Sometimes miracles happen, even to churches. When the Christian #Universal Life Church, an independent congregation with over one million members around the globe, started to do missionary work in Afghanistan - including a self-baptism program for people living far away from any kind of a physical church - nobody would have believed what now is an astonishing reality. Today almost 70.000 people, men, and women in Kabul are either baptized or non-baptised members of the Christian Universal Life Church. This makes the Toronto-based global church the biggest #Christian Church in Middle Asia, in a country that has been believed to be ideologically as far away from Christianity as one can imagine.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Secrecy

Islam forbids to leave the faith and to join another religion. What is called "apostasy" will be punished by death according to the sharia Islamic law, so joining a Christian church is considered to be a criminal act in these countries. This fact makes the huge numbers of new members a miracle. Of course, the Christian Universal Life Church knows about the local laws and takes appropriate measures to ensure the safety of its believers and its clergy. This is why the way the missionary work is done cannot be disclosed at this point in time. Safety first.

A miracle

If we believe the official Afghan statistics regarding the number of the city's inhabitants, 2 percent of Kabul's population is now a member of the church. Kabul is the capital city of Afghanistan, a country whose people have been tortured and tested by 40 years of war and chaos.

Advertisements

So it was never intended to focus the missionary work of the Christian Universal Life Church on Afghanistan. "It simply happened," says Brother Matthew of the Global Missionary Coordinations Center in Boston, MA. "It is a miracle. That's what it is."

Daily struggle

The pastoral online center of the church, which is also based in Boston under the leadership of Father Rahim, was not prepared to support the new members in a country where permanent staff on the ground is no option. So he and his team had to find ways to help set up local home churches and bible groups in a highly dangerous environment. "To be honest, we still cannot understand how popular the Christian faith is in this country. We can only invite other churches to join and to step up their missionary efforts in this part of the world. However, nobody who is not familiar with the Islamic sharia should engage himself in such an endeavor, otherwise, it could end in a catastrophe". The Supreme Leader of the small global church, His Eminence Elias I., commented on the success of his congregation in Afghanistan with the words: "It happened and it is good."