Farida and her sister at the airport

Farida was raised to never trust anything blindly. This was not the norm in her home country of Afghanistan, but it gave her the permission she needed to read the Quran with a critical eye. She had an abundance of spiritual questions, but as she read Islamic texts, she found only discrepancies. If Islam didn’t hold the truth she was searching for, what did? 

Like any young person in our day and age, Farida, along with her sister, turned to Google. After they stumbled upon a Christian talking about his faith on YouTube, their interest in Jesus Christ was piqued. The sisters began thorough research into the Gospel message, eventually creating an undercover social media account to connect with the Christian and ask him questions. They discovered that Christianity held the answers they were looking for – there was no need for blind trust. 

After reading the Bible cover to cover, Farida sent this message to him: 

“Hey, so my sister and I want to be Christians… what should we do?” 

Even before the Taliban took power in August 2021, living a public Christian life in Afghanistan could be a death sentence. They became remote members of a church in Turkey and searched for a way to be baptized safely. 

“The day I became a Christian, my life felt like a miracle,” Farida told us. 

Taliban Takeover 

When the Taliban marched into Kabul last year, Farida’s faith became her refuge like never before. Her father’s position in government had put a target on her family. When he was taken and imprisoned, the Taliban came knocking. Her family knew it was time to pack their bags.  

This is when Help The Persecuted received a voicemail from a desperate Farida: 

“Excuse me for calling you a lot. I am very worried, and my last hope is for you to get us out of here. My father has been missing since yesterday and we cannot find him. And we are afraid that the Taliban will attack our house. And we are afraid they will take the young women and girls with them … we are waiting for your call and action.” 

Safe House Shelter 

Help The Persecuted was already on the ground setting up temporary Safe Houses when we received Farida’s message. With the Kabul airport closed, these Safe Houses were placed in the northern part of the country, giving persecuted Afghans easy access to one of the few remaining open airports. 

After a dangerous and grueling twelve-hour journey north, we were able to get Farida and her family members to our Safe House. They sheltered in place as they patiently awaited their flight. 

“Alone” at the Airport 

Once we helped secure their flight out, the women boarded a bus that took them to the airport tarmac. They carried a single handbag each, having left the rest of their belongings behind. Clutching their tickets out of Afghanistan tightly, they watched as Taliban members cross-checked traveler names against Most Wanted lists. Farida’s father could have very well been on that list.  

They attempted to stay calm and blend in, but there was one thing they couldn’t hide: they were three women traveling without a man. In the West, we would think nothing of this. But in Afghanistan, especially under Taliban rule, traveling “alone” as a woman is forbidden. 

A man in line in front of them turned to Farida.  

“Don’t say that you are alone. Today, I’m your uncle.” 

We now know that God, in His perfect providence, placed this kind stranger in line for that purpose.  

Solace in the States 

Farida was one of more than 750 Afghans that Help The Persecuted helped evacuate last fall. After time in a refugee camp in another country, Farida and her family members have made it to their permanent new home: the United States! 

We asked her what her hopes are for her new life in America: 

“I want to work, and I want to make a good life for my family, especially for my younger sister. I also really want to help Afghan women because many are unaware of their rights. The Taliban is trying to take their courage to fight.” 

Help The Persecuted is honored to have played a critical part in Farida’s escape from Afghanistan. Join us in continuing to pray for her family members that remain under Taliban rule. 

“Thank you so much. What you’re doing for us — it’s a big thing for us. We are in a good place right now, and everything is because of you. Really, thanks to all of you.”