Monthly Prayer Agenda
Welcome to the February 2019 Global Prayer Agenda featuring major concerns affecting the nations of our world, and the growth of Christ's church universally for the advancement of world evangelism and the establishment of God's Kingdom. This agenda was specially prepared for use during the Monthly Global Prayer Teleconference sessions by a few members of the team of leaders facilitating these monthly global prayer calls. The agenda is structured into three main categories for the convenience of our users. As you join us in prayer about these various issues, during this month, we trust that you will find the experience spiritually rewarding. We also extend a special invitation to join us for our next Monthly Global Prayer Teleconference.
Prayer for North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe
Scripture: Isaiah 12: 4 (NIV)
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.5 Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
Prayer for Revival in the United States of America
Some Important Facts on the State of the church and spiritual needs of the nation
- Based on the current rates of retention and evangelism, it's estimated that 42 million young people could leave the church by 2050. That is over one million young people walking away from the church each year.
- If, however, we can revert to Gen X rates of retention and evangelism, that number can be reduced to only 20 million.
- Every year, about 4,000 churches are planted in the US and every year about 3,700 churches close. Based on population growth rate we need to triple church planting in the next five years. By 2050 it is estimated that the US will need to 416, 000 new churches. (Source: www.thegreatopportunity,org)
Needs of Pastors across America
- At any given time, 75% of pastors in America want to quit. (Church Resource Ministries – 1998)
- More than 2000 pastors are leaving the ministry each month. (Marble Retreat Center 2001) (Source: www.Standaloneministry.org)
These needs underscore the dire need for spiritual revival in the church in America.
- For pastors across America experiencing loneliness, the burning out effect, other challenges of the pastoral ministry that impact negatively on their families or considering quitting the ministry as a result of discouragement to turn to the Lord, the only Rock of our Salvation for spiritual comfort, assurance, and strength. Indeed, all other grounds or bais of faith or worship are sinking sand.
- For all pastors facing all types of moral failure that continue to undermine the credible witness of the church as salt and light of this nation, to turn to the Lord in prayer and repentance to help to facilitate revival in the church for the spiritual healing and transformation of the nation so urgently needed at this time.
- For a revival in the church across America resulting in the growth of the church, through the additions of millions of new converts, particularly millennials and establishment of thousands of new churches.
Prayer for US Government: Solution to Major Immigration Challenges
As for American policy, an immigration website notes that “The United States has been the top destination for international migrants since at least 1960, with one-fifth of the world's migrants living there as of 2017. Despite its long history of immigration, the United States has oscillated between perceiving immigration as a valuable resource and as a major challenge.”
According to Wikipedia, “In absolute numbers, the United States has a larger immigrant population than any other country, with 47 million immigrants as of 2015. This represents 19.1% of the 244 million international migrants worldwide, and 14.4% of the U.S. population.”
Against this background of a vibrant and dynamic history of immigration in America, let us pray regarding the current challenges facing the US immigration system, now considered broken and in urgent need of reforms.
- For the President and Congress to work together on reforming US immigration laws to address the growing problem of illegal immigration. Pray for solutions that are just and fair in keeping with Biblical standards.
- For a solution to the crisis caused by the thousands of migrants from South America amassed at the US/Mexico border seeking asylum in the US.
Prayer US/regarding children:
New York’s ‘Reproductive Health Act’: What the Pink Tower Says to Pro-Lifers
Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the most radical pro-abortion bill our country has seen in a very long time. The so-called “Reproductive Health Act” removes abortion and, get this, the murder of a pregnant woman’s baby, from the state’s criminal code.
It also allows any doctor, nurse practitioner, or even midwife to perform an abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, provided the mother’s “life or health” is at risk.
By ACLJ.org (5 months ago)
NARAL is promoting abortion to kids like they’re selling ice cream. No literally. They are.
Big Abortion has gone to shocking lengths to try to normalize their abominable business of blood money – particularly in spreading their pro-abortion message to the young.
We told you how they have stooped as low as targeting children with their propaganda. A Planned Parenthood representative actually stated the world needs a “Disney princess who’s had an abortion.”
- Father, we stand in the gap for our political leaders – especially those in NY and VA – and ask that the fear of God would overtake them (and all of like mind in our nation) and they would repent of the evil they have allowed/mandated against the most vulnerable and valuable of your creation, our children.
- We pray safety and protection – we speak LIFE – to every child in the womb. We decree and declare that each child will fulfill the gifts and callings you have for them.
- We repent of, reject and renounce the spirit of death and call forth the spirit of life. May each Mother (and Father) choose life.
