July 2017 Prayer Agenda

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Category One

Prayer for North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe

Scripture Reading: Psalm 67: 1 – 7

The United States of America

  1. Spiritual Renewal in the Church for Social Transformation of American Society

Only 1 in 10 Americans Have Biblical Worldview, Just 4 Percent of Millennials:  

Only 10 percent of Americans hold a distinctly biblical worldview even though 46 percent, or nearly 100 million adults in the United States, claim to lead a Christian life. (Barna)

Most Americans (72%) continue to believe the state of moral values in the U.S. is “getting worse,” while 22% say it is “getting better.” Large majorities have said the state of moral values in the U.S. is declining since Gallup started asking this question annually in 2002. Americans’ views about the declining state of moral affairs largely reflect a belief that there is a deteriorating collective moral character. That is, their views have less to do with greater acceptance of same-sex marriage or having babies out of wedlock and other hot-button issues, and more to do with matters of basic civility and respect for each other (Gallop).

On the matter of the dispute over gay marriage and other sex issues, most Americans Still favor religious rights.  But this is under 50% of Americans, confirming Gallop’s position that the state of moral values in the US is declining.  About half of Americans (48%) say religious freedom is more important in such conflicts when faith and sexuality clash, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. A quarter (24%) say sexual freedom is more important. A quarter (28%) aren’t sure. (Christianity Today)

Pray:

  1. That the Lord would continue to raise up intercessors across America with a true vision of intercession and call to stand in the gap for spiritual revival in the church to positively influence or transform American culture.
  1. For God’s people across the nation to experience a deep spiritual hunger and thirsting after God and His Word to lay the foundation for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon His people across the nation for the growth of the church and for the continued evangelism of the lost, including those that view themselves as non-religious or atheists
  2. For revival among the mainline Protestant denominations that are either stagnant or in a state of decline, evidence by a lack of love for Christ, the Word of God, lack of love for His Church reflected in the declining attendance of church members, lack of joy and vibrancy in worship services, little evangelistic fruits and low community impact.

2. Survival and Strength Marriages and Families across the United States 

Young men giving up on marriage: ‘Women aren’t women anymore’

“Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center.”

“Pew recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. The number of young adult men saying the same thing dropped from 35 percent to 29 percent in the same time.”

“A cross section of research data from the Pew Research Center for the last months of 2012 shows the alarming trends for marriage and child-bearing in the US. One report published in mid-December said that the latest census data showed “barely half” of all adults in the United States are currently married, a “record low”. Since 1960, the number of married adults has decreased from 72 percent to 51 today and the number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by five percent between 2009 and 2010.”

“Moreover, the median age at first marriage continues to rise with women getting married the first time at 26.5 years and men at 28.7. The declines in marriage are “most dramatic” among young adults. Just 20 percent of those aged 18 to 29 are married, compared with 59 percent in 1960.”

“If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years,” the report said.

“Moreover, the link between marriage and childrearing has become disconnected in the minds of the so-called Millennial generation, those between 18 and 29. While 52 percent of Millennials say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, just 30 per cent say the same about having a successful marriage, an attitudinal survey found.”

“The gap, of 22 percentage points, between the value Millennials place on parenthood over marriage, was just 7 points in 1997. The research found that Millennials, many of whom are the children of divorce and single-parenthood themselves, are also less likely than their elders to say that a child needs both a father and mother at home, that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society.” (Source: www.Lifesitenews.com, )

PRAY:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry …. (1 Timothy 4: 1 – 3, NIV)           

  1. For the Christian community across America to take a bold stand in support of marriage as it was originally instituted and ordained by God as a lifelong relationship between one man (the husband) and one woman (the wife).
  2. For God’s blessings upon Christian marriages across the country and also the protection, survival and success of all marriages in the Christian community facing the onslaught of a high divorce rate within and other threats posed by the forces of secular humanism, feminism, and other evils.  That these blessings from God  on Christian marriages will     demonstrate to the world that the traditional marriage as He designed and ordained it is still vital relevant to the development and survival of nations for general success of Christian couples throughout the US to remain faithful to the firm stance of the church against divorce, gay marriage and   success of Christian marriages
  3. For the maintenance and establishment of new laws in the US Congress aimed at protecting, preserving, and facilitating the acceptance and growth of traditional marriage as an important aspect of the social and economic development of the nation.

