World Watch Ranking: 2

How many Christians are there in Afghanistan?

It’s very hard to know precisely how many Christians there are in Afghanistan, because they must keep their faith completely secret – but only a small number from a population of over 38 million.

What does persecution look like in Afghanistan?

It is impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

All Christians in Afghanistan are extremely vulnerable to persecution. Areas controlled by the Taliban are particularly oppressive, but there is no safe way to express any form of Christian faith in the country.


“How we survive daily only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”

Secret Believer

What has changed compared to last year?

Afghanistan remains the second highest country on the World Watch List, and persecution is only very slightly less oppressive than in North Korea. ISIS and the Taliban continue to have a strong, violent presence in Afghanistan, with the Taliban controlling large regions.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Afghanistan?

Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Afghanistan.

How can you pray for Afghanistan?

  • Pray for protection for the small percentage of Afghani believers. Pray that God would make “seeing eyes blind” and that anyone who might be looking for secret Afghan Christians would not discover them.
  • Pray that despite their isolation, Afghan believers would be strengthened and encouraged in their faith. Pray that they would find safe ways to access the Word of God and communicate with other believers.
  • Pray that God would be at work in the hearts of Islamic extremists – such as members of the Taliban and ISIS – that they would come to know the love of Jesus and that He would turn their lives around.
a prayer for Afghanistan

Dear Lord, please protect the small number of Christians among the millions of people who live in Afghanistan. Thank You that, despite their small number, they have discovered the greatest love in the world. Please keep showing them Your wisdom, mercy and comfort, and give opportunities for believers to meet together , despite the opposition.

Map thumbnail
President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

Population of Christians
A small number

Persecution Type
  • Islamic oppression
  • Clan oppression
  • Ethno-religious hostility