Prayer for the Persecuted Church—Tunisia, Bhutan, Malaysia, and Mali
Two groups of persecuted Christians exist in Tunisia: communities of expatriate Christians and communities of Muslim background believers (MBBs). MBBs bear the brunt of the persecution, often facing serious, even violent, opposition from family members who discover their faith. In rural areas particularly, society and culture remain anti-Christian, and Tunisian law does little to sufficiently protect believers. Expatriate believers are relatively free to practice Christianity - though public evangelism is not tolerated. Rising militant Islamism is also increasing pressure on believers. Pray that…
- Believers who are rejected or persecuted by their families because of their faith will remain faithful. Pray that the Lord would encourage them with spiritual family members and opportunities for fellowship and corporate worship.
- Tunisian believers would experience the presence and peace of God.
- The Lord would thwart the plans of militant Islamists to create chaos in Tunisia. Pray that these militants would come to know the Prince of Peace.
Since 1990, Christians have seen increased limitations and harsher treatment at both government and society levels. The loss of citizenship, free education, healthcare, and employment can all be expected once a person decides to follow Christ. Even access to electricity and clean water is often denied. A ban against building places of worship other than Buddhist temples also prevents believers from constructing churches. All conversions are strictly opposed by family, community, religious authorities and the state. Believers have been arrested for distributing gospel tracts or inviting people to church. Registering churches is very difficult as the government keeps gatherings confined to household premises to limit the growth of Christianity. Pray that…
- God would strengthen Christian converts facing pressure to recant their faith.
- The Lord would soften the hearts of governmental officials to allow believers to print Bibles and other Christian literature. Until then, pray that Bibles would be smuggled into the country and that every Christian would have his own copy of God’s Word.
- Believers would be creative, bold, and faithful in sharing the love of Jesus in a land where it is illegal to do so.
- Christian literacy classes would enable both believers and non-believers to read the Bible and know the love of God in a profound way.
Malaysia has recently witnessed a rise in political, social, and religious instability. The constitution defines ethnic Malays as Muslims. Therefore, Malays do not have religious liberty to leave Islam and those who practice other religions are forbidden from sharing their faith among Malay Muslims. Increasing intolerance towards Chinese, Indian and indigenous tribespeople is affecting Christians as most believers belong to these minority groups. Christians are discriminated against in both their private and business lives and conversion to Christianity is against the law in almost all states. Pray that…
- Believers who must meet in secret gatherings would know the unity of the Spirit. Pray too for their encouragement and protection.
- New believers would have strength and courage, especially those who are disowned by their families. Some are sent to Islamic re-education camps.
- Christians who are hungry to learn would have opportunities for discipleship. Pray for Bibles as well as Christian radio and television.
Islamic militants remain a threat, despite having signed a peace deal with the government in 2015. Although dislodged from territories they previously controlled, the legacy of the takeover in 2012 has been a more radicalized society that is even less hospitable to Christians than it was before, especially for Muslim background believers and their churches. Even though most Christians live in the south of the country, they feel threatened by the attacks of Islamic militants. Pray that…
- Opposition towards Christians would not deter them from loving their neighbors and sharing the Gospel with them.
- God would provide for the needs of believers in this desperately poor country.
- Peace would be restored in Mali and that Christians would be able to live peaceful and quiet lives.
Sources: Open Doors and Gospel for Asia
Prayer for the Persecuted Church—Egypt, Ethiopia, Palestinian Territories, and Laos
Since the release of an ISIS video inciting jihadists to target the “infidel” Christian community, dozens of believers have been killed and hundreds have fled the Sinai. The Coptic community and other Christians continue to suffer attacks on a regular basis. While the Egyptian government still discriminates against believers, the situation under President al-Sisi is substantially better than under the Muslim Brotherhood. Converts to Christianity face rejection and isolation from their communities because of their faith in Jesus. Pray that…
The Lord would provide and sustain Muslim background believers who have been ousted from their homes for leaving Islam. Pray for spiritual parents and siblings and opportunities for corporate worship, discipleship, and fellowship.
Christians who are discriminated against in social, political, and legal affairs would entrust their situation to God. Pray that the Lord would direct and enable them.
The comfort and peace of Jesus would fill the hearts and homes of family and friends of those martyred for their faith.
Egyptian Christians would rise up in faith and as led by the Spirit have boldness to share Christ’s love with their families, neighbors, and communities.