 US President Donald Trump and His Administration.

This call is based on the belief that, when God’s people cry out to Him in earnest and heartfelt prayer, He will bless our nation in ways we cannot foresee. Our prayers also open a window for God to work across our land through the Advancement of His Kingdom, resulting in the salvation of the lost (1 Timothy 2:1 – 3).

PRAY

  1. For Wisdom and humility for President Donald Trump and members of his administration to lead America during these difficult and uncertain times.
  2. For God’s blessings upon the Administration for the general welfare and advancement of the nation over the next four years, resulting in good governance reflected in justice, freedom and equity for all Americans based on Biblical standards, resulting in a peaceful, united and prosperous nation. Pray also that the policies of the Trump Administration will pursue policies that will foster greater unity among the American people now deeply divided as a nation and also facilitate the advancement of God’s Kingdom here in the US and around the world through freedom to preach the Gospel of Christ for the salvation of the lost.

 

South America and The Caribbean

Pro-family defense stops OAS LGBTI resolution

The Organization of American States (OAS), representing the entire western hemisphere, met in Cancun June 19-21 for its annual General Assembly. On the final day advocates pushed hard to add further special LGBTI rights to OAS’ annual “human rights” resolution. They promoted “individuals with intersex traits” as a new privileged category. They pressed for condemnation of “homophobia and transphobia” but did not define those terms, opening the door for the prosecution of profamily proponents. They pushed for the inclusion of pro-LGBTI judges on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Thank God for the first time since 2008, profamily nations in the OAS refused to yield to LGBTI pressure. Paraguay, Jamaica, Guatemala, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados expressed strong objections to the resolutions. CitizenGO, a global organization working for religious freedom and profamily defense, presented a petition against the resolution with 67,000 signatures.

Latin American countries fight transgender tyranny

Reject the OAS Proposal to Give Special Privileges to LGBTI.

In fact, a few days earlier on June 15, 700+ legislators from numerous Latin American nations, called the Hemispheric Congress of Parliamentarians, signed a declaration affirming their sovereign rights to resist this agenda. They cited the OAS Charter itself for reaffirming that “the international order is essentially constituted by respect for the sovereignty and independence of States.” They said that the American Convention on Human Rights enshrines the right to life “from the moment of conception.” It states thatthe family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and must be protected by society and the State.” The same Convention recognizes “the right of men and women to marry and to found a family.” And it states that “everyone has the right to freedom of conscience and religion”.

Accordingly, the Congress declared that efforts by both the OAS and IACHR to impose pro-abortion and pro-LGBTI special rights actually contradict their very purpose. Such special rights undermine the already agreed-on rights to life and freedom of expression, association and religion. The Congress also opposed changing the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman only. It opposed adoption of children by homosexuals as contrary to the institution of family. We must pray these nations in the Western Hemisphere will continue to stand for marriage and family the way God designed it.

Source: Declaración Americana sobre la Independencia y Autodeterminación de los Pueblos en Asuntos Relacionados a la Vida, la Familia y la Libertad Religiosa.

PRAY

Let us lift up nations in the Caribbean and South American regions –

  1. For God, out of His sovereign grace and mercy, and in His pursuit of His will for the peoples of the region, to affirm His good design for marriage, sex, childbearing and family.
  2. For the defeat of all measures which pressure nations to oppose God’s design for the family.
  3. For nations in the region to pursue policies in keeping with Biblical principles, to shield babies in the womb, to guide orphans toward adoption by caring mom-and-dad parents, to help children grow with a healthy appreciation of manhood and womanhood, to establish marriages and families, and to empower ministries which are restoring LGBTI persons to their God-given sexual identities.
  4. For God to continue to show Himself as Father of the fatherless, Healer of broken marriages and families, and Restorer of the sexually abused.

