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News / Thoughts

Afghanistan: The dangers of marrying for love

May 30, 2022

Saleha (not her real name), is in her 40s. She and her husband are members of a movement that wants to bring love and hope to Afghanistan.

Unlike many around her, Saleha’s marriage to her husband was for love. “She once told me that she was a privileged child in the whole of Afghanistan, even the whole world, because she is the only wife whose husband loves her,” shared Open Doors local partner.

This is because, as a member of the hope movement, her husband does actually love her. He didn’t beat her like the other husbands in her community. He even taught her how to read and write.

Suspicions and abduction

Instead of understanding, their families and the community became very suspicious of them. “That is seen by them as a bad thing. They believe that they have sold their faith in Islam and are agents of the West,” our partner said.

As a result, it became too dangerous for them to stay in their home. But before they could move, her husband disappeared. “He was kidnapped. She was left all alone with no one to take care of her,” our partner said.

Some of their close friends, who share the same hope, took it upon themselves to care for her. She was moved to a different city where another family took her in as their daughter.

But she still waits for her husband to come home – and she has been waiting for many years. “She loves him so much that she refused to believe that he could possibly be dead,” she said. To her, he is alive even though there is no news, [she thinks] every knock on the door could be him.

Because of her husband’s abduction, there was a season when she was very angry with God. “It was very difficult to see the journey that she went through. She gets excited whenever someone visits her to pray or sends her Bible verses to encourage her. But sometimes she is so sad that she is not listening at all. She was so blinded by her grief and anger. It is in those difficult paths, where she could do nothing or see nothing, that her adopted family and friends continue to love and pray for her,” said our partner.

A new hope

She would sing songs that she and her husband used to sing together. She sang to remember him. But later, the meaning of the songs broke through her anger.

“She came to realise who was with her and protected her. She remembered the original intent of her and her husband to bring hope to the nation. She remembered the difficult times they went through and how He was with them. And she finally realised that the sacrifice she had made as a young wife, in losing her husband, can nowhere be compared to the Greatest Sacrifice of All Time,” said our partner.

So, she learnt to be a daughter in her new home. She also learnt to be an older sister to her younger siblings, and that’s where she found her mission field, God’s calling for her life. She teaches them the Word of God and helps them to memorise scriptures. She has no children, but her adopted siblings have become her new family.

Please pray

  • Pray for the movement of hope in Afghanistan, and that more people will come to know God’s love and grace
  • Pray for the many people, especially women’s rights group, who do not agree with the teachings of Taliban. Ask God to grant them wisdom and protection to continue their fight to bring light, hope and freedom to the country
  • Pray for the individual members of the Taliban and ask for God to open their eyes – they are looking for a way to heaven, so pray for God to reveal Jesus to them – the Way, the Truth and the Light.

Four things you can do now:

1. Learn more and pray: Get our free glow-in-the-dark World Watch List Map and find out more about the places where faith costs the most. Get your map here…

2. Pray regularly: Every Monday night at 7pm we’ll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution. Set an alarm and tune in…

3. Choose to Lose: Raise money by getting sponsored to lose something you love for a short time. Sign up and we’ll send you a fundraising pack…

4. Send a message of hope: Imagine getting a letter from a Christian on the other side of the world who’d heard about you and was praying for you – encouraging right? Well, you can send encouragement now to young Christians facing persecution. Do that here now…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.