- We pray for more crisis pregnancy centers, more ultrasounds, more homes for the mothers, more adoptive parents.
South America and The Caribbean
Venezuelans get little news about their own country
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the disastrous climate for journalists in Venezuela, where the deepening political crisis has been accompanied by increasingly blatant and disturbing censorship of non-governmental media. The government must respect the freedom to inform, RSF says.
What with arrests of reporters, confiscation of their equipment, police violence against them during demonstrations, Internet cuts and outright broadcast bans, access to objective and pluralist reporting has been virtually impossible for most Venezuelans during the past few days of historic developments and turmoil.
On 23 January, the day that national assembly president Juan Guaidó declared himself to be interim president amid major demonstrations and clashes throughout the country, no national TV channel broadcast Guaidó’s address, while the authorities harassed and attacked independent media outlets critical of President Nicolás Maduro that tried to cover these historic events.
Personnel from the General Directorate for Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM) and the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) stormed the offices of three media outlets – Global TV, Noticia Al Día and Aventura TV – in Maracaibo, the capital of the northwestern state of Zulia, on 23 January, smashing electronic equipment and cutting Internet access. Global TV’s broadcast signal was suspended on the grounds that it “broadcast Juan Guaidó’s speech live.”
Censorship and restricted access to news
On 23 January alone, the local NGO Espacio Público has counted no fewer than 17 direct attacks against journalists, including arbitrary detentions, confiscation of equipment and violence by police or soldiers.
“This persecution of journalists by the Venezuelan state apparatus is utterly counter-productive and reinforces President Maduro’s isolation,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “Press freedom is in great danger in Venezuela. The Maduro administration must stop censoring and systematically obstructing journalists’ work and must instead guarantee their safety. In this time of trouble, the freedom to inform is more essential than ever for all Venezuelans.”
Internet cuts and cyber-space regulation
In addition to the direct censorship and violence, the past month in Venezuela has also seen unusual information blackouts and restrictions on access to social networks, which are massively used by Maduro’s opponents.
This trend is all the more disturbing in the wake of a leak to the media a few days ago revealing the existence of a proposed “Cyberspace Law” designed to increase the government’s power to control Internet access and use. On 23 January, RSF joined a national and international NGO coalition in voicing concern about the bill.
Venezuela is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
Pray for God to:
- Release divine and humanitarian relief to come to the 90% of Venezuelans who are now poor and lacking sufficient food, water, and electricity, and reveal Christ as their Savior.
- Open the way for media to communicate to Venezuelans the truths they need to understand and overcome their crisis.
- Prevent world powers such as the US and Russia/China from clashing militarily over Venezuela or overriding informed public sentiment about their future direction.
- Present His solutions and directions to His choices for their future leadership.
Revival across Europe
Issues for Prayer – Europe
Movement “Do Not Mess with My Children” launched in Spain
Evangelical leaders back a movement to defend the right and responsibility of parents to educate their children in values. It will confront the “tyranny of gender ideology”.
SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus MADRID 30 JANUARY 2019 10:30 h GMT+1
The “Con Mis Hijos No Te Metas” (in English: Do Not Mess with My Children) Spain movement (#CMHNTM) was officially presented in Madrid, on January 26.
Around 250 evangelical leaders from all over the country, came to listen to Christian Rosas, after a personal invitation. The political scientist and spokesman of the civic movement in Latin America explained that #CMHNTM is not a defense of Christian morality, but of the first institution that preceded religion and society: the family.
Rosas encouraged the attendees to defend the right and responsibility of parents in the education of values, in the face of any interference by the State. He especially warned about the “tyranny of gender ideology, which aims to impose itself globally as the only accepted worldview”.
Evangelical churches are called for a Day of Prayer on February 28; and in the following months, there will be training sessions and personal contacts with local, regional and national political parties and institutions. In September, a national march in Madrid is planned, which will give much visibility and social presence to the requests of the Movement.
#CMHNTM also started a campaign to collect signatures supporting the “Declaration of Madrid”, which was signed by the attendees.
#CMHNTM Spain is linked to the movement of the same name that has emerged throughout the Spanish-speaking world. It has a national coordination group, formed by people representing Spanish Protestantism and under the auspices of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Fraternity of Spain (FPCE in Spanish) and the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE).
- For the total success of this Movement in Spain, in its efforts to defend the right, authority and responsibility of parents to educate their children in moral values;
- That the Lord will enable the Movement to be effective as it seeks to confront the “tyranny of gender ideology” which undermines the natural differences between male and female and which holds that people have the right to choose their own gender;
- That the Lord will unite His people in Spain, the UK and throughout Europe, in opposing this deceptive ideology.