Europe

  • New Abortion figures make for grim reading

Reagan King |Published: June 16th, 2017

http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/abortion/new-abortion-figures-make-for-grim-reading-regan-king

Abortion statistics have been released for England and Wales from 2016.

The figures make for grim reading. 190,406 abortions were carried out in England and Wales alone last year. The only consolation in the stats is that this overall figure falls slightly lower than the 191,014 abortions carried out in 2015. 98% of these abortions were NHS funded and 38% were for women who had previously had one or more abortions.

4,810 abortions procured in England and Wales were by women not currently resident in England and Wales. This statistic excludes Scottish figures, which tip the total over 200,000. Extrapolating, over 1,000,000 babies are aborted every 5 years in the United Kingdom …

The latest statistics continue to highlight the real problems behind abortion in the UK. Sex with no boundaries or consequences is a god to our society. Some do not desire children and see abortion as in the same category as any non-abortifacient form of birth control as indicated by the 70,526 abortions carried out last year on women who had previously aborted a child. Others do desire children, but only if their terms and conditions of self-defined ‘normal-ness’ of the child and its health are met. For both, children are commodities of personal convenience and choice and so can be summarily aborted if conditions are considered ‘less than ideal’.

The massacre of infants because of perceived disability or deformity is nothing new. … Today’s destruction of infants may occur in more sterile circumstances than in ancient times, but it not any less brutal and is equally sinful.

This must change. It would be easy to let these statistics simply deaden our consciences and make us feel low. But here are three ways you can be part of the culture of life:

PRAY

  1. That God would have mercy on the United Kingdom for its shedding of innocent blood and that He would withhold His righteous hand of the judgment that is due;
  2. That the reality and value of the pre-born lives will burn in the conscience of the people and culture of the United Kingdom;
  3. That God will mercifully and graciously provide help and alternatives to abortions, such as pregnancy crisis centres and such the like, for those mothers who are in situations of unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
  • Which countries in Europe allow gay marriage?

EURONEWS| last updated:28/06/2017

http://www.euronews.com/2017/06/28/which-countries-in-europe-allow-gay-marriage

Finland has become the latest European country to legalise gay marriage, joining a dozen others on the continent.

The Netherlands became the first in the world to allow homosexual couples to tie the knot at the turn of the century.

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have since joined the Dutch.

Gay marriage is also legal in the United Kingdom, except in Northern Ireland.

Europe has a broad east-west divide on the issue, with the likes of Russia and Ukraine among the worst for LGBT rights, according to campaigners.

There is a strip of central European countries – including the likes of Germany, Austria and Italy – where only civil partnerships are open to gay couples, rather than marriage.

Merkel pave way for gay marriage vote in Germany

EURONEWS | last updated:27/06/2017

http://www.euronews.com/2017/06/27/merkel-paves-way-for-gay-marriage-vote-in-germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested she will allow a free vote on legalising gay marriage – softening her stance ahead of the country’s general election.

It comes after other parties warned that an agreement on gay marriage would be a condition of any coalition deal with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

PRAY

  1. That God will move His people from complacency and indifference to heartfelt grief and mourning over the sins and practices that He declares to be abominable in His sight and that are spreading like wildfire across Europe;
  2. That God will strengthen and embolden His servants to preach the word of God without fear against the practise and institutionalisation of sin and abominations across Europe;
  3. For a mighty move of the Spirit of God to turn people from these abominations and to bring about deliverance, healing, and restoration.
  • Trouble Brewing in Brexit Britain

EURONEWS| last updated:29/06/2017

http://www.euronews.com/2017/06/29/trouble-brewing-in-brexit-britain

A year after Britain voted to leave the EU the pound is at least ten percent weaker, the economy is shaky and may be headed for a downturn and Theresa May’s minority government is weak after losing its majority in parliament after June’s general election.

