“Thank you so much for helping us, for helping to save my family,” exclaimed an Afghan Christian convert to Barnabas as he arrived with his wife and three children in a safe Christian country in South America.
They were among 15 Christian families (60 individuals) who fled almost certain death in their homeland, and were flown by Barnabas over the weekend to begin a new life in Brazil where they can worship freely. The last families touched down safely on Monday 27 March.
Since July 2021, Afghanistan has been under the control of the Taliban government that rules by sharia (Islamic law), which demands death for apostates from Islam.
It means that converts from Islam – like the newly arrived Christians – were at risk of being killed for their faith.
This is the second group of Afghan Christians flown by Barnabas’ Operation Safe Havens initiative to Brazil. Ten families (54 individuals) were in the first group resettled in the country in June 2022.
Family reunited in Brazil
Samim, a Christian convert from Kabul who began his new life in Brazil last year, was waiting at São Paulo airport on Sunday 26 March for the arrival of his mother, father and two brothers.
He last saw them around the time when the Taliban came to power and he fled Afghanistan by crossing into a neighbouring country. After Samin escaped Afghanistan, he told his family that he had become a Christian and took every opportunity to tell them of Christ’s love. His parents and brothers also put their faith in Christ.
The newly arrived Christians have each been adopted by a church in Brazil and the congregations are providing them with housing, food, Portuguese language classes and pastoral care.
Barnabas’ Head of Operations in Brazil says the first group of families that arrived in June 2022 are well settled and enjoying life in Brazil. “Their Portuguese is improving each day,” he added.
Project reference: 01-901 (Needy and persecuted Afghan Christians)