Prosecutions against religious groups double in Crimea.
Most administrative prosecutions end in punishment. Many are prosecuted for sharing their faith on the street. “Believers go out to share their faithless often and give out publications or invitations less openly”.
AUTHOR Evangelical Focus SEVASTOPOL 28 JANUARY 2019 10:34 h GMT+1
The prosecutions against faith groups and individuals who carried out “missionary activity” in Russian-occupied Crimea, doubled in 2018, reaching 23 cases, the organization for freedom of religion, Forum 18, said. Most of these are prosecuted for sharing their faith on the street, for holding worship at unapproved venues, or not using the full legal name of a registered religious community. The Russian authorities also fined individuals for having or being deemed to be in charge of religious literature that the government considered “extremist”. The fines can be up to nearly two months' average local wages, and the confiscation of any literature or other material.
According to Forum 18, of these 23 administrative prosecutions, 19 ended in punishment. In addition to these punishments, at least five individuals are facing criminal prosecution for exercising their freedom of religion or belief. The communities known to have faced administrative cases in 2018 are Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Muslim, and Karaite.
A member of a religious community in Crimea told Forum 18 that “it is a question not just of fines, if you don't pay the fines are doubled, then if you still don't pay, they impose compulsory labor”, he added.
All the administrative cases in Crimea in 2018, were brought under the amendments to the Religion Law that President Putin signed in July 2016, which were immediately imposed in Crimea. The law redefined “missionary activity” as any religious act done outside church premises. Any missionary or national believer must secure a government permit through a registered religious organization.
Since the March 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, local religious communities have to re-register under Russian law. Many were forced to restructure themselves to meet Russian requirements. Religious communities, libraries, and individuals repeatedly face raids and punishment.
- That the Christians in Crimea will be given the wisdom to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” and not allow themselves to get entangled in the surrounding political issues or be distracted by them;
- That the situation facing them will drive them to deepen their devotion to the Lord and their commitment to each other despite their differing political viewpoints;
- That they will experience the power of the Spirit of God among them enabling them to be effective in their testimony and their witness to their non-Christian neighbors.
The Gospel in East Ukraine’s prisons
AUTHOR: EVANGELICAL FOCUS | 01 FEBRUARY 2019
Many are coming to Christ in some of the toughest prisons in this troubled part of the country.
According to the global News Alliance, despite high crime rates in the ongoing conflicts with Russian separatists, something remarkable is happening in the prisons. Thanks to the ministry of former gang leader turned pastor, Soge Kosmenco; many are turning to Christ. He himself had served a two-year sentence for attacking a police officer.
“I totally understand it is my calling from God to help prisoners. I can meet in prison some guys that I saw some years before. They were released and then they forgot about God… and then they became prisoners again, again, and again. I think that when someone is punished it’s a new chance for him to repent.”
As well as preaching in prison, Kosmenco has established a rehabilitation and discipleship home to help these new converts adapt to life after they have served their sentence. After several years Kosmenco has helped at least 100 ex-offenders with an extremely high success rate where most have gone on to live productive lives away from crime. One of those going through the programme is former addict Alexander …. . According to him, “It was a great pleasure for me to help because when you are released from prison you have a lot of temptations and to stand against them and then to change your life step by step; that’s why it’s so important … and it helped me a lot to live a better life.”
It is hoped that this new army of believers will help to stem the crime and conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Described as ‘a notorious Ukraine prison’, the Lukiyanivska detention center in Kyiv is Ukraine’s oldest functioning prison and is infamous for its terrible conditions, with detainees enduring cold, crowding and crumbling walls. Detainees awaiting trial live surrounded by moldy walls and windows without glass.
“We lie fully dressed with our hats on,” one detainee said. “The average temperature here is 10 degrees.”
The plumbing in the prison was installed in the 1960s and has not been renovated since. There are frequent breakdowns in the water and sewage systems. Some inmates in pre-trial detention spend several years here, awaiting the conclusion of investigations and trials.
The Ministry of Justice officials say they are aware of the situation but lack funds to improve the facility. (https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-detention-center/29067856.html).
- That the Lord will continue to move graciously in the Ukraine prisons to deliver and save more inmates;
- For the provision of funds and resources for the rehabilitation and discipleship homes that are set up for the ongoing care and nurturing of converted inmates upon their release. from prison;
- That the Lord will raise up send forth more workers and ministers into the prisons.