Although Ethiopia is a Christian majority country, complex religious and ethnic tensions combined with political and civil unrest mean that pressure on Christians is very high. In areas such as Afar and the Somali regions, where ethnicity and Islam are interconnected, Christians face discrimination and even violence from their families and communities. The government is becoming more authoritarian and has made laws restricting religious institutions. Sadly, fanatical elements of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church also attempt to undermine other denominations. Pray that…
The Spirit would bring unity to the Church and that believers would work together to expand God’s kingdom. Pray for a wave of biblical reform within churches claiming Christ and that nominal Christians would come to understand the Gospel.
Ethiopia saw massive protests and violence in 2015-16 and has been under a state of emergency since October 2016. Pray for greater stability and freedom in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in Africa and many are starving. Pray that aid is administered in a wise and effective way.
Muslim background believers (MBBs) experience high levels of persecution especially in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. MBBs particularly face harassment from their communities and families to reconvert. Under Gaza's militant Islamist party, Hamas, the rights of Christians are neither upheld nor protected, and it is almost impossible to build and register Protestant churches. Under the West Bank's secular Fatah party, non-MBB Christians face more subtle forms of discrimination. Increasing Islamic radicalization throughout society is making Christian conversion more dangerous. Pray that…
Believers would shine as lights in the midst of the conflict and demonstrate the love of Christ to family, friends, and their community.
Those under pressure to reconvert to Islam would stand strong and grow in their faith and their commitment to Jesus.
There would continue to be a Christian witness in the Palestinian Territories. Because of persecution, many believers are emigrating to more hospitable countries.
Christianity is viewed as a 'Western ideology' in Laos, and those who adhere to it are considered to be foreign agents and enemies. The Marxist-Leninist government monitors all Christian churches, and conversions, evangelism and church activities all require government permission. Lacking authorization could mean arrest. Christian converts from Buddhism or ethnic-animism face persecution from family as well as local authorities, since every conversion brings shame to the community. Laotian believers may also be physically attacked or expelled from their homes. Pray that…
The Spirit would lead believers and give them wisdom in sharing Christ with their Buddhist families and neighbors.
Every Laotian Christian would have a Bible and the opportunity to worship with other believers.
More mature Christians would take the initiative in discipling new believers. Pray that they would grow more Christ-like.
Those in prison for their faith would feel the presence of God and have opportunities to share Christ with other inmates. Pray for a great harvest.
Sources: Open Doors, Interserve, and Prayercast
Prayer Warriors for the Persecuted Church—Iran
March 13, 2017
Christianity is considered a Western influence and a threat to the Islamic identity as well as the government of the Republic. Converts from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution. Protestant Christians who evangelize Muslims are the second most persecuted group. Historical Christian communities made up of Armenian and Assyrian Christians are protected by law but are treated as second-class citizens. Arrest and violence are commonplace for anyone engaged in ministry or evangelism. Pray that…
- Believers suffering in Iran’s prisons would remain steadfast and faithful. Pray that they would have a genuine love for their guards and fellow inmates.
- Praise God that thousands of Iranians are coming to Christ! Pray that God’s people would continue to share the Good News and the Spirit would continue to open many hearts to the truth.
- For many Muslim families, it is a great disgrace when one of its members leaves Islam. Pray for protection and provision for believers who have been cursed and disowned by their families. Ask the Lord to give them spiritual parents and siblings.
- Christians would capitalize on unprecedented opportunities to spread the Gospel via internet, television, and other media.
- New believers struggle with fear. Pray for courage and boldness.
Sources: Open Doors, Prayercast, and prayirannow.com
Prayer Warriors for the Persecuted Church—Iraq
March 6, 2017
Iraq was once home to one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East; today, the church in Iraq is in danger of disappearing completely. The self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) has forced thousands of Christians to flee their homes, although IS was driven back from some areas in 2016, and some Christians are beginning to consider returning. Even in areas of Iraq that aren't controlled by IS, Sharia is the basis of the law, and Muslims are forbidden from leaving Islam. Pray that…
- The Lord would lead and provide for Iraqi believers who are attempting to rebuild their lives after being forced from their homes by IS. Pray they would remain faithful.
- God would use remaining Christians to bring many Iraqis to Christ.
- Believers who have been displaced internally or are refugees would be guided by the Holy Spirit. Pray that he would comfort and provide for them according to his riches in glory.
- The Lord would protect his people and change the hearts of IS members.
- The Gospel would break through hearts hardened by longstanding divisions and intense rivalries.
