THEY LISTEN IN SECRET
In Afghanistan, they still stone followers of Jesus. So, telling others about your faith is a risky business – for you, and for them.
Encouragement is in short supply, as is sound Christian teaching. But both can be found in gospel radio broadcasts, which are a lifeline for Christians.
Fahad and his wife Nahal (not their real names) risk their lives daily to follow Jesus. After they became believers, they tuned in to a Christian radio station in Afghanistan to learn more about Jesus.
After a day’s work, Fahad and Nahal listen to Christian worship and programmes that explain the Bible or try to answer everyday questions about their new-found faith.
Radio is our church
‘The radio is our church,’ Fahad explains.
If that had been said by anyone in the UK, you might encourage them to tune out and join a local congregation instead. But where Fahad lives there are no local congregations, other than the handful of believers who rely on the radio to teach them about their faith.
Afghanistan is a dangerous place for Christians. So even listening to Christian programmes has to be in secret. Fahad took his life in his hands when he told a longstanding friend about Jesus. Together, they now listen to the radio over a meal and discuss how best to live out the teaching they are receiving over the airwaves. And at the end of the evening they pray for each other.
This is their church. There is no other.
They tuned into Christian radio after the police started arresting believers. ‘People might feel discouraged when they hear yet another Christian has been attacked, murdered or imprisoned,’ says Fahad.
‘Stoning for following Christ continues here, but we put our trust in the Lord.
‘When we listen to the radio we feel connected to God and each other. We feel empowered to love and serve tomorrow. We are reminded that, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”‘ (Philippians 4:13)
Release International’s founder, Richard Wurmbrand, was convinced of the importance of Christian radio. ‘Broadcast the gospel’ was one of his key pleas to Christians in the free world who want to help the persecuted church. In our 50th anniversary year, Release is highlighting our founder’s pleas to be active and intentional in supporting Christians under pressure.
Release CEO Paul Robinson, says, ‘I thank God for believers like Fahad and Nahal – and for our partners who are discipling and encouraging them to grow in their faith through Christian TV and radio.
‘As Fahad’s story reveals, Christian programmes can be a precious spiritual lifeline that sustains believers. Today, I invite you to help our partners who broadcast the gospel in “closed” countries or in remote areas of the world by sending a gift to Release.’
Those countries include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt – all countries where persecuted Christians are supported by Release International.