Prayer Points For Every Nation — March 2014
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INDIA, SOUTH ASIA
Authorities in West Bengal state arrested 13 men for participating in the gang rape of a young woman. The suspects supposedly acted on orders from the local village council. The council had previously fined the young woman for having a relationship with a man of a different religion. When her family said they could not afford the fine, the council ordered the gang rape. The woman remains in a serious condition. According to the government, “Rape, dowry deaths, molestation, sexual harassment, and other crimes against women rose by 6.4 percent in 2012 from the previous year.” Ask the Lord to physically and emotionally heal the young woman. Pray for the government to prosecute the suspects to the fullest extent of the law. Pray for an end to sexual violence in India (The Bible, Isaiah 60:18).
MAURITANIA, NORTH AFRICA
Mauritania is poor and drought-prone, frequently losing harvests because of desert winds from the Sahel. However, men consider obese women beautiful and desirable for marriage, as it shows that they are wealthy. For that reason, women are force-fed to gain weight, both now and in the past. Chemicals such as growth hormones, contraceptives, and steroids have recently replaced excessive eating as a way to gain weight. Pray against any form of eating that would cause women to neglect caring for their own bodies in a healthy way. Pray for these women to understand the love of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, John 4:39-42).
SUDAN, NORTH AFRICA
The government of Sudan continues to use force to control many different parts of Sudan. With increased fighting in South Sudan, they are launching more attacks on places like the Nuba Mountains. Here they are using parachute bombs as a way to bomb civilian areas. Pray for all the tribes and people being killed by the government forces, may God give them strength. Pray for the lslamist Khartoum government to rule the nation with wisdom and for the good of the people, so that Sudanese may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (The Bible, 1 Timothy 2:1-3).
SOUTH SUDAN, NORTH AFRICA
South Sudan has been in great tribal conflict. President Salva Kiir, from the Dinka tribe, has been at war with his political rival, former Vice President Riek Machar from the Nuer tribe. Other people groups like the Bari, Azande, and Shilluk have also been fighting each other. Pray for an end to military action on all sides. Pray for the return of people, livestock, and property to their rightful tribe. Pray for those who call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be living for His Kingdom, and not the kingdom of this world (The Bible, John 18:36).
AFGHANISTAN, SOUTH ASIA
Two gunmen took the lives of 21 people, mostly Western civilians, in a suicide bomb attack at a popular café in Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in response to a coalition airstrike which killed Afghan civilians. The Taliban selected their target because it was an establishment that served alcohol to “high-ranking foreigners.” In addition to civilians, the attack killed officials from the International Monetary Fund in Afghanistan, the United Nations, and the British Labour Party. Pray for the final and complete dissolution of the Taliban. Pray for peace in this South Asian nation. Ask God to comfort the victims’ families. Pray for the safety and security of Afghan Christian Believers (The Bible, Joshua 1:9).
KUWAIT, ARABIAN PENINSULA
The Kuwait anti-trafficking task force has been working to provide justice for foreigners, mostly women, who are in Kuwait for work. Women from the Philippines have complained about long workdays and abusive employers; one even complained about being sexually abused. These women come to Kuwait to earn money to send home. They do not get what they are promised. Pray for all the workers in Kuwait who are abused and treated as slaves. Pray for the small church in Kuwait to minister in this situation. Pray they will also continue to bring a bold witness to the Lord Jesus in power and the Holy Spirit (The Bible, 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5).
BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA
Four extremist Muslim brothers violently attacked six Christian Believers in their home. They also assaulted two Muslims for attempting to aid the Believers. The eight victims remain hospitalized, three in critical condition. The government has not detained or charged the assailants. According to Corey Bailey, Regional Asia Manager for International Christian Concern, “It is clear that violence against Christians, at the hand of militant and radical Islamists, is becoming a frequent occurrence in Bangladesh. Persecutors of the religious minority should not be allowed to operate with impunity.” Pray for Bangladesh authorities to prosecute those responsible for the vicious attack. Ask the Lord to bring swift healing to the victims. Pray for the safety and security of the Bangladesh Church (The Bible, Psalm 4:8).
JAPAN, EAST ASIA
Tensions continue to increase between Japan and China, causing leading economists and multinational companies to reconsider the risk of conducting business with the two nations. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently added fuel to the geopolitical fire by remarking that Japan’s relationship with China is similar to what Britain’s relationship was with Germany prior to World War 1. Ian Bremmer, founder of the Eurasia Group, says, “The Chinese have ruled out Shinzo Abe as someone they can potentially work with. They mistrust him completely. They believe he is belligerent toward them and believe an escalatory policy is the appropriate one to pursue.” Pray for peace and reconciliation between Japan and China. Pray for restored trust and respectful communication between both governments. Pray for Japanese Believers to increase their efforts to spread the Gospel during this tense and uncertain time (The Bible, 2 Thessalonians 3:16).
