Franklin Graham is calling for a day of prayer for Afghanistan on Sunday, August 22, 2021. Here is his Facebook message to followers:
DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN
I’m asking for Christians around the world to join me in praying for the people of Afghanistan this Sunday, August 22. The situation in Afghanistan is desperate. Thousands of people who know they will be targeted by the Taliban are trying to get out of the country and can’t, with the Taliban blocking access to the airport and other exit routes.
This is a life or death situation for Christians and other religious minorities, for Afghans who worked with or for America, and for Americans who are left in Afghanistan.
The Islamic extremists who have taken Afghanistan by force have a history of brutality, including beheadings and public executions. We know what they are capable of. There is no hope for these people to get out safely—apart from a miracle from the hand of God—and that’s what we need to pray for. Will you join me in praying and ask your church to pray as well?
On August 16, Graham wrote:
What’s unfolding in Afghanistan is tragic. Today, President Biden tried to defend his Afghanistan policy, but there is no way to defend this catastrophe. The more than $2 trillion spent; the 2,448 American lives lost; the 20,000+ American military wounded; and the promises made by both Democrat and Republican administrations that we would stay the course until they had freedom and democracy—all for nothing. The Taliban who took over the country are Islamic extremists who have no mercy and no respect for human life.
This ill-thought-out decision of the Biden/Harris administration means a death sentence for many freedom-loving Afghans. Today we saw some try to cling to a departing aircraft, only to fall to their deaths in a desperate attempt to escape what they know the Islamist Taliban brings. Tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for America as translators and in other jobs are left as targets for these butchers because there was little thought given to a plan to get them out safely.
The Taliban considers women sub-human, and they have a reputation for killing women who have been educated. Mothers who teach their daughters to read and write are executed by these brutal Islamic extremists. Every woman who has received an education in the last 20 years is now at risk. And think of the prospects ahead for Christians and other minorities in the country. The blood of this nation will be on the hands of the Biden/Harris administration. And on top of these tragedies—how can any country in the world trust America now? Our enemies are laughing at us. May God have mercy on the United States of America.
Do you miss President Trump yet? I do. (Italics mine).
Graham seems incapable of separating his Christian faith from politics. I assume Graham wants Trump back so the former president can do THIS in Afghanistan.
Some of us who might be inclined to join in Graham’s day of prayer as way of finding common ground with the Trump evangelicals are now suspicious of yet another Christian Right political event.
Churches do not need Franklin Graham to tell them to pray for Afghanistan on Sunday. Too often these national days of prayer are little more than political stunts by Christian Right culture warriors. I have no doubt that Graham is sincere in his desire to pray for Afghanistan, but his witness has become so tarnished among some of us over the past five years that it is really hard to take him seriously. He is compromised–incapable of leading evangelicalism any further. (If he ever really led this fractured movement in the first place).
Don’t get me wrong, I still respect Graham’s efforts to promote the COVID-19 vaccine. I also support his good work with Samaritan’s Purse. He is at his best when doing this kind of work. He should stay focused on these issues.
Check out Yonat Shimron’s story at Religion News Service.