There’s also the worrying possibility that a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland could unravel the Good Friday Peace Agreement.
The uncertainty is infectious.

In her first policy position after the two year long Brexit negotiations started earlier this month, May set out her plan for the rights of the three million or so EU citizens living in the UK. They will only qualify for “settled” status after five consecutive years living in Britain. But this has not gone far enough to reassure many EU officials including Guy Verhofstadt, the Brexit co-ordinator for the European Parliament.

EU citizens living in the UK fear the future

report by the consultancy firm Deloitte released on June 27th suggests that 47 percent of highly skilled EU workers are now considering leaving Britain.

The UK’s construction sector is also vulnerable …

Is Ireland headed for trouble at the border?

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has raised the stakes in the long and divisive dispute over Northern Ireland’s status…

The struggle …over whether Northern Ireland should unite with Ireland or remain part of the United Kingdom plunged the region into 30 years of violence from the late 1960s which saw 3,600 people killed.

A 1998 peace deal created a power-sharing government that has brought peace and relative prosperity, but has failed to heal the sectarian divide that still defines politics here.

…….

Christians and Brexit: Did God command the UK to leave the EU?

Harry Farley |JOURNALIST 28 June 2016 | 1:32 PM

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/christians.and.brexit.did.god.command.the.uk.to.leave.the.eu/89427.htm

Christians overwhelmingly voted in favour of leaving the European Union …

Polling from Lord Ashcroft showed that nearly six in ten of those who identified as Christian voted for Brexit. This is significantly higher than the 52 per cent who voted for Brexit across the nation. It is particularly stark when compared to Muslim and Hindu voters, seven in 10 of whom voted to remain …

A host of blogs, websites and claims of ‘prophetic words’ have fuelled a fear of the European Union’s apparent spiritual side. A minefield of ‘prophetic’ websites … warn of a supposed darkness in the EU project … Whatever the reasoning, a majority of these Christians were suspicious of the EU and voted to leave. This failure to convince Christians of either the economic, spiritual or cultural benefits of the EU was disastrous for the Remain campaign and has changed the face of the UK forever.

PRAY

  1. That the Lord will send light and clarity to His people in the UK concerning the prophetic words and interpretations of the situation that exists between Britain and the European Union and that it will result in peace and freedom from anxieties for His people;
  2. That the Good Friday Peace Agreement between Britain and Northern Ireland will remain intact;
  3. That in the midst of the turbulence and tensions there will be increasing bonds of unity between God’s people – regardless of which side of the negotiations they are on.

 

Category 2: Israel, the Middle East and Africa 

Scripture (Psalm 111:1-10, NIV) and Introduction

Iran

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie were summoned to the 26th Chamber of the Revolutionary Tribunal on 14 June, where in addition to informing them that a verdict would be delivered within 20 days, the presiding judge, Judge Ahmadzadeh, also accused the church of receiving £500,000 per year from the British government.

In a worrying development, Judge Abolghasem Salavati, who heads the 15th Branch of the Revolutionary Court and is known for issuing harsh sentences, entered the court room during the proceedings and announced that “Christians make foolish claims.”

Judge Salavati is notorious for carrying out miscarriages of justice in high-profile trials involving foreign political activists, lawyers, journalists and ethnic and religious minorities.  He is also known for delivering lengthy prison sentences and ordering that defendants be lashed. In many cases, he has ordered the execution of defendants. His unexpected intervention may indicate that the presiding judge is under pressure from the Secret Police to pronounce a pre-determined verdict and deliver a harsh sentence. (Christian Solidarity Worldwide, June 28, 2017)

http://www.csw.org.uk/2017/06/28/news/3604/article.htm

Pray

  1. Pray for the release of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie who have been falsely accused because of their faith.
  2. Pray for the release of the many Christians who are imprisoned because of their faith in Christ.
  3. Praise God for the growth of the Church in Iran. Pray that this growth will continue.
  4. Pray for the protection and growth of the Church in Iran. Also pray for organizations such as Elam Ministries to be more effective in evangelizing Iran.

