With over 99 percent of its population being Muslims, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice Christianity. The danger has skyrocketed even further following the Taliban’s seizure of power in 2021. Before the Taliban takeover, the government allowed foreign Christians to practice their faith but not publicly or try to preach to others.
Practicing Christianity or any other faith openly could offend the average people heavily influenced by terrorists and the Taliban. The situation is even more dangerous for Afghan natives who convert to Christianity from Islam as it is considered a serious offense. Also, in Islamic law, people can be vindicated from sins like homicide if it’s against persons considered apostate or blasphemous.
However, even with this inherent danger for Christians and the overwhelming number of Muslims, the nonprofit Christian organization Global Catalytic Ministries has bravely continued to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and perform humanitarian works in the country.
Founded in 2011 and based in Nampa, Idaho, Global Catalytic Ministry (GCM) is an organization that seeks to transform Muslims across the globe through Jesus Christ. Aside from Afghanistan, the organization is present in 13 other countries and regions globally, including Indonesia, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and others. GCM tries to draw more Muslims to Christ using disciple-making, church planting, and leadership development. The organization consists of nationals and former Muslims. GCM believes that people who Christ has transformed have a better chance of reaching more Muslims as they understand the culture better.
GCM has been in Afghanistan even before the Taliban came to power and played an active role in helping Christians escape persecution and providing relief items to believers and unbelievers. However, since the takeover, ensuing withdrawal of American troops, and closure of the American Embassy in Kabul, the organization has had much more to do as believers are now more likely to be persecuted than ever.
Several reports of Christians fleeing into the mountains and hills for fear of their lives. Not deterred by this increased and ever-present threat, GCM’s evangelists, volunteers, and the underground Christian movement in the country continue to lay their lives in devotion to the lord, planting self-replicating underground house churches and forming committed disciples.
GCM has managed to bring in money to buy food, coal, and wood, as it is very cold in the mountainous country. There are many parts of Afghanistan where people use wood and coal to stay warm, as they don’t have natural gas and electricity. GCM has worked to get as much wood and coal as possible to believers and unbelievers. As of August 2021, the organization had raised over $1.8 million, which it uses to fund its operations in the country.
GCM has partnered with several American churches, such as Church of the Highlands in Alabama, Gateway Church in Texas, and Victory Center in Arizona. These partnerships seek to achieve several things, including helping people vulnerable to human trafficking and forced marriage escape, providing the basic needs like food, water, shelter, and security of GCM’s leaders on the ground, and establishing an underground network to help people escape.