Area: 652,225 sq km
Dry and mountainous but with fertile valleys. This strategic land has been fought over by rival foreign empires for nearly three thousand years.
Population: 29,117,489 Annual Growth: 3.51%
Official language: Pashtu (used by 50% of population), Dari (Afghan Persian, used by 70%) Languages: 41 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Christian media have been developed in many formats audio/MP3, mobile phone memory, radio, video, literature and the Internet for evangelism and discipleship. This is an area of real growth and excitement.
Recovery and rebuilding are occurring in many sectors of society. Among nationals, there is a real mix of optimism and pessimism as to whether genuine improvements can be made. Pray for the following issues:
a) Billions of dollars in foreign aid are being poured into the country especially by the NATO countries, China and India. Over 1,500 NGOs are registered only 350 of them are foreign. Inefficiency and corruption are very real threats, but the recent implementation of tighter government regulations has forced NGOs to be transparent and efficient with their funds and activities.
b) A new generation of Afghans with a different attitude. Sixty percent of Afghans are under the age of 20 and have known nothing but war; they long for opportunities in education and employment and some freedom of choice. Up to 4.5 million Afghans have returned after fleeing the country when it was under Taliban control. Many of them bring financial resources, international connections and an entrepreneurial spirit to help establish new businesses.
c) National security. Establishing well-trained, disciplined, Afghan-national military and police forces is vital. These institutions must build a reserve of trust with the people, but are themselves prone to corruption and infiltration by Taliban sympathizers.
d) Physical infrastructure was devastated by nearly 30 years of war. The reconstruction of roads, medical facilities, schools and other public service buildings is crucial for the nations future.
e) Human development is equally vital. The infant mortality rate, although very high, is dropping rapidly as health services improve. A record number of children are enrolled in school. Micro-enterprise initiatives are giving many opportunities to start small businesses, earn a respectable living and provide for others.
f) Christian involvement in aid and development. Since 1966, a number of Christian relief and development agencies have ministered to the blind, maimed, sick, deprived, illiterate and needy, in the name and Spirit of the Lord Jesus. Many Christians most of them in humanitarian capacities work to serve the people of Afghanistan. Practical demonstrations of Christian care and love impress many Afghans, breaking down prejudices and preparing hearts for the gospel. In addition to the tragedies of lives lost, enforced reductions of personnel and even withdrawal of entire organizations from the country caused a great loss of many effective workers. Pray for both courage in the face of adversity and wisdom to know how best to demonstrate Christs love to the Afghan people.
For an additional 6 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Afghanistan.