Mental health is in decline in Afghanistan, especially for women. Recent reports show that the country is on the brink of a ‘mental health catastrophe’ for young girls, many of whom have been forced out of schools and into arranged marriages. As women push back against the restrictive regime, they are met by great opposition with little outside help, and most are growing despondent. After just two years under Taliban rule, one in four girls have shown signs of depression or anxiety, and two-thirds of children, in general, say they have felt negative feelings including worry, sadness, and anger.
As mental health declines in Afghanistan, we rely on our Dari and Pashto language radio programs to share the hope that only comes through Jesus Christ. Many people feel lost or worthless in the oppressive culture they currently live in, but we know all people have inherent worth, which is why it is imperative to continue our important work there. We share the Gospel via radio broadcasting to millions of listeners in their native tongue, proclaiming the Good News of Christ and teaching them that He died for them. By showing them that a powerful, loving God sacrificed Himself for them, listeners learn how important they are to Christ and will hopefully see those around them — including their daughters — in a different light and begin taking their mental health seriously.
Listeners have already responded to the message of our broadcasts and emphasized how it changed their lives for the better.
One listener commented, “One of my friends asked me to listen to your radio program, and I came to know the value of life and the importance of knowing God from your program. The messages were heart touching. One day, a pastor invited me to a church meeting. Out of curiosity I joined it, but I never knew that it would change the course of my life. I have received real joy and peace through faith in Jesus in my life.”
Another listener wrote, “I have listened to your program several times through the radio. I like this program for many reasons. I developed an interest to know the true God. Jesus Christ was explained to us beautifully. Having understood all this, I asked Jesus for forgiveness and trusted Him as my only God and savior.”
Praise God that people are responding to the message and understanding how important the health and well-being of every individual is. We will continue to be diligent in proclaiming the Gospel throughout the region until every last person has heard the Good News or Christ returns.