GUINEA-BISSAU, WEST AFRICA
Guinea-Bissau’s upcoming elections are crucial to the country’s stability and post-coup success. According to IRIN, the UN humanitarian news website, “Corruption and misrule have bogged down governance and public services, and over the last decade drug trafficking has worsened power struggles between the military and the political class. Extensive reforms to the public sector, including the security service, and the political sphere are needed to help restore normalcy.” UN Special Representative Jose Ramos-Horta says, “There has to be serious reform and modernization of state institutions. Without such a strategy, Guinea-Bissau is doomed.” Pray for peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau. Pray for the upcoming elections. Pray for an end to drug-trafficking and corruption in this West African nation (The Bible, Matthew 5:9).
BHUTAN, SOUTH ASIA
Bhutan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry named Kunzang C Namgyel the nation’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. She is Bhutan’s first female ambassador. The government approved her appointment by a “kasho,” or royal decree. Praise God for Bhutan’s willingness to appoint a woman to this high-profile position. Pray for Ambassador Namgyel to believe in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Ask the Lord to give her wisdom and discernment as she represents Bhutan at the United Nations (The Bible, James 1:5).
SAUDI ARABIA, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Saudi Arabia and Jordan have recently agreed to work together on nuclear energy. Saudi Arabia plans to build many reactors in coming years. They want to be careful to safeguard technologies, have nuclear material controls, and increase preparation of nuclear safety. This comes at a time when Saudi and Israel are working hard to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons. Pray for great wisdom for Saudi Arabia as it seeks to move into the nuclear age. Pray that God’s plans will be done and that His power will control the changes (The Bible, Matthew 6:9-10).
GUINEA, WEST AFRICA
President Alpha Conde recently announced his new administration, drawing criticism from the opposition for not including any of its members. Fode Oussou Fofanah, opposition spokesman, claims President Conde created a cabinet “strictly devoted to him.” Political analyst Thierno Alpha Ibrahima Balde says, “Alpha Conde has brought on board his closest followers for key posts like finance, mines, territorial administration, and public works. The absence of his opponents is clear. It is not a unity government.” Pray for the 2015 presidential election in Guinea. Pray for harmony between the ruling party and opposition party. Pray for President Alpha Conde to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior (The Bible, Philippians 2:2).
THAILAND, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Voice of America reports that “Anti-government protesters disrupted voting and have vowed to continue mass street demonstrations to topple the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.” The government promises to hold a second round of voting once the demonstrations end. Mahidol University’s Research Center for Peace director Gothom Areeya says, “If we have the will to continue this difficult process of election we will be able to complete it and produce a parliament.” Pray for peace in Thailand. Pray for an end to the unrest and anti-government demonstrations. Pray for the political process to move forward without hindrance (The Bible, Romans 12:18).
NIGER, WEST AFRICA
Police estimate that 20,000 opposition supporters participated in an anti-government protest in Niamey. The opposition, the Alliance for the Republic, Democracy, and Reconciliation in Niger (ARDR), believe President Mahamadou Issoufou’s attempts to enrich Niger’s living standards are not working. According to National Assembly President Amadou Hama, “Mahamadou Issoufou promised an end to food insecurity, but the population continues to be decimated by hunger and thirst.” Pray for the Niger government to increase its efforts in fighting poverty, unemployment, and food scarcity. Ask the Lord to supply Niger’s poor with an abundance of provisions. Pray for Niger’s population to hunger and thirst for righteousness (The Bible, Matthew 5:6).
KYRGYZSTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
Eleven Uighurs who entered Kyrgyzstan illegally from the Chinese province of Xinjiang died. A local hunter killed two of them, and a special task forces unit killed the other nine when they refused to surrender. According to Gulmira Borubayeva, a border guard spokeswoman, “This was an attempt to seize weapons from local herders and hunters and commit acts of terror here and then return to their native country.” Pray for the Kyrgyzstan government to secure the border with China. Pray that Islamic radicalism does not take hold in this region. Pray for the growth of Christianity, not Islam, in Kyrgyzstan (The Bible, John 3:16).
IRAN, MIDDLE EAST
The whereabouts of four Christian converts arrested near Tehran on New Year’s Eve is still unknown. According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the converts were at a home gathering when plain-clothes forces stormed in, beat them up, and arrested them in an “insulting” way, according to a source. Iranian police are still refusing to provide information about the detainees to their families. Pray for the immediate release of the four Believers, their protection, and for peace and comfort for their families. Pray for religious freedom in Iran (The Bible, Hebrews 13:3).
BURKINA FASO, WEST AFRICA
Government opposition members, led by Zephirin Diabre, protested in record numbers throughout Burkina Faso. The peaceful “National Day of Protest” called on President Blaise Compaore to abide by the presidential term limits mandated in Article 37 of the Constitution. Although President Campaore is silent on his plans to remain in office, the opposition believes “he is likely to seek changes to the Constitution that could let him run again.” Pray for President Compaore and other political leaders to believe in Jesus Christ. Pray for reconciliation and understanding between the ruling party and the opposition. Ask the Lord to provide both sides with divine wisdom and instruction as they move forward (The Bible, James 3:17).
