We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

AFGHANISTAN: FOOTBALL PROJECT SERVING YOUNG AFGHAN REFUGEES

pattern

Millions of us around the world love footbalL. With the women’s world cup fast approaching we’re hoping Both England and Ireland come good with some decent performances!

But we also know football isn’t just about the winning. We love playing too – it brings us together and can be the basis for amazing friendships. That’s definitely true for around 140 young people who have fled Afghanistan and are being supported by Open Doors partners in a neighbouring country.

“We could see there was an opportunity to reach out to the Afghan refugees and support them,” says Brother Ismael*, an Open Doors local partner. “The situation for them is very difficult. In our region, governments do not officially recognise the presence of such a large number of refugees and don’t provide the necessary social support to them.” 

It’s having a hugely damaging impact on children, who often witness the stress and hardship of daily life brings on their families; they see the hopelessness in their parents’ eyes and watch their siblings go to bed hungry. Some children have even considered suicide to escape from it all. 

“The shocking reality is that three out of every ten of these refugee children say they want to end their lives because they spend most of their time indoors out of fear,” adds Brother Ishmael. 

Football, fun and faith

Against this backdrop, Brother Ishmael started a football based project to bring some of these young people together. Five times a week, around 140 boys and girls meet on a local Astro turf pitch to train, play matches and build friendships. By pulling on a Messi or Neymar shirt, or wearing the colours of Afghanistan, this project is helping young people feel their lives are getting back to some sense of normality.

The initiative’s impact reaches wider than football. Weekly Bible study groups have been formed, as has a house church after 15-20 of the young people gave their lives to Jesus! It’s also built trust with parents, which has led to the provision of practical support. Given that these refugees are not permitted to work, the help is invaluable. 

“We help with food packages,” continues Brother Ishmael. “These food packages help a lot of refugees survive. In addition, we distribute the necessary clothes, blankets and hygiene items. We also provide assistance for some people with medical needs.”

It’s an amazing impact and none of it would be possible without your prayers and generosity – thank you!

PRAY NOW...
1

Thank God for the impact this project is having, and ask that many more young people would feel valued and loved through the work of Open Doors partners

3

That the needs of all Afghan refugees will be met.

2

That the project will continue to provide fun and friendship, and lead people to Jesus

DO SOMETHING…
  • 1
    1. GET A FREE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP WALL CHART

    Pray for the five teams in the tournament representing countries on the 2023 World Watch List - places where Christians face the worst persecution...

    KICK OFF!
  • 2
    2. ORDER THE NEW 2023 WORLD WATCH LIST PRAYER MAP…

    Get your free interactive map and start praying risky prayers with the persecuted church.

    Order now...
  • 3
    3. TRY THE RISK FACTOR QUIZ...

    How much do you know about the places where faith costs the most? Test yourself and share your score with your friends.

    Take the quiz
  • 4
    4. TAKE ON THE CHOOSE TO LOOSE CHALLENGE...

    Choose to lose something you love to raise money and prayer for those losing out because of their faith in Jesus.

    Choose to Lose
NEWS
July 8, 2024

Pray for Christians in Mexico facing forced displacement, death threats and violence from criminal gangs…

Find out more
July 8, 2024

“I realized that everyone needs God, even if they don’t understand it or admit it. So, the main thing for me is to share about Him”…

Find out more
July 1, 2024

The church in North Africa is growing, with increasing numbers of people giving their lives to Jesus. But many are forced to keep their newfound faith secret because of the risk of persecution – people like Elmahdi from Morocco.

Find out more
July 1, 2024

Pray for Sister Muthu, who has being showing forgiveness to her persecutors and drawing people into God’s love…

Find out more
June 24, 2024

Pray for two boys who have been sent to prison camps simply for singing and sharing pop music from South Korea…

Find out more
June 24, 2024

Multiple Christian converts have been sentenced for ‘membership in disruptive groups’…

Find out more
June 17, 2024

Estimates suggest more than 13,200 schools in Central and West Africa were closed because of conflict, affecting the education of 2.5 million children. See how Open Doors is helping…

Find out more
June 17, 2024

It’s been a year since violence broke out in Manipur, India, displacing thousands of people. Despite the struggles, Pastor Lian, explains there is reason for hope…

Find out more
June 10, 2024

Please pray for Malu and her family, who are still hiding from the attackers who killed her father…

Find out more
June 10, 2024

Pray for student Meryem who’s secret faith was discovered by her parents, and is now being forced to stay at home…

Find out more
btn-scroll