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The Groenewald family

Three South Africans and two Afghan nationals were killed in an attack on the Partnership in Academics & Development compound in Kabul on Saturday, November 29th. Werner Groenewald was killed along with his 17-year-old son, 15-year-old daughter, and two Afghan co-workers.

Three Taliban gunmen had entered the compound dressed as policemen and carried out an attack that lasted for three hours. Werner's surviving wife, Hannelie, was at the clinic where she worked as a doctor when the attack occurred. Werner, who had worked in Afghanistan for 12 years, was killed while trying to protect his children.

The Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack by posting a message on the Twitter social networking site, stating that it was a "Christian proselytizing compound." A friend of Werner's reported that he had closed his last session with an international group of co-workers by saying, "We only die once, so it might as well be for Jesus."

(To learn more about what Christians are facing in Afghanistan, review our online country report.)

Please uphold the distraught families of the two slain Afghan workers and Werner's now suddenly widowed wife, Hannelie, who has tragically lost three close family members of her own. Ask the Lord to supernaturally sustain these bereaved Christians as they come to terms with their tremendous loss. Pray that as they grieve, He will give them the strength and grace needed to exemplify His love through their Godly response, as well as through their prayers for the persecutors (Matthew 5:43-48). May their tragic loss not be in vain, but rather serve as a powerful testimony -- one that will ultimately strengthen fellow believers and draw many Afghans to Christ.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC works with ministry partners to provide Afghan Christians with evangelistic and discipleship radio broadcasts to equip followers of Jesus to present the Gospel in a specialized, culturally relevant, and context-sensitive way. VOMC is also helping our ministry partners to translate scripture into the Dari language.

Project Funds: Underground Church, Relief & Development, Bible

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
37,466,414 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity
Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek and others

Religions (%)
Islam (99.7), Christianity and other (0.3)

Government type
Taliban takeover August 2021

Leader
President (vacant)

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Afghanistan

Pray for the protection of these Afghan believers, and for the consistency of their witness, as God continues to build His church according to Matthew 16:18 ("the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it"). In addition to protecting them from physical danger and harm, ask God to insulate these minority Christians from the spiritual oppression surrounding them. May these dedicated followers of Christ mature spiritually and grow in both faith and number.

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