MALI, WEST AFRICA
According to Albert Koenders, UN Mali envoy, there is still a serious threat of terrorist activity in Mali. Koenders says, “Terrorist attacks in the north increased in the last part of 2013, killing civilians, four UN peacekeepers, and two French journalists. The terrorist threat has always been at the core of concerns. An upswing in terrorist activities confirms those concerns.” Pray for the end of terrorism in Mali and throughout Africa. Pray for peace and stability in Mali. Pray for Mali Believers to share their faith, particularly in Mali’s unstable north (The Bible, Philemon 1:6 RSV).
AZERBAIJAN, SOUTHWEST ASIA
Violence between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops on the contact line is escalating. Recently, the Armenian military violated a long-standing ceasefire agreement over 1,000 times, killing two Azerbaijani troops. According to the OSCE Minsk Group, “The recent incidents undermine negotiations and diminish the prospects for peace.” Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov says, “The provocations of Armenian armed forces on the contact line of the troops and their consequences show the full readiness of Azerbaijan for war.” Pray against a war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Pray for peace and reconciliation between both nations. Ask God to protect His Church on both sides during this time of unrest and conflict (The Bible, Psalm 121:7-8).
BENIN, WEST AFRICA
The Dendi people group live in northern Benin. Although they are predominantly Muslim, their belief in Islam is superficial. According to Joshua Project, “Spirit possession, magic, sorcery, ancestor worship, and witchcraft remain the vital components of Dendi belief. Most of the villages have possession troops, magician-healers, and witches. In some places, ceremonies of spirit possession occur at least once a week.” There is a New Testament available in the Dendi language. However, the Dendi have not heard a Gospel presentation. In addition, the Dendi struggle with drought and food insecurity. Pray for Christian workers and humanitarian aid agencies to minister to the Dendi’s physical and spiritual needs. Pray for the whole Bible to be translated into the Dendi language. Pray for the Dendi people to turn from Islam and the occult to a saving belief in Jesus Christ (The Bible, Leviticus 19:31).
INDONESIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
In Sumatra, local officials halted construction on five Christian church buildings. Although authorities cited a lack of building permits as the reason for their decision, heavy pressure from Islamic radicals may have played a significant role. According to International Christian Concern, “In December alone, at least five Christian places of worship have had to close their doors due to pressure from Islamists.” Pray for an end to Islamic extremism in Indonesia. Pray for construction to resume on the Sumatran Churches. Pray for the Indonesian government to ease restrictions on building permits and stand strong against coercion by Islamic radicals (The Bible, Luke 21:19).
LAOS, SOUTHEAST ASIA
The Eastern Bru people in Laos practice their own form of ethnic religion, mainly ancestor worship. They regularly pray to their dead ancestors for direction, blessing, and protection. According to Joshua Project, “Each clan has a common worship place in which the dead are offered uncooked rice, water, and broken bowls. These ancestral spirits are thought to cause illnesses if they are not properly appeased.” Pray for the Eastern Bru people to turn from ancestor worship to a saving belief in Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send numerous Christian workers to the Eastern Bru people. Pray for a complete Bible translation in the Bru language (The Bible, Matthew 9:38).
WESTERN SAHARA, NORTH AFRICA
The women of Western Sahara wore brightly colored shawls as they chanted slogans for independence. Their struggle against the government of Morocco continues. Protests are carried out by mostly women and children, sometimes long after dark. Morocco has developed a 10-year economic plan to boost the standard of living and increase human rights. However, this does not give the Sahrawi people independence. Pray for this situation to end. Pray for the Sahrawi people to know the best way for them to progress as a people. Pray also that people would be able to share the love of the Lord Jesus Christ with greater freedom in Western Sahara (The Bible, 1 John 4:7-8).
EGYPT, NORTH AFRICA
Egypt is currently writing a new national constitution. One prevailing version would ban political parties based on religion, give equal rights to women, and protect Christians. These changes are all very positive steps. It appears that even the Islamic Al-Nour Salifi party approves, as they will gain more political power. Pray that Egyptians will take care of their poor, widows, and orphans. Pray for the welfare of Egyptians who have faced tough economic times (The Bible, Isaiah 1:17).
UZBEKISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
According to a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Uzbekistan’s government is “totalitarian,” and its human rights record “abysmal.” Some of the human rights violations include “the highest number of political prisoners in post-Soviet space, a complete lack of freedom of speech, assembly, media, and movement, widespread torture, forced labor, and religious persecution.” HRW Central Asia researcher Steve Swerdlow says, “It is this wide spectrum of human rights abuses that qualifies the Uzbek government as totalitarian, rather than simply dictatorial.” Pray for President Islam Karimov to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Pray for an end to all human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. Ask God to shield Uzbek Believers from oppression and persecution (The Bible, 1 Peter 4:12-14).
NEPAL, SOUTH ASIA
Hindu radicals burned down a Christian church building and the homes of four Christian converts in a Nepalese village. Local residents tried to stop the arsonists, but were unable to do so. The government is not pursuing an investigation, despite requests from Christian Believers. According to Reverend CB Gahatraj, “The authorities are reluctant to meet our requests and are ignoring cases when the victims are Christians. Things like this should not happen in a secular nation.” Pray for the government to provide justice and fair treatment to Christian Believers. Ask the Lord to help the villagers rebuild their Church and supply the displaced Christian converts with new homes. Pray for an end to Hindu extremism in Nepal (The Bible, Philippians 4:19 ESV).
