Drought, Pride & Hatred
Iran’s Hamun Lake’s region has been known as the bread basket of the Middle East for centuries. Today, the area is dissolute. The Helmand River, originating in Afghanistan and controlled by a series of dams within Afghanistan, is the source of problem. Although the river and dams are full, no water is getting to Iran.
While Iran has been hosting Afghani refugees fleeing from Soviet and Taliban regimes for the last twenty-five years, the Afghani’s, in turn, have shut of the flow of water to Iran.
At the time of construction more than sixty years ago, western nations who helped build these dams insisted that the Afghans agree by treaty to supply ample water to Iran. The Afghans have not kept these agreements. The results have been disastrous.
Where this region once supported annual production of 3,500 metric tons of fish and 1.7 million cattle, goats and sheep, today, the river is dry, the cattle are dead, whole species of birds and fish are gone. Vast acres of farm land are now a desert wasteland.
At the heart of the issue is ethnic hatred. Pashtun warlords in Afghanistan dislike the Galicki peoples of Iran’s Hamun region. The dislike runs deep enough that the Afghanis are willing to not only allow the complete devastation of their Iranian neighbors, but also of their own refugees who have resided in the region for years. The current Afghani regime does not appear to have the stomach to do what is right.
As a result, Iran is also experiencing displacement issues as Persians from this region begin to migrate in search of food, water, shelter and work.
In 1973, the Afghan government decided to destroy the only existing church in Kabul. German businessman, Hans Mohr, who had purchased the lapis lazuli used in the church construction, told the mayor of Kabul: "If your government touches that house of God, God will overthrow your government." On the night government soldiers destroyed the church, coup leaders overthrew the Afghan monarchy. The king's cousin, Mohammed Daoud, took power.
As we see Iran struggle to survive this horrible man-made drought and also watch western powers help Afghanistan to rebuild, please stop and pray. Pray that the heart of the Afghan will change. Until the heart changes, restoration cannot completely take place and the country may continue to be devastated by warlords, terrorists and other groups intent on destruction. Pray also for Iran – that as physical water is restored to their land, that they would also know the truth about the Living Water, Christ Jesus. For it is this water that will satisfy the true hunger and thirst of the souls of both nations and will ultimately bring resolution to problems rooted in pride and hatred.
Still Paying the Price?
Since the king in '73 bowed to Islamic radicals, that country has never been the same
November 10, 2001
By Paul F. Scotchmer
The late J. Christy Wilson, pioneer missionary, built a sizeable underground Christian church in Afghanistan. Each Sunday, behind drawn curtains in his home, Afghan converts together with American and other diplomats assembled for worship (see note below).
When he learned that Dwight Eisenhower planned a trip to Afghanistan in 1959, Mr. Wilson decided to ask the president a favor. The president had just attended the opening of a mosque for Muslim diplomats in Washington. Would the president ask Mohammed Zahir Shah, Afghanistan's king, for permission to build a church for Christian diplomats in Kabul?
The request made its way to Mr. Eisenhower through his pastor, Edward Elson. His answer came back: yes. Shortly after Mr. Eisenhower's visit, Afghanistan's government granted his request.
Plans were drawn and fundraising began. Blind Afghans, students from two schools started by Mr. Wilson's wife, collected coins for the project. The process was long and difficult, but by 1970 workers had finished building the church.
Three years later it was destroyed. Rapidly increasing numbers of Christian converts provoked opposition to Mr. Wilson's work. The government ordered the Wilsons out of the country in March 1973. It closed Betty Wilson's schools for the blind. Then it ordered the destruction of the church building.
Church leaders around the world, including Billy Graham, appealed to the king. German businessman Hans Mohr, who had purchased the lapis lazuli used in the church construction, told the mayor of Kabul: "If your government touches that house of God, God will overthrow your government."
On July 17, 1973, soldiers arrived with bulldozers. They ripped into the new building. They dug 12 feet under the foundation because secret police had informed them of an "underground church" there. While the demolition took place, Christians gathered nearby to pray and later served tea and cookies to the soldiers.
On the night government soldiers destroyed the church, coup leaders overthrew the Afghan monarchy. The king's cousin, Mohammed Daoud, took power.
Afghanistan has never been the same since.
(c) WORLD Magazine 2001
Used by permission
For more information on the life of Zia Nodrat: http://wri.leaderu.com/pages/zia.html
If we are passive rather than active, always waiting for doors to open rather than stepping out in faith, then we are not planning to reach the world for Christ.” -- Brother Andrew