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July Prayer Guide
Peter MillThought for the WeekWho Is Your Neighbour?

Who Is Your Neighbour?Hello.

It is only 9 months since Kabul fell to the Taliban, and for many the scars have still not healed. Horrifying images remain in our minds of ordinary people suffering from the ensuing shortages of food, water and freedom. Of people so desperate to escape the country that some clung onto a departing plane and fell to their deaths. And then there were the nightly pleas of terrified men and women begging for help.

Now, in the wake of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake which struck Afghanistan’s Paktika province on Wednesday morning, killing at least 1,000 people, it is the Taliban’s turn to plead for help. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the response from the West has been poor, with barriers created by sanctions and a reluctance from aid agencies to send cash that may be diverted to Taliban controlled accounts.

For many Christians, the situation poses a dilemma. Of course, we want to help the earthquake victims. But should we support a regime that openly hates us and our values? And which according to the charity Open Doors has made Afghanistan the most dangerous country in the world for Christians in 2022? How should we respond? Jesus was crystal clear: ‘You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.’ Matthew 5:43-45 NIV

Let us pray for the victims of this crisis. For the bereaved families of the dead. For those still alive but trapped in the rubble. For those left without homes or possessions. And yes, let us respond to the Taliban’s pleas for help as Jesus would. With love.
Best wishes,
Peter Mill
Peter Mill is Regional Pastor for Scotland, Ireland and the North of England

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