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, ARABIAN PENINSULA
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), authorities have convicted a group of 10 Emiratis and 20 Egyptians. They have been charged for starting and taking part in a Muslim Brotherhood branch, which is outlawed. The government views the Brotherhood as an extreme Islamic group that desires to overthrow the government. The UAE pledged funds to aid Egypt after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi. Pray that this extreme form of Islam does not gain roots in the UAE. Pray for wisdom for the government in dealing with such extremists (The Bible, Proverbs 9:9).
ALBANIA, SOUTHEAST EUROPE
According to Balkan Insight, radical Islamists are using the Internet and social media to recruit young Albanians into the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A Facebook page for Islamic Pride has approximately 2,500 Albanian members supporting ISIS. Security expert Arjan Dyrmishi says, “If all the followers of this page were identified as terrorists, they would make a small army and pose a major problem. Such a large number of followers would pose a concern, even if these people were to be identified only as supporters of political Islam.” Pray that militant Islam does not grow in Albania. Pray for the disbanding of ISIS and other extremist groups. Pray for Believers to share the Gospel with Albanian young people (The Bible, Matthew 28:19).
MOROCCO, NORTH AFRICA
The Moroccan government has recently changed an article of their penal code. The article previously allowed anyone who raped a minor to avoid prison by marrying their victim. Essentially, this prevented victims from being able to pursue rape charges. Pray for the young girls who have been raped and are viewed as unsuitable for marriage. Pray that more will be done by the government to promote gender equality, protect women, and outlaw child marriage. Pray that men and women would be treated equally in Morocco, and would find Christ Jesus (The Bible, Galatians 3:28).
IRAQ, MIDDLE EAST
Almost 9,000 people were killed in Iraq in 2013, the highest it has been in five years. Most of these were civilians. Sunni fighters, sometimes connected to al-Qaeda, have targeted Shia Muslim villages. In response, Shia Muslims bomb Sunni districts. Many fear that the fighting could cause another civil war. Christians are also victims of violence. The Sunni al-Qaeda controls most of the country. Pray for an end to this violence. Pray for a strong central government that would be able to control the country and people. Pray for the peace that can only come from Jesus Christ (The Bible, John 14:27).
SRI LANKA, SOUTH ASIA
Radical Buddhist monks led a large crowd in Hikkaduwa in a protest against two Christian prayer centers. The angry mob threw stones at the buildings, breaking windows and doors. In addition, they burned Christian books and images. The militant Buddhists believe other religions pose a threat to their identity and the nation. Their goal is to remove all minority religious groups from Sri Lanka. Pray for an end to radical Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Pray for the rebuilding of the Christian prayer centers. Pray that Sri Lankan Christian Believers will not be discouraged by the actions of Buddhist fanatics (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:58).
ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST
The Israeli government claims it thwarted an “advanced” terrorist attack by al-Qaeda on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and other targets. Officials arrested three Palestinians in connection to the plot. The Shin Bet intelligence agency says it is the first time al-Qaeda is directly linked to planning an attack on Israeli soil. According to Aviv Oreg, a former Israeli intelligence officer, “This is the first time that Ayman al-Zawahri was directly involved. For them, it would have been a great achievement.” Praise God the Israeli government foiled the terrorist plot. Pray for an end to al-Qaeda and terrorism in the Middle East. Pray for peace in Israel (The Bible, Psalm 122:6).
TAJIKISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
A violent clash between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan military forces on the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border left eight injured. The conflict started after Kyrgyzstan began construction on a bypass road through disputed territory. Both sides claim the other is lying about trespassing and shooting first, and critics wonder if they acted of their own accord or if they received orders from higher up. Regardless, the Kyrgyzstan government promises to continue road construction, with the potential of drawing both countries into a full-scale war. Pray for reconciliation and agreement between the two governments. Ask the Lord to prevent a war involving the two countries. Ask God to protect Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan Christian Believers while tensions between the nations are high (The Bible, Isaiah 2:4).
CHINA, EAST ASIA
Chinese authorities arrested 15 Christian Believers, including a 14-year-old boy, after they tried to bring medicine and food to a fellow Believer under house arrest. Other Believers went with them, but police did not detain them because they were sick, disabled, or elderly. Critics believe the arrests are an attempt by the government to preserve stability during the Chinese New Year. Pray for the immediate release of the 15 detained Christian Believers. Pray for the government to lift all house arrests of Chinese Believers. Pray for freedom of religion in China (The Bible, Luke 4:18).
DJIBOUTI, EAST AFRICA
According to the Djibouti Observatory for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights (ODDH), “Djiboutian security forces have intensified their crackdown on residents in the capital city’s Balbala area, conducting a series of targeted, abusive, and arbitrary arrests.” Authorities recently arrested and imprisoned 14 youths in Balbala without charges. Farah Abdillahi Miguil, ODDH President, said, “The ODDH is deeply concerned about the increase in arbitrary arrests of citizens, opponents, and human rights defenders.” Pray for an end to arbitrary arrests in Djibouti. Pray for the swift release of the 14 detained youth. Pray for peace between the ruling government and the opposition party (The Bible, John 14:27).
YEMEN, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has pledged to form commissions to draft a new constitution and work out the details of the promised new federation. South and north Yemen united in 1990 after 23 years of being different countries. The formation of any constitution or federation would need to be approved by both groups and many tribal leaders. Pray for the establishment of a new constitution that would bring more freedom to all people in Yemen. Pray that it will open the door to greater freedoms for women and the Church. Pray for the few Christian believers in Yemen to grow in their faith and be bold as witnesses (The Bible, Acts 4:29-30).
VIETNAM, SOUTHEAST ASIA
According to a report by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, prostitution dramatically increased in 2013 and became harder to control. The report states that the number of sex workers “grew to nearly 33,000, up more than 9 percent from 2012.” In addition, the Ministry says prostitution is difficult to manage because “those involved are employing new ruses to avoid being detected.” Pray for the Vietnam government to completely eradicate prostitution. Pray for sex workers to find new employment and reintegrate into society. Pray for Vietnamese Believers to share God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation with those working in the sex industry (The Bible, Romans 5:8).
TAIWAN, EAST ASIA
Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Wang Yu-chi is scheduled to visit the Chinese mainland to meet with Zhang Zhijun, leader of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. It is the first official contact between the two nations in six decades. At a press conference, Yu-chi said he hopes the talks will “create a normal communication mechanism so as to avoid misunderstandings. The trip will not touch on highly sensitive political issues.” In a statement to Xinhua, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said, “We hope and believe that this important step by both sides of the Strait will be conducive to enhancing communication and understanding as well as the joint promotion of future development of cross-Strait ties.” Praise God for this positive development between China and Taiwan. Pray for the two nations to reconcile their differences and strive for open, honest communication in the future. Pray for the Gospel to spread in Taiwan, China, and throughout East Asia (The Bible, Ephesians 4:32).
BAHRAIN, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Islamic Shias in Bahrain have complained that the ruling Sunni minority is the root of their discrimination in jobs, housing, and education. The Sunni government denies showing prejudice. Bahrain's crown prince, Salman al-Khalifa, recently hosted meetings with the opposing Al Wefaq group to hear their concerns. The Shia majority is demanding a constitutional monarchy with government elections. Pray that any oppression by the Bahraini government would end. Pray for freedom of religion, allowing Muslims to convert to Christianity (The Bible, 1 Timothy 1:16).
BRUNEI, SOUTHEAST ASIA
According to a recent RTB news report, “Women and children are frequently victims of rape, as well as domestic violence, child and teen abuse, sexual offenses, and infant abandonment.” The Internet and social media is complicating the issue. Therefore, the government is introducing a new Cyber Security Awareness Campaign to decrease the sexual exploitation of women and children in Brunei. Praise God for the government’s willingness to protect its women and children from sexual violence. Pray that the campaign will succeed. Pray for Brunei’s Christian Believers to minister to rape and abuse victims (The Bible, John 15:12).
LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST
Lebanon’s soldiers have apprehended Jamal Daftardaran, a senior operative with an Al-Qaeda linked Sunni group. This group is responsible for several attacks across the Middle East and recently vowed to target Iran and Hezbollah. Pray for the government of Lebanon to have wisdom to deal with Al-Qaeda operating within their borders. Pray that they would also know how to care for the large number of refugees from Syria. Pray for the Christian Church as it seeks to help with relief and bring knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7).
QATAR, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. There is currently a construction boom taking place that will continue until the 2022 Football World Cup. Qatar is under increasing pressure because of poor conditions for migrant laborers. Thousands of impoverished Nepalese workers are in Qatar. Almost 200 of them died last year, including young and healthy men. Many died from heart failure in the summer heat. Pray for the families of these workers who have lost and their loved ones and source of income. Pray for the government of Qatar to improve the conditions of the people serving them (The Bible, 1 John 3:17-18).
TURKMENISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
Turkmenistan faces many health problems, including incompetence, misdiagnosis, and lack of available medical care. In order to combat the problem, some Turkmen will travel outside the country, at great expense, to receive proper medical treatment. However, the government is not in favor of this approach. According to a 2012 report by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, “Since leaving Turkmenistan in search of foreign medical specialists can be considered an indirect form of criticism of the state of the country’s national medical facilities, many are stopped at border crossings and airports when the purpose of their journey becomes clear.” Pray for better health care in Turkmenistan. Ask God to grant Turkmen good physical and mental health. Pray for an end to President Berdymukhammedov’s repressive regime (The Bible, Psalm 9:9).
ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA
Government leaders and heads of state converged recently on Ethiopia for the African Union summit. They discussed food insecurity and the rampant violence that plagues the continent. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said he was “deeply concerned by the emergence of new conflicts that threaten Africa’s collective peace and stability.” Pray for Prime Minister Desalegn to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Pray for peace in Ethiopia and throughout all of Africa. Ask God to provide healthy food and clean water to the many in Africa struggling with malnutrition (The Bible, Matthew 6:26).
MYANMAR (BURMA), SOUTHEAST ASIA
A new report by the Women’s League of Burma states the military still uses “widespread and systematic” rape as a “weapon of war” against minority Christian groups, particularly in Kachin State and Shan. The report documents over 100 rapes by the Burmese military. The majority of the incidents were gang rapes, resulting in the deaths of 28 women. In addition, the report shows that girls as young as eight were also raped by military members. The Burmese government is refuting the claims, saying, “It’s not the policy of our members to use rapes as weapons.” Pray for peace in Myanmar. Ask the Lord to shield female Believers from rape and violence. Pray for the Burmese government to prosecute those responsible for the rapes and murders (The Bible, Psalm 28:7).
CHAD, CENTRAL AFRICA
Since late December, over 40,000 people, mainly women and children returnees, fled to Chad to escape the conflict in the Central African Republic. The number could grow to as many as 150,000. The government is repatriating them and providing assistance and transportation back to their villages. However, the Chadian government cannot meet all of their needs, so they are appealing to the international humanitarian community for aid. Lauren Landis, Chad Director for World Food Program, says, “We need the entire humanitarian community – UN agencies, NGOs, and donors – to work together to assist these people. Without immediate assistance, the situation could quickly deteriorate, leading to alarming malnutrition rates.” Pray for peace in the Central African Republic. Pray for the Chadian government as they try to quickly repatriate and care for the numerous returnees. Pray for Chadian Believers to minister to the thousands of people entering their country (The Bible, Philippians 2:4 ESV).
ALGERIA, NORTH AFRICA
A young woman went to an imam for healing. Make no mistake, imams are Muslim leaders who teach the Quran and are not Christians. Often times, they practice sorcery on sick people. This imam gave her a booklet, told her to read it, and said she would be healed. She was shocked to discover it was the Christian Gospel! She then visited a nearby Christian Church. The Believers shared the love of God and explained the healing power in Jesus' Name. Praise God she was healed and gave her life to Christ. Pray Jesus Christ continues to move powerfully in Algeria. Pray this imam and other Muslims accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord (The Bible, Acts 3:16).
LIBYA, NORTH AFRICA
The fight for power continues between Tabu and Arab tribes. The Tabu tribe in the south suffered discrimination under Muammar Gaddafi and the Arab government. Arab tribes also live in this southern region. Some feel that Islam should bring unity to the whole country again. However, others have felt the oppressive hand of Arab-Islam for too long. Pray for ceasefire agreements to be made, and honored. Pray for Arab tribes and the Tabu tribe to have the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ preached to them. Pray they would bow their knees to the One who gives life (The Bible, Philippians 2:10-11).
MALAYSIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
The Selangor Islamic Affairs Department, in conjunction with government officials, raided the Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) office without a search warrant. Authorities arrested Lee Min Choon, President of BSM, along with another BSM employee. The police also confiscated 330 Bibles. According to Kairos Research Center Director Ng Kam Weng, the raid was “a flagrant violation of religious liberty,” and there is no proof it was “justified.” Pray that the Malaysian government will protect Christian Believers from harassment and persecution. Pray for the government to honor its commitment allowing Malaysian Believers to own, print, and import Bibles. Pray that the BSM raid will not deter Believers from sharing the Gospel throughout Malaysia (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 16:13).
OMAN, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Desiring to increase Omanis in the work force, Oman has been investing in the education of its youth and college-age students. However, because the salary in Oman is half of that in other Gulf countries, many talented Omanis are leaving Oman for better pay. Pray that the government of Oman would pay higher wages to their talented people. Pray that Omanis would work to improve their country. Pray that the Church in Oman would stand together for their country and be salt in Omani society (The Bible, Matthew 5:13-16).
KAZAKHSTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
Kazakh authorities are deporting foreigners and legal residents for sharing their faith. Saktagan Sadvokasov, spokesperson for the Agency of Religious Affairs, believes the deportations are in line with the Religion Law and are not a “restriction of their rights.” Sadvokasov says, “The Law embodies the views of the people of Kazakhstan. The Law was passed by parliament and parliament expresses the will of the people. The head of state signed the Law. The population is fully satisfied with it, and welcomes and respects it.” Pray for Saktagan Sadvokasov and members of parliament to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Pray for parliament to repeal the repressive Religion Law. Pray for foreign Believers in Kazakhstan to continue sharing their faith, despite the risk of deportation (The Bible, 1 Peter 3:14).
TUNISIA, NORTH AFRICA
When Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki signed Tunisia's new constitution into law, he said, "With the birth of this text, we confirm our victory over dictatorship." This came three years after the Tunisians overthrew their long-term leader Ben Ali. This new constitution is progressive and guarantees equal rights for men and women. It requires the state to protect the environment and deal with corruption. It also promises freedom of conscience (including religion). Pray that many of these steps forward would become part of the culture, not just part of a constitution. Pray for greater freedom for women, non-Muslims, and the Church (The Bible, Ephesians 2:8–9).
CAMBODIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Police in Phnom Penh used electric batons and smoke grenades to disperse an anti-government protest. Eight people were injured. The government had previously enacted a ban against all street demonstrations. According to Phnom Penh City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche, “It was an illegal demonstration. So the authorities just implemented the law.” Juliette de Rivero, Human Rights Watch Geneva Director, disagrees. Rivero says, “Hun Sen’s government violates human rights on a daily basis by violently preventing the opposition, trade unions, activists, and others from gathering to demand political change.” Pray for an end to violence and bloodshed in Cambodia. Pray for peace and understanding between the government and the opposition party. Ask God to protect the Cambodian Church during this time of unrest (The Bible, Psalm 17:8).
TURKEY, SE EUROPE & SW ASIA
Numerous Muslim groups held protests in Istanbul decrying the celebration of Christmas and New Year as anti-Islamic. They claimed that acknowledging the holidays “will breed a favorable ground for Christian missionary activities targeting our country and people.” The demonstrators also stabbed and “circumcised” an inflatable Santa Claus because they believed it to be a symbol of Christianity. According to one Turkish Christian Believer, “To see people circumcise and stab an inflatable Santa Claus doll in 21st-century Turkey out of enmity for Christianity is terrible and horrifying.” Pray for peace between Muslims and Christian Believers in Turkey. Pray for an end to anti-Christian sentiment in this nation. Ask the Lord to protect His Church in Turkey from potential violence and harm (The Bible, Luke 6:22).
NORTH KOREA, EAST ASIA
The Ministry of People’s Security published new guidelines outlining punishments for people who “slander leader Kim Jong-un, traffick and consume drugs, distribute or view illegal recordings, and engage in suspicious behavior.” Critics believe the latest rules may harm North Korean Believers. According to Seoul USA Chief Executive Reverend Eric Foley, “In North Korea, failing to give Kim Jong-un all glory and honor is the same as ‘slandering’ him. Underground Christians also use Christian videos brought in from outside the country for discipleship. And everything – from bowing one’s head to possessing a Bible – is ‘superstitious behavior.’” Pray for Kim Jong-un to repent of his evil deeds and turn to a saving belief in Jesus Christ. Pray for the Ministry of People’s Security to have a change of heart and repeal the new guidelines. Pray for North Korean Believers to remain steadfast in their faith (The Bible, James 1:12).
SOMALIA, EAST AFRICA
There is a growing concern in Somalia for Christian Believers who are persecuted or directly affected by violent attacks. There is an increased concern for the women and children who have lost husbands and fathers. There are cases where both parents have been murdered because of their faith. Remember the Christian believers in Somalia. Pray for them to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ in spite of the hate and violence. Pray healing over those who have seen so much death and destruction. Pray that the Light of the Lord would shine deeper into the hearts of all in Somalia, and that many Muslims would come to know Him (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 1:9-11).
PAKISTAN, SOUTH ASIA
Violent attacks by Islamic radicals throughout Pakistan are dramatically increasing. According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, “Militant groups…operate with virtual impunity across Pakistan as law enforcement officials either turn a blind eye or appear helpless to prevent attacks.” Unless something is done soon, Pakistan could become a “military-led state under emergency or even martial law.” Pray for an end to the Taliban’s deadly reign in Pakistan. Pray for the government to take measures to prevent further attacks. Pray for the safety and security of Christian Believers in this South Asian nation (The Bible, Psalm 37:39-40).
NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA
Two attacks by the Boko Haram killed eight people, injured many others, burned down a church building, and destroyed a home belonging to Christian lawmaker Peter Biye. According to Biye, there is “a plot in Boko Haram to wipe out Christianity in Nigeria’s north.” Biye adds, “What is happening in my constituency is very unfortunate. People are being killed by terrorists on a daily basis, churches are being burnt, and if people like my honorable self, who is also a member of the House Committee on Army, will alert military authorities that based on intelligence reports my village will be under attack by terrorists, and nothing was done to secure the area, then it is unfortunate, because an ordinary citizen of this country, especially those from volatile areas, are no longer safe or protected by our security outfit.” Pray for the destruction of the terrorist group Boko Haram. Ask the Lord to protect His children in Nigeria from further violence and bloodshed. Pray for the government to do everything in its power to eradicate terrorism and defend Christian Believers (The Bible, 2 Samuel 22:3-4).
MALDIVES, SOUTH ASIA
President Abdulla Yameen rejected a bill that would criminalize marital rape, calling the measure “un-Islamic.” The bill banned non-consensual sex between husband and wife, particularly when the couple is separating or if the intent is to transmit a sexual disease. According to Mohamed Iyaz Abdul Latheef, Vice President of the Maldives Fiqh Academy, “With the exception of forbidden forms of sexual intercourse, such as during menstrual periods, it is not possible under any circumstance for a woman to refrain from it when the husband is in need. A woman must show complete obedience to her husband, even if she has filed for divorce.” Pray for President Yameen and other Maldivian leaders to turn from Islam to a saving belief in Jesus Christ. Pray for President Yameen to reverse his ruling on the marital rape bill. Ask God to protect Maldivian women from rape and sexually transmitted diseases (The Bible, 2 Timothy 4:18).
JORDAN, MIDDLE EAST
Jordan has been in a financial crisis since it started helping thousands of Syrian refugees in 2011. Since then, the government has been taking steps towards economical growth, including reforms that increase prices of gas, electricity, water, bread, and income taxes. Pray for the poor in Jordan, as these reforms are hardest on the people who already have very little. Pray for the care of the more than 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. Pray for the Christian Church in Jordan to grow deeper in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, Ephesians 3:14-21).