 

Egypt

CAIRO (Morning Star News) – A young Coptic woman in a suburb of Cairo, Egypt remains missing after her disappearance last week from an area where Muslim attacks against Christians have surged, sources said.

Suzan Ashraf Rawy, 22, left for work by foot from her home in Al Khosous on the morning of June 5 but never arrived at the Coptic Orthodox church where she is employed, they said. The Virgin and Pope Kyrillos Church is walking distance from her home. “When she did not return home that evening, her mother called the church,” an area Christian leader said. “That is when she discovered Suzan did not arrive at the church in the morning. It is expected that she has been abducted.”

The abduction is the third kidnapping in the area of Al Khosous, a predominantly Christian town on the outskirts of Cairo, since the accidental shooting of a Muslim on May 30. Two other young Coptic Christian women disappeared without a trace after the May 30 incident. The families of the other women suspected to have been kidnapped have received no communication from alleged kidnappers, the sources said. Rawy’s father reportedly said kidnappers have demanded a large sum of money or else she will be killed. The family is desperately seeking help from authorities. (Morning Star News, June 12, 2017)

http://morningstarnews.org/2017/06/young-christian-woman-said-kidnapped-outside-cairo-egypt/

Pray

  1. Pray for the release of the three kidnapped Coptic Christian women. Also, pray for God to reveal Himself to the kidnappers.
  2. Pray for an end to the Muslim attacks against Christians.
  3. Pray that the Egyptian government would do more to protect Christian from violence and persecution.
  4. Pray for the strengthening and growth of the Church in Egypt.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

KINSHASA —

Congolese authorities have identified 10 more mass graves in a region where the military and militia fighters accuse each other of summary executions and burials. The 10 new graves announced by the military on Monday bring to 52 the total number of such sites found in the Kasai region since the start of an insurrection last August by the Kamuina Nsapu militia, which wants the withdrawal of military forces from the area.

Army prosecutor General Joseph Ponde told reporters in the capital Kinshasa that Kamuina Nsapu fighters were suspected of dumping bodies in the graves in Kasai province. The government also blamed the militia for mass graves discovered in neighboring Kasai-Central province. But witnesses in Kasai-Central interviewed in March by Reuters said they had seen army trucks dumping bodies. (Reuters, June 26, 2017)

https://www.voanews.com/a/congo-ten-more-mass-graves-insurgency-hit-kasai-region/3917217.html

Pray

  1. Pray for peace to be established in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  2. Pray for God to comfort the families who have lost their loved ones through the unrest and violence in the DRC.
  3. Pray for justice to be done and those responsible for the killings and violation of human rights be punished.
  4. Pray that the Church will grow and be a great source of peace in the DRC.

Central African Republic (CAR)

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC —

Clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic town of Bria have left at least 100 people dead in the wake of a peace agreement signed this week in Rome that called for an immediate cease-fire, officials said Wednesday. Security remained so precarious that Red Cross teams could not venture into the streets to collect bodies for burial.

“For the moment, no one dares to go out as everything suggests that fighting can resume at any time,” said the Rev. Gildas Gbeni of the St. Louis Catholic mission in Bria. “Witnesses coming from different neighborhoods say they have had to climb over dozens of bodies that now litter the ground.”

Mayor Maurice Balekouzou and others put the preliminary death toll at around 100, while several dozen wounded were seeking treatment at the local hospital run by aid group Doctors Without Borders. (Associated Press, June 21, 2017)

https://www.voanews.com/a/mayor-says-100-dead-in-car/3909893.html

Pray

  1. Pray for an end to the violence and the establishing of peace in the Central African Republic.
  2. Pray that the government will do more to protect its citizens from violence and death.
  3. Pray for the protection and strengthen of humanitarian and medical aid workers.
  4. Pray for the protection and growth of the Church in the Central African Republic.

Eritrea

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that 33 Eritrean women are being held in an infamous island prison in the Red Sea. They were detained in a series of raids on members of non-sanctioned churches by the Eritrean military, which began in May and have continued into June.

According to CSW’s sources, at least 170 Christians have been detained so far in the raids in the capital Asmara and seven other towns. The 33 women were amongst the first to be arrested and are being held in Nakura, a notoriously harsh prison island in the Dahlak Archipelago that was created by Italian colonialists in the late 19th Century to crush political dissent. Most are reported to be young mothers whose husbands are either military conscripts or are eking out an existence elsewhere. Consequently, their arrests have left 50 children without parental care.  (CSW, June 28, 2017)

http://www.csw.org.uk/2017/06/28/news/3602/article.htm

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been informed that 122 Eritrean Christians were detained in May 2017 in a series of round-ups of members of unregistered denominations in various locations around the country. The detentions mark a new phase in a crackdown that has been ongoing since May 2002, when the Eritrean government effectively outlawed religious practices not affiliated with the Catholic, Evangelical Lutheran and Orthodox Christian denominations or Sunni Islam.

Forty-five Christians, including entire families, elderly men and a disabled woman, were taken from their homes in Adi Quala town in the south of the country and transported to Adi Aglis detention camp. The arrests left 23 children without their parents. Fifteen Christians were arrested in Gindae town in the Northern Red Sea Region, in an ongoing operation that has forced others to flee to safer areas.

In the Godaif district of the capital Asmara, 17 Christians were rounded up on 28 May 2017.  Forty-five others, mostly women, had been rounded up a week earlier in another part of the city as they gathered at a party arranged by a recently married couple. Further arrests are anticipated as local district committees, composed of members of the security services, the ruling party, the local administration and the Orthodox Church, continue their house to house inquiries. Christians in the city have begun a period of prayer and fasting for peace and safety. (CSW, June 15, 2017)

http://www.csw.org.uk/2017/06/15/news/3584/article.htm

Pray

  1. Pray for the release of the 33 Eritrean women who are being held in the infamous island prison in the Red Sea because of their Christian faith. Also, pray for the release of other Christians who are imprisoned because of their Christian faith.
  2. Pray for religious freedom to be established in Eritrea. Also, pray for the government to stop arresting Christians for practicing their Christian faith.
  3. Pray for the protection and strengthening of the Church in Eritrea.
  4. Pray for the gospel to go forth and for the growth of the Church in Eritrea.

 

Category 3

Prayer for Movement Day Global Cities, the Persecuted Church and Other Critical Concerns of Asia

Scripture   –   Psalms 47: 1 – 9

Movement Day Chennai, India, August 25,

  1. Movement Day Chennai, India, August 26, 2017. 

Movement Day Chennai, India, is set to take place on August 26th at the historic Le Meridien.

As we focus our prayers on this significant Gospel event let us bear in mind the following significant needs and challenges facing this important City of India:

Important Facts about Chennai

  • Population. Formerly known as Madras, Chennai is the capital of the southern state of Tamilnadu and with a population of 8.5 million, it  is India‘s sixth-largest city.
  • Culture. Chennai serves as one of the main gateways to South India and has a thriving local culture and art scene, and is one of the major destinations for medical tourism. It is considered one of the world’s fastest growing cities, although ranks 13th in terms of cleanliness.
  • Economy. Chennai is known as the Detroit of India because of its automobile industry, which produces more than 40% of the auto parts and motor vehicles in India. It houses some of the leading foreign banks, including Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Citibank, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd., Ryan Services and Standard Chartered Bank.
  • History of Christianity and Spiritual Climate.  Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, is associated with Chennai. He is said to have come to India as an evangelist and died in what is now Chennai. Two suburbs, Santhome and St. Thomas Mount, are named in his memory. There are more than 4,000 churches in Chennai; diverse intercessory groups, including the National Prayer Network, Light Up Chennai, a Monthly Prayer Gathering that meets every third Friday for the past 13 years, the Global Day of Prayer; and a number of Christian nongovernmental organizations, including Compassion International, World Vision, International Justice Mission, Prison Fellowship and Opportunity International..

