Afghanistan (MNN) — A series of powerful earthquakes struck western Afghanistan on Saturday, demolishing whole villages. Over 2,400 people were killed, and the death toll is likely to keep rising.

Nehemiah with FMI says they are in touch with Afghan ministry partners in the area. “He (an FMI contact) said, ‘We all have left our houses and are now on the streets, and we don’t have any support from the local authorities.’

“When we see some images and footage we are receiving from our partners, we have seen that bodies have been taken to several places [such as] military base hospitals because this is a rural area.

(Photo courtesy of FMI)

“Of course, across Afghanistan, the Taliban does not have basic infrastructure of the government…. We do not see any Taliban or government official presence on the street helping people.”

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, most non-governmental organizations and relief agencies pulled out of the country or significantly reduced activity.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership has divided attention, publicly supporting Hamas terrorists in their attacks on Israel.

Nehemiah says, “We have seen in the past, the Taliban are notorious for such activities. They have gone to many, many countries where they were helping ISIS, they were helping the other terrorist organizations, and they were doing joint operations.”

In tragic situations like this in Afghanistan, FMI is able to stand in the gap — offering spiritual and sometimes physical support through local underground Church partners.

“When we were trying to help our partners and their underground Church believers,…we have tried to aid them with different resources. We tried to give them shelter and we tried to make a series of safe houses,” says Nehemiah.

“At this time, again, we have requested our partners to gather as much as information as they’re able. They’re still trying to contact their partners, their friends, their underground Church believers, and trying to get as much information as they have so we can reach out to them.”

For the Afghan people affected by the earthquake — and especially with winter approaching — Nehemiah asks, “Pray for the people who have very, very limited access to drinking water, to medicine, to clothes, and tents.”

Pray also for FMI partners in Afghanistan, for wisdom and courage to represent Gospel hope and show Christ’s care to their neighbors.


Header photo of Afghanistan flag, courtesy of Farid Ershad/Unsplash.