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Afghanistan: Islamic Fundamentalists Control through Terror

July 25, 2007

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 439 | Wed 25 Jul 2007

One day Jesus was teaching and healing, and as he looked out
over the crowds he felt great compassion for the harassed,
helpless and directionless masses. So he instructed his
disciples to ask the Lord to send out more workers/ servants
(see Matthew 9:35-38).

Up to 17,000 Korean Christians serve the Lord abroad in this way,
most in war-torn, volatile, hostile and \'restricted access\'
nations. There are around 100 South Korean Christians from a
dozen humanitarian organisations and churches presently engaged
in voluntary work in war-torn Afghanistan. Since 2002, some 400-
500 South Koreans have visited Afghanistan every year in response
to the Lord\'s sending. They do voluntary work in health,
education, agriculture, information technology and other fields
for the benefit of the people.

In early August 2006, Korean Christian professionals with the
Institute of Asian Culture and Development (IACD < http://www.iacd.or.kr >
a Seoul-based Christian humanitarian-aid group that
has run medical clinics in Afghanistan since January 2002) were
suddenly deported. The IACD had organised a three-day \'Peace
Festival\' to celebrate five years of Korean aid work in
Afghanistan. The festival was to include a medical conference,
a round-table on reconstruction and two soccer games at Kabul\'s
Olympic Stadium between Afghanistan\'s national team and a
Korean team. The group\'s director, Kang Sung Han, said the aim
of the festival was to give ordinary Koreans and Afghanis the
opportunity to interact and have fun. But when Muslim clerics
protested, the festival was cancelled and the Koreans were
deported, citing security concerns. According to Radio Free
Europe/ Radio Liberty, while the clerics complained that the
Koreans were actively proselytising, a spokesman for the chief
of the Afghan National Police said there was absolutely no
evidence to support that, adding that if there had been any
evidence then the police would have \'put them in jail according
to the law\'. In order to maintain their hold over the people,
the clerics are depriving the people of a future.

On Thursday 19 July 2007, Taliban militants in Ghazni Province
kidnapped 23 South Korean Christians who were in Afghanistan
doing medical and humanitarian volunteer work. The Koreans,
most of whom are nurses, are members of the Presbyterian
\'Saemmul Church\' in Bundang near Seoul. They were en route to
visit a kindergarten in Kandahar which serves some 100
destitute children and war orphans when they were ambushed and
kidnapped. The Taliban is threatening to kill the hostages
unless South Korea withdraws its forces (which are non-combatant,
engaged only in reconstruction) and the Afghan government
releases the 23 Taliban prisoners held in Ghazni Province. This
is the largest contingent the Taliban has ever captured.
Because the group is so large the Taliban might drag the
negotiations along, releasing one hostage (bargaining chip) at
a time. They might also feel that because there are so many,
they can afford to kill a few to increase the pressure on the
two governments. On 24 July, Afghani villagers in Ghazni
demonstrated peacefully in the streets for the release of the
Korean hostages. Once again, Islamic fundamentalists are
robbing the people and exerting control through repression and
terror.

South Korea has now banned its citizens from travelling to
Afghanistan, one of the neediest places on earth.

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR:

* God to give the Korean Christian hostages all the grace,
strength, endurance, courage and wisdom they need to bring
blessings to Afghanis and honour and glory to the Lord in their
new circumstances, which are doubtless exceedingly unpleasant.

* God to protect all those who have left home and family, and
sacrificed security and comfort to go into Afghanistan in order
to help and serve traumatised, needy Afghanis; and may the Lord
in his mercy deliver the Korean believers to safety.

* the Holy Spirit of God to draw into humble dependent (or even
just desperate) prayerfulness, all those who are in Afghanistan
to further freedom and civilisation for the benefit of the people
(God\'s creation). May they learn dependence, and rejoice in the
faithfulness of the Lord our deliverer. (Prayer - Psalm 140:6-8).

* the Taliban, al Qaeda, and all other enemies of civilisation in
Afghanistan to be profoundly defeated. Pray that the \'sword of
God will strike them\'. (Isaiah 31:8 NLT)
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Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.