Introduction / History Ever since the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979 there have been waves of Afghan refugees fleeing for safety. Most of them have wound up in either neighboring Pakistan or Iran, but some have made their way to the more peaceful shores of Europe.
Afghan refugees have not been welcome in Austria in the 2010s. At one point the Austrians funded an advertising campaign in Afghanistan to convince the people not to come to their European country. Afghan refugees in Austria didn't help their own cause when they had a 50-man brawl in a park in Vienna, the capital city.
Where are they located? Many Afghan refugees live in the Praterstern area of Vienna.
What are their lives like? Afghans in Austria are desperate to get away from the violence in their own country and to re-locate to a peaceful land. Those who have marketable skills are usually able to relocate while those without such skills are not welcome in places like Austria. The latter group is often stuck in refugee camps.
What are their beliefs? There are three large ethnic groups in Afghanistan: The Pashtuns and Tajiks are Sunni Muslims, and the Hazaras are Shi 'ites. They are dedicated to the religious system we call Islam, though they all have their pre-Islamic beliefs as well.
What are their needs? It is not helping anyone when refugees cannot contribute to the economy of the host country. The Afghans in Austria desperately need job training and the opportunity to do something constructive. The Austrians are trying to make sure they learn German, the trade language of Austria.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in Afghan communities in such a way that they tire of the old ways of violence and seek holiness, which they will only find in the person of Jesus Christ.
* Pray for believers to teach marketable job skills and the German language to these people who are desperate to find a safe homeland.
* Pray for a disciple-making movement among Afghans in Austria.