Many Christians have Bible Apps on their iPhones. I bet you never thought once about it posing any danger, did you?
It doesn’t. Unless you live in Afghanistan.
I’ve received two emails this week, one from my Rotary friend, John Grant, another from a preaching colleague, Max Dawson, reporting that the Taliban are going door to door demanding people’s cell phones.
If they find a Bible app on your phone they will kill you immediately.
This is further documented from the website, Religious News Service (RNS) and by Dr. Rex Rogers of the Middle East media ministry SAT.
“It’s incredibly dangerous right now for Afghans to have anything Christian on their phones,” Rogers said. “The Taliban have spies and informants everywhere.”
It is also reported that “Taliban militants are even pulling people off public transport and killing them on the spot if they’re Christians or considered ethnically “unpure.”
“Because it’s so dangerous to seek the company of other Christians, many Afghan believers are totally alone, with not even one other Christian with whom to talk,” Rogers added.. “Our local director told me: ‘Most dare not attend a house church. They’re alone, fearful, and looking to us. We’re their last resort.”
According to an article in TGC, by Mark Morris, a pastor received a letter from the Taliban saying, “We know who you are, what you do, and where to find you.”
Morris relates the account of another Believer who spoke about a friend whose village had been taken by the Taliban. His 14-year-old daughter was literally “ripped from his arms, and forced into sexual servitude in what the Taliban would dub as “marriage” and her “dutiful Islamic privilege and responsibility.”
In a country where “talking heads” on TV can openly criticize Congress and the President, and Christians can complain on social media about the decisions of their state governors and local elected officials, we find it difficult to imagine the persecution inflicted on Afghan Believers and the terror they’re experiencing.
As we consider these atrocities occurring over 7,000 miles away from U.S. shores, several thoughts come to mind.
(1) Let’s pray for the people of Afghanistan, especially Bible Believers, whose lives are endangered (1 Tim. 2:1).
(2) Let’s pray for our President and our country’s leaders as they’re forced with difficult decisions (1 Tim. 2:2).
(3) Let’s thank God for the freedom we enjoy in this country to openly worship God, express our faith, and publically assemble with other Christians. (Heb. 10:23-25)
(4) Let’s not take for granted the privilege of reading the Bible, whenever, wherever and however we choose. Whether in public or private. Or from a book. Or from an app on our iPhone or iPad.
(5) Let’s make the most of our opportunities to share our faith in Jesus, realizing this is not easily or openly possible in places like Afghanistan.
(6) Let’s not use our liberty in Christ, nor the freedom of our country’s citizenship “as a cloak for vice,” or a “coverup for evil, or “an excuse for wrong doing” (1 Pet. 2:16). Specifically, refrain from malicious words, unholy attitudes, and ungodly actions toward those with whom we disagree, either politically or religiously.
So, the next time, you open your iPhone to read the Bible, remember the people in Afghanistan. Thank God for your blessings. And read with a view of putting into practice what you’ve learned.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman