Prayer Points For Every Nation — April 2014
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INDIA, SOUTH ASIA
Ashok Singhal, leader of the violent extremist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), said at a recently rally, “We must immediately stop conversions, or soon Hindus will be a minority in India.” The VHP believe India should be a Hindu country. Global Council of Indian Christians president Sajan George says, “We must condemn in no uncertain terms the fascism of groups like the VHP, which endanger Indian democracy and secularism. Christians in India just want to enjoy their constitutional guarantees. Religious freedom is a basic human right and the VHP wants to intimidate and persecute Christians.” Pray for religious freedom to continue in India. Pray for Ashok Singhal to turn from radical Hinduism to a saving belief in Jesus Christ. Pray for an end to the VHP’s attempts to enact an anti-conversion law and persecute Christian Believers (The Bible, John 15:18).
MAURITANIA, NORTH AFRICA
Mauritania is one of the poorest and hardest-pressed countries in North Africa. Its poverty is ever increasing. The Sahara desert continues to expand. There were hopes that oil exploration off the coast would strengthen the economic crisis in the country. But the oil exploration has come up with little oil. Pray that Mauritania would be blessed with oil that would help raise the standard of living. Pray that those in power would share the wealth with the poor. Pray for the poor to come to know about the Lord Jesus (The Bible, Matthew 5:6).
SUDAN, NORTH AFRICA
Sudan is facing many internal struggles. The government continues to use violent force control the people in many regions. It is dropping bombs in the Nuba Mountains where people are starving. It is perpetrating genocide in the south, along the Blue Nile. The people of Darfur are in constant need of better humanitarian aid. Pray that the Islamist Sudanese government would turn from its evil ways and crimes against humanity. Pray that all citizens are treated fairly. Pray for the people living in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Darfur to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and to have their daily needs met (The Bible, Matthew 6:9-13)
SOUTH SUDAN, NORTH AFRICA
South Sudan has many different indigenous people groups. The largest groups are the Dinka and the Nuer. A struggle for political power lead to civil unrest between these two tribes. The majority of the people are Christian, some practice traditional African religion, and some practice both. A very small minority practice Islam. Pray against the principalities and powers of darkness causing inter-tribal fighting. Pray against the increase of rape between warring tribes. Pray for those who are helping the refugees on all sides of this conflict. Pray for ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa and for the country’s leaders to find a path to permanent reconciliation (The Bible, Matthew 25:44-45).
AFGHANISTAN, SOUTH ASIA
Human Rights Watch says a recent revision to Afghanistan’s criminal code will “let batterers of women and girls off the hook.” Parliament passed the new law which prohibits an accused person’s family members from testifying against them, successfully stifling victims and prospective witnesses. According to RAWA News, the law will “allow men to attack their wives, children, and sisters without fear of judicial punishment, undoing years of slow progress in tackling violence in a country blighted by so-called “honor” killings, forced marriage, and vicious domestic abuse.” Pray for Afghan’s parliament to repeal the new law. Pray for an end to honor killings, domestic abuse, and forced marriages in Afghanistan. Ask the Lord to defend women and girls in Afghanistan against violence and cruelty (The Bible, Psalm 23:4 ESV).
KUWAIT, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Kuwait was devastated after being invaded by Iraq in 1991. Many people lost loved ones, and Kuwaitis suffered. The government now hosts a multi-day remembrance event called "We All Love Kuwait." It is a celebration of life, of art, and of the country’s heritage. Pray for the people of Kuwait to have their hearts drawn to the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for the extremely small church among the local population to have freedom to worship. Pray for wealthy Kuwaitis to find their confidence in the Lord (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 8:9).
BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA
Since the controversial general election in January, numerous political activists were murdered. According to ASK Investigations Director Nur Khan, “The rate of killings have increased at an alarming rate. There were 33 extrajudicial killings in January. The targets are mostly opposition activists and leaders. If the opposition is not allowed to practice their democratic rights to protest, they will eventually look for other alternatives. If political killings continue, the rise of armed religious political parties will be inevitable in Bangladesh.” Pray for an end to the political murders and violence in Bangladesh. Pray for peace and reconciliation between the ruling party and opposition party. Pray that terrorism does not take hold and grow in this Asian nation (The Bible, Isaiah 60:18).
JAPAN, EAST ASIA
The worst snowstorm in 78 years blasted Japan, killing 11 and injuring over 1,200. Icy roads caused many of the deaths, as drivers lost control of their vehicles. Heavy snowfall and winds resulted in power outages affecting thousands of households. Key infrastructure was also shut down. Pray for Japan to recover from the devastating snowstorm. Ask the Lord to comfort mourning family members and heal the many injured. Pray that the spread of the Gospel in Japan will not be hindered by inclement weather (The Bible, Matthew 5:4).
GUINEA-BISSAU, WEST AFRICA
According to a decree by interim president Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, Guinea-Bissau’s legislative and presidential elections are postponed to April 13th. This marks the second electoral postponement since November of 2013. Although the United Nations Security Council pressured Guinea-Bissau to hold elections, Nhamadjo made his decision after consulting with the various political parties. Pray for a peaceful, successful election in April. Ask the Lord to provide Guinea-Bissau with godly, wise, and discerning leadership. Pray for Guinea-Bissau’s incoming president to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and to lead the nation forward with honor and integrity (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 8:21).
BHUTAN, SOUTH ASIA
The popularity of social media in Bhutan is exploding. Over 10 percent of the populace uses Facebook. Bhutanese youth, who comprise approximately 60 percent of the population, use social media to network, voice opinions on social issues and politics, and promote change. Pray for Bhutanese Christian Believers to use social media to share their faith with family and friends. Pray for many young Bhutanese to learn about the Gospel over the internet. Pray for a large harvest of souls in Bhutan (The Bible, Mark 16:15).
SAUDI ARABIA, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Saudi Arabia is the catalyst for spreading Islam around the world. It financially supports Sunni Islam and desires that Muslims adhere to a strict form of Islam called Wahhabism. Aiding the Sunni rebel Islamic forces fighting in Syria corresponds with their goal to expand Islam. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is not a Sunni Muslim. Pray that the Saudi government will not financially support violent Islamic movements around the world. Pray for all Saudis to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and come to the understanding that salvation is in Him alone (The Bible, Philippians 2:5–11).
GUINEA, WEST AFRICA
Since President Alpha Conde won election in 2010, drug trafficking in Guinea has greatly increased. According to Business Insider, “A surge in cocaine has transformed Guinea into West Africa’s latest drug hot spot, jeopardizing President Alpha Conde’s efforts to rebuild state institutions after a military coup and attract billions of dollars in mining investment. Locals and Latin Americans long-accused of smuggling are operating freely in the country, some with high-level protection from within Conde’s administration.” Pray for President Conde, government officials, and drug traffickers to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pray for an end to drug trafficking in Guinea and neighboring nations. Pray for President Conde to govern Guinea wisely and without corruption (The Bible, Galatians 6:8 ESV).
THAILAND, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Two attacks on anti-government protesters in Thailand left four dead, including three young children, and dozens wounded. In a statement, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government “will not tolerate terrorism” and will “prosecute the killers without exception.” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemned the violence and promised “he is ready to assist in any way possible.” Pray for peace in Thailand. Pray for open communication and reconciliation between Thailand’s government and opposition members. Ask God to comfort the parents of the young victims. Pray for the safety and security of Thai Christian Believers during this time of violence and unrest (The Bible, Psalm 4:8).
NIGER, WEST AFRICA
In response to December’s large opposition protest, approximately 18,000 demonstrators rallied in support of President Mahamadou Issoufou in Niamey. According to Standard Digital News, Interior Minister Massoudou Hassoumi “accused leading opposition figure Amadou Hama of calling for a coup and inciting ethnic hatred.” Foreign Minister Bazoum Mohamed says, “The opposition proclaims everywhere that it controls Niamey. They must be disillusioned now. All the opposition has left is defamation, insults, and calls to destabilize the regime.” Political experts believe Hama will be the opposition’s presidential candidate in the 2016 election. Praise God the rally in Niamey was peaceful. Pray for harmony and stability in Niger ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Pray for the Gospel to spread in Niger (The Bible, Mark 16:15).
KYRGYZSTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
At a recent Defence Council meeting, President Almazbek Atambayev criticized the growth of “Arab culture” at the cost of “native ethnic culture.” Atambayev complained that “there are many people with long beards on our streets now. They force our girls to dress in black instead of light and colorful clothing. This is what widows usually wear here.” Critics believe his words indicate a shifting official position on religion. Bishkek religious commentator Kadyr Malikov says, “The words of the president show the government has its ear to the ground and is about to become a more active agent in religious affairs.” Pray for President Atambayev to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Pray that the government’s changing views on religion will not harm the Kyrgyzstan Church in any way. Pray for the Gospel to spread throughout Kyrgyzstan (The Bible, Acts 2:38).
IRAN, MIDDLE EAST
According to the Associated Press, “The United Nation’s human rights office is ‘deeply concerned’ about the high number of executions in Iran this year.” Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, says, “At least 80 people have been executed in the past seven weeks, seven of them publicly. Reliable sources claim the number could be as high as 95. Most of the executions were for drug-related offenses that aren’t among the most serious crimes for which international law allows the death penalty.” Pray for the Iranian government to rethink its gratuitous use of the death penalty. Pray for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Pray for the safety and wellbeing of Iranian Christian Believers as they share their faith in this oppressive country (The Bible, Psalm 28:7).
BURKINA FASO, WEST AFRICA
After numerous members of the ruling party deserted, President Blaise Compaore’s former allies decided to create their own political party. According to FOX News, “They are now siding with opposition leaders to stop any attempt to amend the constitution and set up a senate that many see as a chamber that will facilitate President Blaise Compaore’s contest for another term in 2015. The new party will be known as the Movement for the People and Progress, or MPP.” Pray for President Compaore to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. Ask God to give President Compaore, ruling party leaders, and opposition members wisdom and discernment as they lead Burkina Faso. Pray for peace and understanding between the ruling party and the opposition party (The Bible, Matthew 5:9).
MALI, WEST AFRICA
Hundreds of citizens in Bamako joined the NGO Tostan in publicly condemning female genital mutilation (FGM), which affects almost 90 percent of Mali’s female population. Tostan’s national coordinator Abou Amel Camara says, “In some regions, the prevalence of FGM is as high as 98 percent.” Molly Melching, founder of Tostan, says, “By getting entire communities on board, public declarations help reduce pressure that might otherwise discourage mothers who don’t want to see their daughters circumcised.” Pray for an end to the practice of FGM in Mali. Pray for the emotional and physical health of the Malian women affected by this painful procedure. Pray for the success of Tostan in educating Malians about the dangers of FGM (The Bible, Jeremiah 17:14).
AZERBAIJAN, SOUTHWEST ASIA
Protesters in Azerbaijan are turning to self-immolation as a means of expressing their anger and frustration with the government. Already, nine people self-immolated in 2014. According to Elxan Shahinoglu, head of the NGO Atlas, “This is a new and non-traditional way of protesting against government corruption in Azerbaijan. An increasing number of people are burning themselves in front of government buildings.” Pray for an end to self-immolations in Azerbaijan. Pray for peace between protesters and the Azerbaijan government. Pray for members of the Azerbaijan government to willingly root out corruption and rule the nation with honesty and integrity (The Bible, Proverbs 10:9).
BENIN, WEST AFRICA
According to Operation World, “Genuine efforts to uplift the economy too often fail because of corruption; as a result, Benin remains one of the world’s 20 least-developed countries. Up to 70 percent of the skilled workforce must subsist by taking manual or menial-labor jobs.” Pray for an end to corruption and dishonesty in Benin. Pray for better jobs and higher employment in this West African country. Pray for Benin’s economy to improve dramatically in 2014 (The Bible, Colossians 3:23).
INDONESIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
According to a report by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Indonesian jihadists “have joined the thousands of foreign fighters who have travelled to Syria to help extremist groups trying to create an Islamic state there.” In addition, there is concern the returning fighters will embolden the jihadist movement in Indonesia. The report stated the Syrian conflict “has captured the imagination of Indonesian extremists in a way no foreign war has before. The enthusiasm for Syria is directly linked to predictions in Islamic eschatology that the final battle at the end of time will take place in Sham, the region sometimes called Greater Syria.” Pray for an end to the war in Syria. Pray that radical Islam does not take hold in Indonesia. Pray for the Indonesian Church to courageously share the Gospel in this Southeast Asian nation. Pray for a large harvest of souls in Indonesia (The Bible, Psalm 31:24).
LAOS, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Human rights groups believe Laos is “committing serious human rights abuses which go largely unreported due to tight political controls.” Sarah Cook, Freedom House researcher, says, “The Lao government tightly controls the country’s political space.” Human Rights Watch Asia Deputy Director Phil Robertson says, “The situation in Laos is very serious. The Lao government uses its power as a one-party state to effectively control political expression in the country in a way that clearly violates various international human rights treaties. It is still a very dictatorial, rights-repressing government.” Pray for an end to the repressive regime in Laos. Pray for the Lao government to grant freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Pray for the Gospel to spread throughout Laos (The Bible, John 10:10).
WESTERN SAHARA, NORTH AFRICA
Morocco has harshly governed the Sahrawis living in the Occupied Territory for nearly 40 years. Western Sahara is the last colonized country in the world. There have been many U.N. referendums calling for independence and self-determination for the Sahrawis. However, Morocco has been unyielding in this regard. Pray against demonic forces that keep the Sahrawis from becoming a sovereign nation. Pray that the international community will put pressure on Morocco to decolonize the Western Sahara. (The Bible, Psalm 33:20) .
EGYPT, NORTH AFRICA
The Egyptian cabinet resigned over the economic hardship in the country. Egypt has seen the removal of two presidents in the last three years: one pro-western and the other pro-Muslim Brotherhood. The current military leader Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is in charge of the country. Due to high unemployment, ongoing terrorist attacks, and the almost non-existent tourist industry, Egypt continues to head toward deeper levels of poverty. Pray for civil stability. Pray that God gives Christians wisdom to overcome forces trying to demolish this ancient land. Pray for the church in Egypt to be a light to those around them (The Bible, Matthew 5:14).
UZBEKISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
Five police officers from Tashkent’s Anti-Terrorism Department raided the home of a Christian Believer under the guise of carrying out a passport check. They confiscated numerous Christian books, magazines, and notebooks. Officer Raushan Zakirov, who led the raid, told Forum 18, “The raid and confiscations were ordered by Tashkent police Anti-Terrorism Department and the NSS secret police.” Zakirov declined to comment on how the authorities knew the Believer possessed Christian materials. Pray for Officer Zakirov and members of the NSS secret police to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pray for the Uzbek government to ease restrictions on religious literature. Pray for the growth of Christianity in Uzbekistan (The Bible, Psalm 96:3).
NEPAL, SOUTH ASIA
Nepal’s parliament elected Sushil Koirala, head of the Centrist Nepali Congress party, as the nation’s new Prime Minister. Koirala faces many challenges, including drafting a new constitution and resolving the country’s political strife and division. According to Prime Minister Koirala, “The new constitution is possible only with the consensus and unity among all political parties. My government will strive for that.” Pray for harmony and reconciliation among Nepal’s political parties. Pray for Prime Minister Koirala to believe in Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to give wisdom, guidance, and discernment to Prime Minister Koirala as he leads this poverty-stricken Asian nation (The Bible, Psalm 32:8).
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, ARABIAN PENINSULA
The United Arab Emirates has recovered from the economic hardship it faced a few years ago and is re-emerging as a stable economic investment hub. The cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have experienced a population explosion. The oil continues to flow, but for a few years the building growth completely stopped. Pray for the expatriate population to continue to find jobs; many people come to the U.A.E. send funds to their families back home in poorer countries. Pray for the tiny church in the Emirates, pray it will grow, mature, and share the love of Jesus Christ with others (The Bible, Hebrews 12:1-2).
ALBANIA, SOUTHEAST EUROPE
Albanian officials discovered two tons of marijuana hidden in the Karaburun Peninsula. The marijuana was destined for Italy or Greece. Police detained seven suspects and confiscated a minivan used to transport the drugs. Although the government is attempting to fight drug trafficking, Albania remains a transit point for heroin and produces huge amounts of marijuana. Praise God for the government’s willingness to end drug abuse and drug trafficking in Albania. Pray for Albanian police to effectively shut down heroin and marijuana shipments. Pray for Albanian drug addicts to find freedom and fulfillment in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (The Bible, John 8:36).
MOROCCO, NORTH AFRICA
Morocco is moving towards moderate Islam. It’s “Mourchidat” (spiritual guides) program trains women in Islamic theology alongside men to become spiritual guides. Men and women are treated as equals, although women will not be able to lead public prayer. Morocco is also encouraging countries like Libya, Tunisia, and Guinea to adopt the training. Pray that as Muslim women learn more of the Quran and its teachings, they would see Jesus Christ, not Islam, is the answer (The Bible, John 14:6).
IRAQ, MIDDLE EAST
Iraq has signed an arms deal with Iran. Iraq is seeking to buy 195 million USD’ worth of arms and ammunition from Iran, but this is in violation of the United Nations trade embargo on Iran. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated that he is fighting a war on terrorism and needs these weapons to defend his country. Pray for the war-torn country that is battered with violent attacks in many cities. Pray for there to be a growing respect for human life. Pray against the growing violence that is destroying the people of this country who are dearly loved by the Lord (The Bible, Proverbs 18:21).
SRI LANKA, SOUTH ASIA
According to the Associated Press, a statement by the opposition United National party demands “the government conduct a domestic investigation into war crimes allegations arising from a quarter-century civil war. Long inaction has placed the nation on a razor’s edge of devastating international action.” Nisha Biswal, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, says international tolerance is “wearing thin” and a “mature state does not engage in blanket denial when allegations and aspersions are cast at it.” The war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan government include intentionally undercounting fighting civilians, obstructing the delivery of food and medicine to residents caught in the war zone, and purposely shelling hospitals and civilians. Pray for an international inquiry to bring about truth and justice. Pray for continued peace between the Sri Lankan government and Tamils. Pray that the witness of Christian workers in Sri Lanka will bring many to a saving belief in Jesus Christ (The Bible, Luke 10:2).
ISRAEL, MIDDLE EAST
An estimated 250,000 to 400,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews participated in a mass protest against proposed legislation that would end their exemption from military service. Traditionally, ultra-Orthodox Jews are excused from serving in the armed forces because they are the “Haredim,” a Hebrew word meaning ‘those who tremble before God.’ The Haredim believe military service would detract them from devoting themselves to the study of the Torah. Mordechai Seltzer, an 18-year-old protester, said, “We want to show that we are united and we want to stop a bad thing that they are trying to force us into. The army is not our way of life. It is not run by our rabbis.” Pray for peace, understanding, and reconciliation between the Haredim and the Israeli government. Pray that the Haredim would believe in Jesus Christ as the prophesied Messiah. Pray for Israeli Believers to passionately proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Jewish community (The Bible, Acts 5:31).
TAJIKISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
The Tajikistan government fears the Taliban will re-emerge in Afghanistan, potentially causing the growth of radical Islam within Tajikistan and around the region. Therefore, the government is preparing a military response to the threat, with aid from Russia. Critics believe President Emomali Rahmon will use the perceived threat as an excuse to increase persecution on religious groups. Pray for President Emomali Rahmon to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. Ask the Lord to thwart the Taliban’s efforts to regain power in Afghanistan. Pray that the government’s attempts to curb the growth of Islamic fundamentalism does not harm Tajik Christian Believers or curb the spread of the Gospel in Tajikistan (The Bible, 1 John 4:9).
CHINA, EAST ASIA
An attack by radical Islamists in Xinjiang claimed the lives of 15 people, including two police officers and two civilians. According to Xinhua, “Eight terrorists were killed by police and three by their own suicide bomb during a terrorist attack.” The Chinese government claims there is a “violent separatist movement” in Xinjiang “motivated by religious extremism and linked to foreign terrorist groups.” Dilshat Rexit, World Uyghur Congress spokesman, disagrees and says, “The so-called terrorism is China’s political excuse of directly shooting dead those who take a stand.” Pray for peace in Xinjiang. Pray for an end to the violence and bloodshed between the Muslim Uyghurs and the Chinese government. Pray for the Gospel to spread in Xinjiang, resulting in a large harvest of Uyghur souls (The Bible, Hebrews 12:14).
DJIBOUTI, EAST AFRICA
During a meeting with Chang Wanquan, China’s Defense Minister, Djibouti’s Defense Minister Hassan Darar Houffaneh asked for additional military support in an effort to combat terrorism, piracy, and illegal immigration in the sub-region. Houffaneh believes Chinese assistance will restore peace and security. According to Wanquan, “The People’s Republic of China is ready to support Djibouti to reinforce its military capacities and guarantee its security.” Pray for continued collaboration and positive communication between the two governments. Pray that the combined efforts of Djibouti and China will effectively rid the sub-region of terrorism. Pray for the proclamation of the Gospel in both Djibouti and China (The Bible, Ecclesiastes 4:9).
YEMEN, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Shi'ite groups in northern Yemen are seeking more freedoms. The south meanwhile is a stronghold for al-Qaeda. In recent years, the south has seen an increase of al-Qaeda fundamentalism, and is bidding for independence. Overall, Yemen is a divided tribal country and it is very hard to bring unity to the tribes. Pray for Interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as he seeks to bring the country together while controlling the spread of separatist movements. Pray for the few Yemeni Christian Believers who face persecution from family and society. Pray they are strong and courageous, and model their lives after Jesus Christ in this spiritually barren and impoverished land (The Bible, 2 Timothy 3:12-15).
VIETNAM, SOUTHEAST ASIA
Vietnam is experiencing an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in 21 of its provinces. The cause of the flu cases appears to be a combination of inclement weather and increased poultry trading and shipping during the Lunar New Year. Vietnamese department head Dam Xuan Thanh says, “If localities fail to intensify scrutiny and take swift measures, bird flu could develop into an epidemic.” In addition, Vietnam is on “high alert” for the possibility of an outbreak of the H7N9 avian flu (human and bird) which is being reported in China’s Guangxi province. Peter Horby, a researcher at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Hanoi, says, “There is a very high likelihood of H7N9 entering the poultry sector in Vietnam.” Pray that the H5N1 bird flu in Vietnam does not develop into an epidemic. Pray that the H7N9 avian flu stays out of Vietnam. Pray for Vietnamese Believers to remain healthy during the bird flu outbreak (The Bible, 3 John 1:2 ESV).
TAIWAN, EAST ASIA
After Taiwan staged a military drill in China’s contentious Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou asked for talks to establish a “code of conduct in the East China Sea.” According to President Ying-jeou, “If necessary, provisional measures could be adopted to avoid conflict and miscalculation, and reduce the impact on freedom of flight and security.” The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agrees and believes a code of conduct will “reduce tensions and the risk of violence.” Pray for peace among the Taiwanese, Chinese, and Japanese governments. Pray that the disagreement over the remote islands in the East China Sea does not turn violent. Pray for President Ying-jeou to lead Taiwan with wisdom and discernment in the face of pressure from the Chinese mainland (The Bible, James 1:5).
BAHRAIN, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Pearl roundabout in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, was destroyed a few years ago during the country’s Arab Spring. The area where the roundabout used to be is currently closed to traffic and under police guard. It is still a focal point for Bahrain’s Shia Muslims demanding more civil and human rights from the country’s Sunni government. Pray for peaceable solutions for the Bahrainis. Pray for the government to govern wisely and seek the good of all citizens (The Bible, 1 Timothy 2:1-4).
BRUNEI, SOUTHEAST ASIA
The Brunei government intends to implement the Sharia Penal Code in April. According to Arab News, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah “has sought Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the implementation of Sharia criminal law in the island country, stating that the Kingdom, which had the expertise, was unparalleled in implementing the Sharia criminal law.” Already, the Brunei government requires mandatory religious education for Muslim children, and businesses must close on Fridays during prayer times. Pray for Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his family to turn from Islam to a saving belief in Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to place a hedge of protection around Brunei Christian Believers as the harsh new Sharia Penal Code goes into effect. Pray for Brunei Believers to courageously share the Gospel with their families, friends, neighbors, and communities (The Bible, Deuteronomy 31:6).
LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST
The Hezbollah party in southern Lebanon supports President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria. The group is also backed by Iran. Therefore, a suicide attack at the Iranian Cultural Center indicates that others in Lebanon are at odds with Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Israel is also concerned about any military activity, especially in southern Lebanon. All these factors mean Lebanon is struggling. Pray for wise government and for peace and stability in the nation. Pray for the Christian community in Lebanon to have boldness to reach out to all groups: Hezbollah followers, refugees, and all Lebanese (The Bible, Ephesians 6:19).
QATAR, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Qatar has used its vast amounts of natural gas to build a modern country with high-rise glass buildings overlooking the Persian Gulf. Many expatriates from poorer countries move here to make a living and send funds back home. Many horrible reports tell the heart wrenching stories of laborers whose human rights continue to be violated. Pray for these workers to find the love and freedom that are in the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, Galatians 5:1).
TURKMENISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
Although Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is known as an “enemy of the internet,” he recently called for all citizens to have access to internet services. Currently, most of the population cannot access the internet, and the internet that is available is blocked or closely monitored. It is unknown whether restrictions will be loosened once the internet is available throughout Turkmenistan. Reporters Without Borders says Turkmenistan imposes “drastic censorship, resulting in a ‘Turkmenet’ purged of any political or social topic.” Pray for the salvation of Turkmenistan President Berdymukhamedov. Pray for the Turkmenistan government to allow freedom of information and freedom of expression. Pray for Turkmenistan Believers to be able to freely share the Gospel over the internet (The Bible, Romans 10:9).
ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA
According to the U.S. State Department’s 2013 Human Rights Report, Ethiopia “curtails freedom of expression and association, uses politically motivated trials, and harasses and intimidates activists and journalists.” In addition, the report said approximately 70,000 to 80,000 people, including women and children, are incarcerated in “severely overcrowded” prisons, while those in pre-trial detention experience “poor hygiene and police abuse.” Pray for the Ethiopian government to greatly improve the living conditions of its prisons. Pray for freedom of information, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression in Ethiopia. Pray for politics and corruption not to influence Ethiopia’s judicial system. Pray for the nation of Ethiopia to put aside sinfulness and pursue righteousness (The Bible, Proverbs 14:34).
MYANMAR (BURMA), SOUTHEAST ASIA
According to Amnesty International, “The Myanmar parliament has reportedly only made token and insignificant changes to a draconian anti-protest law, raising serious questions about the authorities’ commitment to human rights reforms.” The law limits freedom of speech and freedom of expression and assembly; in addition, it is misused to target human rights activists. Amnesty International Deputy Asia Pacific Director Polly Truscott says, “The amendments still leave peaceful protesters at risk of arrest and imprisonment while allowing authorities to prohibit demonstrations they do not agree with. The reform is meaningless if the same people are still at risk of being locked up and harassed for speaking out peacefully.” Pray for the Myanmar parliament to repeal the entire anti-protest law. Pray for the Myanmar government to allow its citizens to practice freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly. Pray for Myanmar Christian Believers to have the freedom to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout this Asian nation (The Bible, John 8:32).
CHAD, CENTRAL AFRICA
President Idriss Deby recently asked the United Nations to send a peacekeeping mission to end the violence in neighboring Central African Republic. Deby does not believe that French and African troops alone can stabilize the country. In a speech, Deby said, “We need more men, more assets. Only the U.N. can provide this. We need to move to a U.N. force. We cannot accept the partition of the country.” Pray for peace in nearby Central African Republic. Ask the Lord to grant knowledge and prudence to President Idriss Deby and the French government as they attempt to handle the crisis in Central African Republic. Pray for Chadian Christian workers to minister to the thousands of refugees flooding into their nation (The Bible, Matthew 5:16).
ALGERIA, NORTH AFRICA
April 17, 2014 is the date set for presidential elections in Algeria. Current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will run again even though he is 76 years old and suffered a stroke last year. Opposition leaders say that because of his health, he is no longer fit to run the country. He has been absent from the public spotlight for almost three years. Algeria is one of the few countries in North Africa that has remained economically stable over the last number of years. Pray against any move by Islamic extremists seeking to gain more power and move the country toward economic hardship. Pray for President Bouteflika to have health and come to know the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, Romans 10:13).
LIBYA, NORTH AFRICA
Egyptian Christians work as expats in Libya, which has a better economy. But both countries have Islamic militants that desire to rid the world of Christians. Seven Christians were kidnapped and later found murdered in Benghazi in eastern Libya. A police officer said, "They were killed by headshots in execution style." Pray for the killers to be arrested and tried for this hideous crime. Pray they are convicted of their sin, repent, and come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for Christian Believers to be bold in their faith even in the face of persecution (The Bible, Acts 2:38).
MALAYSIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
The growth of radical Islam means Christian persecution is on the rise in Malaysia. Vandals recently desecrated eight gravestones in a Christian cemetery. The perpetrators demolished headstones and smashed crosses. International Christian Concern says, “The vandalism comes only a few weeks after attackers hurled small bombs at a Christian Church in Penang and inflammatory banners appeared overnight in front of several Churches.” Pray for Malaysian police to investigate these incidents and prosecute those responsible for the attacks. Pray for peace between Muslims and Christian Believers in Malaysia. Ask the Lord to protect the Malaysian Church from harassment, persecution, and violence (The Bible, Isaiah 54:17).
OMAN, ARABIAN PENINSULA
Oman is a quiet, beautiful country on the south-eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Its leader. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, is seeking to develop and expand the well being of his people. The government has been working toward Omanization (helping more Omanis find work) for many years. Pray that Sultan Qaboos bin Said continues to use the oil wealth of the country to improve the quality of life for his people. There are very few Omani Christian Believers. Pray that God would send Christian workers to boldly preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that He will enable them to perform signs and wonders (The Bible, Acts 14:1-3).
KAZAKHSTAN, CENTRAL ASIA
The Kazakh government placed a renowned pastor and his wife in detention after they tried to board a plane bound for the United States. The couple was planning to attend the National Religious Broadcasters conference. Kazakh Believers say this is “just another example of growing government restrictions against religious freedom in Kazakhstan.” Pray for the immediate release of the pastor and his wife. Pray for the Kazakh government to ease restrictions on Christian Believers. Pray for the Kazakh Church to experience rapid growth and revival (The Bible, Acts 2:47).
TUNISIA, NORTH AFRICA
The battle against Islamic terrorism in Tunisia is not new. Before the Arab Spring, authorities closely monitored those promoting radical Islam and some were imprisoned. Men did not grow beards for fear of being labelled as part of the Islamic fundamentalist movement. Now there is more freedom in Tunisia, with the right to express religious beliefs. Pray against the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in Tunisia. Pray for the Christian Church to be bold and continue to shine the light and love of Jesus Christ into the darkness of Islam (The Bible, Acts 4:13, 31).
CAMBODIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
The Raelian Movement, a UFO cult that believes “life on earth is a scientifically engineered creation of an advanced alien civilization,” claims to be growing throughout Asia. Its members are seeking to set up an “embassy” in Cambodia. Although Prime Minister Hun Sen has yet to respond to their application, Council of Ministers spokesman Ek Tha welcomes the idea of an alien group in Cambodia. Tha says, “I myself have researched UFOs and extraterrestrial life for the last two years. To me, this would be great if we can start an alien movement or institution in Cambodia.” Pray for members of the Raelian Movement cult to believe in the True Creator of human life, Jesus Christ. Pray for Prime Minister Hun Sen to deny the Raelian Movement’s request to establish an embassy in Cambodia. Pray for the growth of Christianity in Cambodia and throughout Asia (The Bible, Colossians 1:16).
TURKEY, SE EUROPE & SW ASIA
According to the UK newspaper, The Guardian, the Turkish parliament passed new internet regulations that will “allow Turkey’s telecommunications authority (TIB) to block any website within 24 hours without first seeking a court ruling. The law also obliges internet providers to store all data on web users’ activities for two years and make it available to the authorities upon request.” Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International Turkey researcher, says, “It is worrying that the law puts control over the internet further in the hands of the government and away from judicial oversight. And the government has already shown itself to have very little tolerance towards dissent and opposing opinions.” Pray for the salvation of Turkey’s government leaders. Pray for the parliament to repeal the new internet law. Pray for the new restrictions not to hamper the spread of the Gospel over the internet (The Bible, John 3:16).
NORTH KOREA, EAST ASIA
A new report by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry states the North Korean government committed crimes against humanity and is recommending the results of the yearlong investigation be turned over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The commission discovered proof of a number of crimes, including “extermination, crimes against humanity against starving populations, and a widespread campaign of abductions of individuals in South Korea and Japan.” Commission member Michael Kirby says, “The international community will be obliged to face its responsibilities and decide what concrete action it will take to protect the North Korean people.” Pray for an end to the tyrannical reign of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Pray for the North Korean government to be held accountable for their “crimes against humanity.” Pray for the safety and security of North Korean Believers (The Bible, Psalm 37:39-40).
SOMALIA, EAST AFRICA
Somalia is making positive movement toward peace. However, the al-Qaeda group al-Shabab continues its efforts to rule Somalia. In the last year, al-Shabab has lost their foothold in different villages and cities, claiming, “al-Shabab leaving those towns only shows a change of tactics.” Pray that al-Shabab continues to retreat, lose influence, financial support, and territory. Pray against this movement of hatred and destruction. Pray for advances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ across Somalia. Pray for the emerging house fellowships and for them to develop into strong, Biblically based churches (The Bible, Matthew 28:19-20).
PAKISTAN, SOUTH ASIA
Pakistani Christian women are increasingly abducted, converted against their will, and forced into marriage by wealthy Muslim men, especially in southern Punjab and central Sindh provinces. Local authorities do little to investigate the cases. According to Haroon James, a La hore activist and priest, this is “very common in the region. Young women and girls are forcefully converted and married to influential landlords who keep them as slaves.” Pray for the government to end the human trafficking of Christian women. Ask the Lord to protect young Pakistani girls from this horrible practice. Pray for the freedom of women oppressed by wealthy landowners (The Bible, Luke 4:18).
NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan commanded military leaders “not to sleep until the war on terror in northeastern Nigeria is won.” Although the Nigerian Air Force began strikes on Boko Haram’s cells in Borno State, officials failed to stop the ethnic and religious killings in the Middle Belt States and Kaduna State. President Jonathan told the nation’s armed forces, “We must not fail this country. The war on terror must be won.” Pray for President Goodluck Jonathan to believe in Jesus Christ. Pray for the Nigerian military to succeed in completely eradicating Boko Haram. Ask God to surround the Nigerian Church with a hedge of protection and save them from the terror of Boko Haram (The Bible, Psalm 91:1-16).
MALDIVES, SOUTH ASIA
Drug abuse is rampant in Maldives, especially among young people. According to Ali Adeeb with the NGO Journey, “There are dedicated people who work to cleanse our nation of this loathsome ‘epidemic,’ while at the same time there are people who bring drugs into the country, wiping their conscience off their sleeves like sweat – only for monetary profit. A 2010 New York Times documentary states that 50 percent of the Maldivian youth are involved in different types of substance abuse and addictions. It cannot be wrong to say that the current percentage would reach 75 percent now. Our youth are our prized possessions, and they are becoming contaminated right under our noses.” Pray for the government to create a national drug policy and more rehabilitation centers. Ask the Lord to bring physical, mental, and spiritual healing to the growing number of drug addicts in Maldives. Pray for Maldivian Believers to share the Gospel with the nation’s youth (The Bible, Psalm 41:3).
JORDAN, MIDDLE EAST
In a move to strengthen its fuel supply, Jordan is working towards a deal to buy gas from Israel. Jordan has been overseeing the Islamic sites in Jerusalem since 1948. This includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located on the Temple Mount. Pray for continuing peace between Jordan and Israel. Pray for Jordanians suffering from the economic hardships, especially due to the influx of thousands of Syrian refugees (The Bible, Psalm 9:9).
SENEGAL, WEST AFRICA
In Senegal, approximately 33 percent of girls are married before the age of 18. Global Coordinator at Girls Not Brides Lakshmi Sundaram says, “Child marriage holds girls back. It is an infringement of girls’ rights, can threaten their health, and makes them more likely to drop out of school, contributing not just to their personal underdevelopment but that of the whole community.” Pray for an end to child marriage in Senegal and throughout Africa. Pray for lower poverty levels, more jobs, and cultural change, so Senegalese families will stop practicing child marriage. Ask the Lord to comfort, strengthen, and protect young Senegalese brides (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
ERITREA, EAST AFRICA
Fourteen years ago, Eritrea and Ethiopia became two separate countries but they do not have a harmonious relationship yet. This affects their economic well-being. There are also tribes that are separated from each other because of the border. Pray for Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki seeks the good of his country and agrees to peace talks with Ethiopia. Pray that peace would be found and that this would bless the people with security and God's goodness. Pray for those in Eritrea to have more of an opportunity to know the Lord Jesus Christ (The Bible, Psalms 16:11).
TIBET, SOUTH ASIA
In China’s Qinghai province, a 29-year-old man set himself on fire “for the cause of Tibet.” It is the first self-immolation protest in 2014. His death is the 126th self-immolation to occur in protest of Chinese rule in Tibet. According to Radio Free Asia, the Chinese government has “tightened security very conspicuously. Communication channels have been restricted.” Pray for peace between the Chinese government and Tibetans. Pray for an end to the self-immolation protests. Pray for Tibetans to find true freedom in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 3:17).
SYRIA, MIDDLE EAST
The Syrian civil war caused a lost generation of children. For over three years, children have not been able to go to school, some have lost parents, and many are refugees. Pray against predators that force children into the black hole of slavery, prostitution, and trafficking. Pray against the selling of girls as young brides to men because they lack protection from their families. Pray for an end to this civil war that is destroying the hopes and futures of a whole generation. Pray for the end to any and all oppression of the innocent. Pray for God to rescue and heal these precious children emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Pray that God gives them hope and a path to finding Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord (The Bible, Amos 5:12).
MONGOLIA, NORTH ASIA
According to Serving In Mission, “Christian radio programs from outside originally opened the ‘Mongolian door’ to Christianity, but the Churches that have subsequently been established are thoroughly Mongolian. Now an estimated 60,000 Believers live and witness for Christ throughout the country. But only about 40 percent of Mongolia’s 315 counties have any Church at all.” Pray for the establishment of Churches in each of Mongolia’s 315 counties. Ask the Lord to bless the testimonies of His children in Mongolia. Pray for the Gospel to spread like wildfire throughout this Asian nation (The Bible, 1 John 5:11).
EAST TIMOR, SOUTHEAST ASIA
According to Operation World, “East Timor appears caught in a descending spiral of poverty, poor healthy, and illiteracy. It is the poor who suffer most from the violence and destruction wrought by various factions. With a shattered infrastructure and ill-equipped public servants, the nation needs transformation in all spheres of life. Major investments are needed in education, job creation, health care, and training of leadership. The oil and gas fields of the Timor Sea will hopefully bring the finances required.” Ask the Lord to provide financially and spiritually for the poverty-stricken East Timorese. Pray for an end to the violence and for peace and calm to reign in East Timor. Pray that the Lord will abundantly bless East Timor through the oil and gas industries (The Bible, Philippians 4:19).
THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA
The Jola are an unreached people group in The Gambia. According to Operation World, “The majority of Jola are from an animistic background and are beholden to the spirit powers they revere. Jolas in The Gambia are increasingly being Islamized, with a small number of Christians. Only some Scripture portions are available in their language.” Pray for the entire Bible to be translated into the Jola language. Ask God to free the Jola people from the occult and bring them to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to send missionaries to serve the Jola people (The Bible, Romans 10:14).
GAZA STRIP, MIDDLE EAST
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip feel left out of the peace talks between Israel and the West Bank. The Islamic group Hamas runs Gaza’s government and they have not been included in the talks. Part of the issue is that Hamas does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state and is seeking to win back territory from pre-1948 boundaries. Pray for the Palestinians living in Gaza not to hold to an Islamic stance that Israel cannot exist as a nation. Pray for the people of Gaza to know that the Lord Jesus Christ loves them and that He died for their sins (The Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:3).
WEST BANK, MIDDLE EAST
While the West Bank and Israel move peace talks forward, Palestinian women are seeking equal rights and better laws to govern the West Bank. There are socially accepted laws that allow for relatives to kill a family member if they bring dishonor to the family. Pray for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to rule with justice and to ensure equality for all people. Pray for the women of the West Bank to be honored by their families and society. Pray that they would hear of, and understand, the love Jesus Christ has for them and that this would influence the whole community (The Bible, John 4).
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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