Challenges to the Gospel in Chennai

  • Education for the poor and vulnerable resulting from an increasing slum population. The slum population has been increasing over the past decades almost doubling the number of people living in poverty in the past two decades alone. In 2011 29% of the population in Chennai were living in slums, compare to 30% to 40% of the population of Mumbai and Kolkata living in slums.
  • “The sharpest rise in unemployment among women was seen in Chennai, where the rate rose 17% points – from 2.3% in 2004 to 2005 to 18.8% in 2009 to 10.”Higher education levels for women have increased the supply of qualified workers, decreasing job availability and increasing unemployment.
  • Environmental Pollution, one of the leading cause of illness and death in India.

. (Mac Pier, A Disruptive Gospel: Stories & Strategies for Transforming Your City)

Pray

  1. Let us praise God for the rich history and growth of the Church in Chinnai, and the emergence over the years of robust market place ministries and various nongovernmental organizations offering hope to the people of Chennai;
  2. For the Movement Day conference to achieve the important task of mobilizing churches, pastors, market place leaders and diverse nonprofit agencies to collaborate their efforts in addressing the urgent spiritual, social and economic needs of the poor and marginalized people of Chennai.
  3. For the Movement Day conference to result in greater synergy between the church and corporate leaders to ensure the greatest impact on the city of Chennai.  Pray also that  whatever happens in Chennai as a result of the conference will serve as a model for rest of India’s cities.
  4. For the Movement Day conference to help facilitate the Gospel to have a greater impact upon the lives of millennial leaders moving into Chennai in search of economic opportunities.
  1. B. Other Upcoming Movement Day Expressions happening locally and internationally.

Pray

Movement Day, UK

  1. Pray for Roger Sutton, Director of Movement Day UK, as he leads after the tragedy that took place in Manchester on Monday, May 22. Pray also for the wisdom and clarity on what Manchester needs now.

Movement Day Philadelphia, US

  1. Pray for unity amongst the Philadelphia leaders as they have started convening to plan a Movement Day in their region. Pray also that trust would be built as they help bring this to fruition.

Movement Day Athens, Greece

  • 3. Pray for the fruit that is to come from the May 30th Movement Day Athens, where 100 leaders were expected to attend.

 

The Global Persecution of Christians

Here’s the Million-Dollar Answer to How Persecuted Christians Persevere

“Persecution can be difficult to measure. (For example, should Christians who weren’t murdered for their faith count as martyrs?) But by all counts, religious freedom violations are on the rise worldwide. Islamist extremism and ethnic nationalism have pushed persecution to record levels three years in a row.”

“Christians bear the brunt, experiencing between 60 percent to 80 percent of religious discrimination, UCS researchers concluded. And evangelicals and Pentecostals bear the brunt of that. They are more likely to be persecuted than mainline Christians, Catholics, or Orthodox Christians, according to the UCS report. That’s because in most places, evangelicals and Pentecostals are the relative newcomers, without the long relationships and history that older Christian groups have.”

“Survival is the most common response of evangelicals. More than 2 out of 5 responses (43%) involved such strategies, including “going underground, flight, and accommodation to or support for repressive regimes.” The majority of Christians in Syria and Iraq, for example, have fled before the terror and executions of ISIS, dropping the estimated 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003 down to 400,000 last year.”

Persecuted Christians are less likely to attempt association strategies, which involve building “ties with others that strengthen their resilience.” About 38 percent of responses fall into the association category, including Turkish Christians seeking ties with the Greek Orthodox Church, Indian Christians attempting to build alliances with Hindu and Muslim leaders, and Sri Lankan evangelicals collaborating with other faiths to provide social services.

Association isn’t a bad strategy, because “isolation is among the most formidable obstacles facing persecuted churches,” the report stated. “Persecuting regimes and militant groups aim to keep Christian communities disconnected, hidden, and obscure.”