Sources: Open Doors and Prayercast
Prayer for the Persecuted Church—Syria
February 27, 2017
In the midst of civil war, Christians, churches and Christian-owned businesses are targeted by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), as well as other radical Islamist groups. There are many reports of Christians being abducted, attacked and killed. IS’s propaganda magazine has said that IS fighters are allowed to rape non-Muslim women. Despite this, some Christians are committed to staying in Syria and hope to play a part in bringing reconciliation to their communities. Pray that…
- Those choosing to stay in Syria and serve their communities would have special strength, courage, and protection.
- Christian refugees who have fled the war would find churches in their host countries which will show them the love of Christ.
- Those who are either nominal Christians or unbelievers will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Praise God for all of the Muslims who have already embraced Jesus as Lord!
- God would give the leaders of Syria and the international community wisdom, and he would use them to bring peace.
- Evil and terror would be overcome by the power and love of Christ and his people.
Sources: Open Doors and Prayercast
Prayer for the Persecuted Church- North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
Imprisonment, torture, death: this is what you risk if you decide to follow Jesus in North Korea. The family that has ruled North Korea for three generations are worshipped like gods, and any suggestion that there is a higher authority than the nation's leader, Kim Jong-un, is immediately crushed. Tens of thousands of Christians are incarcerated in horrific labor camps, and thousands more keep their faith in Christ a complete secret - often their own family members do not know that they trust Jesus. Pray that…
- God’s people would be sustained and that the Lord would provide for their spiritual and physical needs. Pray especially for those imprisoned in labor camps.
- The Lord would enable and direct secret workers who smuggle food and Bibles into North Korea.
- Truth would reign and liberate the nation from the regime’s indoctrination and lies.
- A defector was quoted as saying North Korean Christians do not pray for freedom but instead pray “for more of Christ and to mirror more of Christ in their lives.”
- Kim Jong-un would come to know the one true God. Pray for change within the regime and that the power of evil will be broken.
- Praise God that despite the terrible danger, the Church is growing!
If you are even suspected of being a Christian in Somalia, you could be murdered on the spot. There were 12 known Christians killed in 2016 when their faith was discovered. The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has stated publically that it “wants Somalia free of all Christians,” and they are able to persecute Christians with impunity, as Somalia is essentially lawless. Somalia is a tribal society, and many tribal leaders see being Somali as being Muslim - leaving Islam is a betrayal of the tribe. Pray that…
- Somali Christians would find ways to worship and be discipled.
- Believers would have wisdom and discernment in sharing the Gospel with others, along with a quiet boldness and sense of God’s presence.
- Somalia is very poor. Pray that God would provide for the needs of his children.
- God would raise up strong leadership and churches.
- Christians would be able to live in peace with their Muslim neighbors.
- God would comfort believers so they would not be overcome with fear.
It is illegal for an Afghan to be anything other than a Muslim. Afghanistan is also a tribal society, and leaving Islam is seen as a betrayal of the tribe. Discovered believers will sometimes be sent to a mental hospital, as families believe no sane person would leave Islam. Baptism is a crime punishable by death; several believers were killed in 2016 when their faith was discovered. The Taliban remains active in Afghanistan and targets those who leave Islam. Pray that…
- God would strengthen and give courage to his people, especially new converts who fear telling anyone about their faith in Christ.
- Believers would be able to forgive those who persecute them to the glory and praise of God.
- Followers of Christ would mature and grow in both faith and numbers.
- There would be peace and stability in Afghanistan and that there would be openness to religions outside of Islam.
- God would provide his people with opportunities for discipleship and that he would raise up godly leaders to shepherd the Church.
- Christian radio broadcasts would blanket the country and provide both teaching and evangelism programming.
There are multiple groups of Christians experiencing persecution in Pakistan. Historical Christian communities exist openly but have to put up with stringent rules and constant monitoring. Christian converts from Islam suffer the brunt of persecution from both radical Islamic groups and families and neighbors. Violent persecution is common. Christians are targets for murder, bombings, abduction of women, rape, forced marriages and eviction from home and country. Unjust and arbitrary blasphemy laws are used to punish Christians and prevent evangelism. Pray that…
- All believers, but especially those who are evangelizing, would be led by the Spirit as they are at risk of being charged with blasphemy by their family and friends.
- Those being persecuted by their families would be faithful witnesses and show the love of Jesus. Pray that whole families would come to salvation.
- Nominal Christians would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
- God would protect his daughters from abduction and attack. Pray that those who have been forcibly “converted” to Islam and married would be able to escape their captors.
- Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2009, would have her conviction overturned by the Pakistani Supreme Court.
Sources: Open Doors, Prayercast, Christian Today, and Voice of the Martyrs
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