"Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19.18
Are the lights going out in Afghanistan, as they did in Burma when the Generals resumed control earlier this year? Behind the chilling headlines, some might find hope in the brave souls who are resisting totalitarian rule. Kyaw Moe Tun is Burma's ambassador to the UN. Refusing to recognise his new political masters in favour of continuing loyalty to the legitimate government (for all its faults), he poses a challenge to the international community: whom shall we support - those who seize power illegally or the representative of those who have been deposed?
Meanwhile back in Pakistan, the Taliban is not having it all their own way. Friday's bombing was a painful and tragic sign of that. An arguably more palatable source of resistance is to be found in the mountainous region of Panjshir, under the unlikely leadership of a graduate of Sandhurst and King's College London, Ahmad Massoud. Remnants of the Afghan National Forces have joined his band of warriors to form a liberation army, bearing a curious resemblance to the band of Israelite and Philistine brothers which formed around David 3 thousand years ago in his campaign against King Saul!
Yet these two pretenders are not the whole story. Nor do they necessarily offer a brighter, let alone realistic, alternative to the present situation. According to Open Doors, the international ministry which supports the underground church in countries where Christians are persecuted, there are a handful of believers in Afghanistan and over 4 million in Burma. In their witness to Jesus, these are the real hope of their countries. Let us pray for them and look for ways we can protect and support them, until better times arrive or the Lord himself returns...