(Source: Excerpted from Christianity Today, April 20,2017)

Pray

  1. Let us praise God for the continued growth of His Church worldwide despite increased persecution of Christians worldwide.
  2. Let us continue to praise God the resilience believers living particularly in Muslim majority countries in Asia and the Middle East, where they find themselves at greater risk of persecution from both the state and Islamic militants.
  3. For provision of believers facing increased persecution and for increased opportunities to overcome religious discrimination and isolation, and preserve the Christian witness in these nations.
  4. For the preservation and growth of the Christian communities in Iraq and Syria facing extinction from Isis.

Other Important Facts about the Global persecution of Christians

  • 200 million Christians in more than 102 countries are affected by persecution, including kidnappings, sex-slavery, imprisonment, torture, and killings, including beheadings.
  • Persecution is “a form of religious-ethnic cleansing of Christian communities” resulting in mass migration and the sharp decline in the numbers of Christians in the Middle East and other countries across Asia and Africa.
  • Persecution is not just an issue for Christians but a human rights issue that affects us all. Christians, however, suffer harassment than any other religion in the world.
  • The incidence of persecution is highest in countries with a high level of religious extremism. (Source:http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pope.francis.sees.christian.genocide.as.persecution.affects.200.million.christians/60393.htm)

PRAY

  1. For increased awareness of persecution and its impact on Christians, living in countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with the highest incidence of
  2. For Christians suffering persecution to experience God’s grace to enable them to (i) respond to their persecutors in the spirit of the love of Christ, who has called on His followers to love “your enemies” and bless those that “persecute you”; (ii) to remain faithful to Christ despite the sufferings they are enduring.
  3. For Christians in the West not only to become more aware and compassionate about the mounting persecution of Christians around the world but also to be moved by the Spirit of God to become involved with helping to bring relief to the plight of these believers through prayer, advocacy and other practical support.

Christians Escape Terrorist-Besieged Philippine City With Help From Muslims Who Lent Them Their Hijabs

“About 1,500 people are still trapped in the predominantly Muslim city in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, which has been placed under martial law by President Rodrigo Duterte. On Tuesday, Philippine warplanes dropped more bombs on terrorist positions while ground troops launched a renewed push against the terrorists, who have been holed up in the city for five weeks now, according to The Philippine Daily Inquirer.”

“The Philippine military intensified their offensive amid concerns that terrorist reinforcements could arrive after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on June 26.  Nearly 350 people have been killed in the ongoing battles, according to the Philippine military. Residents who managed to escape said they saw numerous bodies in the debris of homes destroyed in the bombing and exchange of gunfire. Medics said the evacuees recounted to them their difficulties and their resourcefulness in managing to escape from the clutches of the terrorists.”

“Some of the stories that stuck were Muslims helping protect Christian workers by letting them borrow a hijab,” said Dr. Gloria Ancheta, head of the psychosocial therapy team. The escapees said they suffered from starvation and were used as human shields by the terrorists during military airstrikes. A local politician named Zia Alonto Adiong, who is managing the relief and rescue efforts, said some residents have been forced to “eat their blankets” and other materials they could grab their hands on because of extreme hunger.”

“”Some residents are eating (cardboard) boxes. They just dip it in water to soften the material and eat it,” Adiong said. Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said there are still some 200 Islamist fighters who have taken up sniper positions in buildings. “The battlefield is very fluid,” he said.  The general admitted earlier that Philippine troops are finding it difficult to dislodge the terrorists from their positions. This is because the soldiers have been trained in jungle warfare but are now fighting on urban terrain where the terrorists are holed up in homes and high-rise buildings and holding civilians as human shields, Padilla said.” (Source: The Christian Post, June 23, 2017)

PRAY

  1. For the release of all Christians held captive by Islamist terrorists in the terrorist-besieged Marawi City in the Philippines and the 1,500 people that are still trapped in the predominantly Muslim city in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
  2. For the Philippine Government and military in the fight to defeat Islamist terrorists in Mindanao and for all plans by the group to establish an ISIS Caliphate in the Philippines to fail completely.
  3. For the continued growth of the church across the Philippines despite recent threats from terrorism and increased persecution.

 

 

 

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