An Overview of Kabul

Kabul is on the Kabul River, situated at an elevation of about 1800 m (about 5900 ft) making it one of the highest capital cities in the world. The population is a little over 3 million people. The nation’s chief economic and cultural center, it has long been of strategic importance because of its proximity to the Khyber Pass, an important pass in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tajiks are the predominant population group of Kabul, and Pashtuns are an important minority (source).

Today, Kabul seems to change on an almost daily basis. Swathes of the city have been cleared, and new buildings are quickly thrown. The air is thick with the sound of mobile phones. New restaurants and busy bazaars cater to the nouveau riche Afghans surfing an economic boom and the sizeable international community helping with Afghanistan’s reconstruction. There’s a long way to go before Kabul is restored to its position, with electricity and clean water still a distant aspiration for the majority of the population, which has doubled since the end of 2001 with returning refugees. Plenty of Kabulis still live in bombed-out buildings or worse, and beggars, war widows, and street children further swell the traffic jams that clog the city. Reconstruction for the poorest has been frustratingly slow.

Kabul today is a fascinating snapshot of the birth pangs of a new nation, and a city permanently on the cusp of change. As an introduction to Afghanistan it’s exciting, frustrating, inspiring, and shocking in equal measure (source).

Religion in Kabul & Afghanistan

Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam have each made their mark in various parts and times in the past thousands of years. At present, the main religion is Islam. Surprisingly, there is still a Sikh Temple and one Hindu Temple in Kabul. The Italian Embassy has an official Catholic presence. And up until recently, the last known Jew was still living in Sharenau, Kabul.

Islam is practiced by over 99% of its citizens. Sunni Islam makes up 80-89% of the total population while the remaining 10-19% are Shi’as and about 1% or less practice other religions.

Hinduism is said to have been in Afghanistan since its existence, while Sikhs were brought by the British. A small number of people who practice other religions may also be found in the country (source).

Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

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