SENEGAL, WEST AFRICA
A student-led demonstration in Ziguinchor demanding school improvements turned violent when the Senegalese army attempted to disperse the gathering by firing bullets into the air, injuring two students. Colonel Abou Thiam says the military is investigating the matter and “regretted the incident.” However, it is not enough for irate parents who plan to file a formal complaint against the army. Pray that this confrontation does not lead to further violence. Pray for reconciliation between concerned parents and the Senegalese army. Ask the Lord to fully heal the two young students (The Bible, Jeremiah 17:14).
ERITREA, EAST AFRICA
The Global Fund Board recently approved millions for an HIV and TB grant in Eritrea. The goal for the HIV grant is to provide services to at least 85 percent of people who need antiretroviral therapy: some 8,516 adults and 946 children. Pray for healing and repentance for those who suffer with HIV and TB. Pray that Christians in the country will stand up for purity, and stand against the evils of sex workers. Pray for children caught up in these sicknesses (The Bible, Psalm 103:3).
TIBET, SOUTH ASIA
In an ongoing campaign to monitor the political views of Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), around 50 Chinese officials entered two villages in Chamdo. According to Radio Free Asia, “They searched the local residents and detained about 480 Tibetans who were wearing unity armbands and took them to the Karma town center, where they have been held in extremely harsh conditions.” The “unity” armband is illegal because the Chinese government wants to discourage Tibetan national identity. Pray for peace and freedom in Tibet. Pray for reconciliation and understanding between the Chinese government and Tibetans. Pray for the Gospel to spread in Tibet, so that many Tibetans will believe in the Prince of Peace (The Bible, Isaiah 9:6).
SYRIA, MIDDLE EAST
The fighting in Syria, which is close to entering its fourth year, is fuelled by arms and ammunition from outside Syria. The Syrian Network for Human Rights provided the UN with a list of casualties in October 2013. At that point, it had verified at least 125,000 deaths, 89 percent of which were civilians. Millions of people have been displaced within Syria and its neighboring countries. Pray for all the children who have lost parents, and for families that have been separated. Pray for those suffering from lack of food and shelter. Pray that people would question Islam and come to the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, Matthew 11:28-30).
MONGOLIA, NORTH ASIA
According to Operation World, “Christianity in Mongolia is a reality for the first time in modern history. There are now close to 200 Churches in the capital as well as Believers, if only in tiny groups, in every one of Mongolia’s provincial centers.” However, many obstacles remain, including “the need for spiritual unity, age-imbalanced congregations, and little support for rural Churches.” Ask the Lord to send financial resources and trained Christian leaders to Mongolia’s rural Churches. Pray for the Gospel to reach all age groups in Mongolia. Pray for spiritual growth and harmony among Mongolian Believers (The Bible, 1 Peter 3:8 ESV).
EAST TIMOR, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao announced he will retire by the end of the year. In November, Prime Minister Gusmao discussed the need for East Timor to have younger leadership in government, not the “generation of 1975.” Prime Minister Gusmao said, “The older generations have a different role to play, not to go to sleep but to take care of other things.” Ask the Lord to appoint a godly Prime Minister in East Timor. Pray for a smooth, peaceful transition once the new Prime Minister is in office. Pray for all generations in East Timor to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (The Bible, Psalm 46:10).
THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA
The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP) is imploring the government to pass a law banning female genital mutilation (FGM). According to a UNICEF survey, over 64 percent of Gambians approve of the practice of FGM, and the prevalence of FGM among women is at 73 percent. In a statement, GAMCOTRAP said, “FGM violates women’s and girls’ rights to equal opportunities, health, and freedom from violence, injury, and/or inhuman and degrading treatment.” Pray for the Gambian government to prohibit FGM. Pray for Gambians to receive education on the harmful physical and mental effects of FGM on young girls and women. Ask God to protect the lives and health of all women affected by this practice (The Bible, Jeremiah 30:17a)
GAZA STRIP, MIDDLE EAST
Life is getting harder due to dire economic conditions and high rates of unemployment. Protests across the Palestinian territories have targeted the United Nations Relief and Works Agency after layoffs and service reductions. Pray for those suffering great economic hardship in Gaza. Pray that the Church in Gaza would be a place of hope, peace and love. Pray that many Palestinians would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, John 1:12).
WEST BANK, MIDDLE EAST
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has provided aid for Palestinian refugees for over six decades. As a result of the workers’ recent strike, students have been out of school for several weeks. Protesters are putting pressure on the UN’s administration and the Palestinian Authority government to provide better services. Pray for the poor and suffering to have their daily needs met. Pray against any growing swell of evil that would move the West Bank into more violence. Pray that the UN and Palestinian Authority would work together to improve conditions for refugees (The Bible, Psalm 9:9).WINDOW INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
Pray for the Lord to guide and direct the staff of Window International Network. Ask Him to share with them His heart for the 10/40 Window. Pray for them to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and surrendered to the will of God. Petition the Lord to enable them to accomplish all that He desires in this region. (The Bible, Psalm 46:10)
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