip of the iceberg of what God is doing. In spite of deep poverty, a sixteen-year-old Afghan refugee writes from Iran: "I lost my mother and father and at times have lived in the park -- other times, with fellow Afghans . . . Your radio program caused me to write to you and count you as a good friend. I want to know more about this Jesus . . . I know that if I follow Him, I will have a beacon of hope to cling to in this sea of pain and sorrow. How can I become a Christian?" Why the upsurge in interest in knowing about Christ? A former Afghani soldier, whose two brothers and two sons were killed in the war, pinpoints the reason: "The men who have come to us in the name of God have destroyed all human dignity and brought many things that belong to an uncivilized society . . . I came to a neighboring country, and I want to wash my soul and body from all that is in the past . . . [Y]our program has caused me to believe that Jesus loves me and cares for me. As you know, if I commit my life to Jesus Christ, I may lose my life . . . However, I want to become a Christian even if difficulty comes for me." The Bible says that God uses the wrath of man to praise Him. He is using the events of last September 11 to bring Muslims to salvation. Many Muslims here in this country, as well as in Afghanistan, are shocked by what some have done "in the name of Allah." This is a wonderful opportunity to share with them the unconditional love of Jesus. For further reading and information: BreakPoint's "9/11 Worldview Resource Kit" includes Timothy George's book Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?, Chuck Colson's When Night Fell on a Different World: How Now Shall We Live?, and a "BreakPoint Weekend Special" CD including two interviews with Chuck Colson recorded after September 11 and a year later. Visit the Middle East web page of Trans World Radio's website. Read various articles about Islam and ministry to Muslims from Evangelical Missions Quarterly. Stan Guthrie, "Doors into Islam," Christianity Today, 19 August 2002. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2002).


Chuck Colson


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