in the san francisco bay area
“Little Kabul” is the nickname of a short strip along a boulevard in Fremont containing several Afghan stores. The area is appropriately named because Fremont is the epicenter of the more than 30,000 Afghans who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the largest concentration of Afghans in the Western world, alongside Toronto, Fremont is a popular destination for Afghanistan politicians seeking to bolster support from the influential Afghan diaspora.
Even though they have a large population in the Bay Area, Afghans have not exercised much power in local politics. “In many ways, the community is still politically invisible,” said a leader of the Afghan Cultural Association. Many have come as refugees because of wars in Afghanistan, lacking formal education and suffering from trauma. Afghans often harbor suspicion and desire to remain private due to memories of their past, the US’s involvement in the war in their home country, and local law enforcement’s suspicion of their community because of global terrorism. Even after Afghans arrive in the San Francisco area, continued tensions and conflicts along tribal lines remain. Because of these collective reasons, Afghans have not integrated as successfully in America compare to other immigrants from Asia.
The American Community Survey 2019 estimated 31,642 people with Afghan ancestry in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using census information instead of community estimates helps compare populations of people groups in various cities. However, the population is likely larger than this number. Local estimates, like this one from CBS San Francisco, often claim there are 60,000 Afghans in the area.
As the large majority of Afghans are Muslim, the South Bay Afghan Islamic Community Center serves as an important center for the community, offering prayer services, a library, and cemetery services.
Several of the large Afghan mosques in the Afghan enclave in Fremont/Hayward include Masjid Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Masjid Muhajireen, and the Khalilullah Ibrahim Islamic Center.
Unreached people groups can also be viewed as "hidden" people groups (i.e., they are largely unnoticed and unaffected by the global Body of Christ). In the prayer gallery section below, as well as through the Google Earth prayerwalk tool, you can visualize these hidden people group communities. By doing so, we pray God gives you insight into how to pray through what you see. By scrolling through major points of interest in the prayer gallery section, pray for people you see, and pray that the peace and hope of Jesus will become known to people who frequent these places. Through the Google Earth prayerwalk tool linked at the bottom of the page, you can virtually prayerwalk through the community, praying "on site with insight." You could also take the route and points of interest from that tool and save them to your "Google Maps" to prayerwalk in person. Allow the following three steps to guide your prayers using these tools, and try prayerwalking with another person or small group! God hears the voice of His people, and He responds to our prayers!
Praise God for who He is. Thank Him for His blessings and salvation that is extended to all peoples. Praise and thank Him for appointing the time and boundaries of this people group's presence in North America so that they might seek Him and find Him (Acts 17:26). Pray Scriptures that come to mind about His glory being made known among all peoples and nations (e.g., Rev 7:9-10).
Luke 10:2 says “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." Pray for God's laborers to share Christ's love through hospitality to this people group. Pray for laborers among this community to establish loving relationships and proclaim the gospel. Pray for Christians to emerge from within this people group who will reach their friends and family members.
Most members of unreached people group communities remain unreached because they have failed to hear the gospel in ways they can understand. Others have heard the gospel but have many barriers to overcome before receiving the gospel. Pray that this community will understand the gospel. Pray for God to draw them to Jesus and remove the barriers that keep them from salvation in Christ.
Masjid Muhajireen is also known as the “Mosque of Immigrants.” It purchased property from a Catholic church in 1994, becoming the first mosque with its own property in Hayward, CA. The mosque serves over 1,000 people, and around 90% of the mosque are first- or second-generation Afghans.
Visit this page to learn general information about Afghan communities in North America and their religious beliefs. Also, discover resources to help share Jesus with them in their language.
Prayerwalk through some of the main Afghan restaurants, places of worship, and businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area using a tool we developed in Google Earth. You could also do a prayerwalk in person using the same points of interest.