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Check Out A Must-See Film: Kabul-24

About a month before the massive terrorist attack on U.S. soil, eight Western and sixteen Afghani aid workers (twenty-four total) were arrested by the Taliban. Most of us remember the two American women—Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry—who were held captive, but we don’t know about the others nor the probable connection between their captivity and the events of 9/11.

About a month before the massive terrorist attack on U.S. soil, eight Western and sixteen Afghani aid workers (twenty-four total) were arrested by the Taliban. Most of us remember the two American women—Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry—who were held captive, but we don’t know about the others nor the probable connection between their captivity and the events of 9/11.

The workers served in Afghanistan with Shelter Now (www.shelter-now.org), an organization that had served Afghanis for nineteen years at the time of the crisis. Shelter Now was founded by Christ-followers committed to helping refugees in Afghanistan and Pakistan to rebuild communities and lives through appropriate shelter and community development programs. Workers did not initiate conversations about Christianity, nor were all of its workers even Christians. When Muslim friends in Afghanistan consistently asked Heather and Dayna to show them the Jesus Film, the women eventually consented to their request.

In Islam, Jesus (“Issa”, pronounced E-suh) is a prophet of God sent to guide the people of Israel with a new scripture, the gospel. The Qur'an mentions Issa twenty-five times, stating that he was born to Mary as the result of virginal conception, and to aid him in his quest, he was given the ability to perform miracles. The Qur’an says Issa will return to Earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and defeat the anti-Christ. The Jesus Film is the story of Issa’s life. So the request was not really out of the ordinary.

Yet today we know that it was part of a set-up to accuse the workers of proselytizing. The Taliban knew they would need some hostages to use as bargaining chips following their plans for 9/11.

The entire story of the eight Western workers’ arrest, their 105-day ordeal, and their ultimate rescue is brilliantly captured in the documentary, “Kabul-24.” Produced by Dove and Grammy award winning artist Michael W. Smith, the film is directed by Ben Pearson and narrated by Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, Count of Monte Cristo).

The storytelling has great pacing with top-notch on-site footage. It is unclear why the sixteen arrested Afghani aid workers were de-emphasized; the film might be more appropriately titled "Kabul-8." But it has outstanding production values and contains a story that will challenge your faith. It provides the other side of the news with an inspiring narrative full of intrigue and suspense. The workers are honest about their shortcomings, fears, and frustrations, giving viewers a vulnerable look at the difficulties of faith under fire.

I recommend this highly for use with your small groups. I received a review copy from Edify Media (at my request), and we watched it with another family on the Fourth of July before giving thanks for our freedoms.

After a lively discussion, consider donating your copy (sorry–not available on Netflix) to a public or church library. You can view the trailer with Michael W. Smith at http://tinyurl.com/Kabul24.

Sandra Glahn

Sandra Glahn, who holds a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and a PhD in The Humanities—Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas/Dallas, is a professor at DTS. This creator of the Coffee Cup Bible Series (AMG) based on the NET Bible is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books. She's the wife of one husband, mother of one daughter, and owner of two cats. Chocolate and travel make her smile. You can follow her on Twitter @sandraglahn ; on FB /Aspire2 ; and find her at her web site: aspire2.com.

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