Israel, the Middle East, and Africa
The largest pro-Israel group in the United States is Christian, not Jewish, and it may now outnumber the entire U.S. Jewish population. This is significant since some believe that the key to the survival of Israel and the Jews lies in Christian hands.
Just before its Bar Mitzvah 13th year anniversary next month, Christians United For Israel (CUFI) has achieved an astounding milestone. Not only is CUFI the largest pro-Israel group in the U.S., dwarfing all the Zionist Jewish groups combined, but there are now arguably more Christians supporting Israel via CUFI than there are Jews in the U.S.
Pastor John Hagee revived CUFI in February 2006 in San Antonio. Touting itself as a grassroots organization, CUFI brings together Christians from a wide range of denominations and thousands of churches for one unified cause: supporting the state of Israel. In November, they announced their membership reached 4.5 million, and it is now at 5.4 million. (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News, January 31, 2019)
CAPITOL HILL — The U.S. Senate is nearing a vote to facilitate penalties against American companies that boycott Israel, a measure that divides Democrats and is cast by some Republicans as a litmus test of bedrock support for the Jewish state. The chamber this week advanced the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act, which is expected to pass next week. Republicans are united in support, while more than 20 Democrats reject the anti-boycott measure in a bill that also provides military assistance for Israel, extends defense cooperation with Jordan and imposes new sanctions against the Syrian government.
The legislation would allow U.S. states and cities to decline to do business with American companies that take part in a campaign to boycott and divest from Israel to pressure the Jewish state to alter its policies about Palestinians and Israeli settlements. (Michael Bowman, VOA News, January 31, 2019)
- Thank the Lord that Christians United for Israel now has 5.4 million members.
- Pray for the US Senate to pass the legislative measure that penalizes companies for boycotting or refusing to do business with Israel.
- Pray for the continued success and protection of Operation Exodus—a Christian ministry helping Jews to relocate to Israel. Also, pray for Operation Exodus to have a greater profile worldwide.
- Pray that more churches and ministries would support Operation Exodus.
- Pray for the strengthening and growth of the Church in Israel.
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said Thursday it took down hundreds of "inauthentic" accounts from Iran that were part of a vast manipulation campaign operating in more than 20 countries. The world's biggest social network said it removed 783 pages, groups and accounts "for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior tied to Iran."
The pages were part of a campaign to promote Iranian interests in various countries by creating fake identities as residents of those nations, according to a statement by Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy at Facebook. (Agence France-Presse, VOA News, January 31, 2019)
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Iran arrested more than 7,000 people last year, including dozens of journalists, in what Amnesty International on Thursday called a "shameless campaign of repression" as the U.S. released an American anchorwoman for Iranian state television held for days as a material witness.
The Amnesty report said that among those arrested in 2018 were protesters, students, journalists, environmental activists, workers, and human rights defenders. Some 50 detainees were media workers, of whom at least 20 "were sentenced to harsh prison or flogging sentences after unfair trials," the report said.
"2018 will go down in history as a 'year of shame' for Iran," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director. (Associated Press, January 24, 2019)
Two Iranian Christians at their final appeal hearing were ordered by a court to renounce their Christian faith to gain their freedom but they refused to do so. Christian Solidarity Worldwide said the hearing took place on Tuesday in Tehran, where Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri were ordered by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to turn away from their religion.
The believers, who refused to comply, have been convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” and are waiting to hear their final verdict. In September, Fadaie was sentenced to 18 months in prison, along with two years of internal exile, while Bakhteri was sentenced to one year in prison. The Christians were arrested and convicted for discussing Christian doctrine in a house church, which was deemed to be an attack on Islam, the dominant religion in Iran. (Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter, January 19, 2019)
- Thank God Facebook has removed hundreds of inauthentic Iranian accounts that were created as a part of a vast manipulation campaign to promote Iranian interests.
- Pray for the release of dozens of journalists, environmental activists, workers, and human rights defenders who have been unjustly arrested.
- Thank God that Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri refused to deny their faith even though Iranian judges ordered them to do so.
- Pray for the release of the Christians being held in Iranian prisons because of their faith in Christ. Also, pray that the imprisoned Christians would not deny their faith in Christ.
- Pray for the strengthening and growth of the Church in Iran.
The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
GENEVA — Six months after the outbreak of Ebola was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, the World Health Organization is expressing cautious optimism that it is making headway in controlling the spread of the deadly virus. Latest figures reported by the WHO show 752 cases of Ebola, including 465 deaths.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, says progress in containing the spread of the virus is due to a number of public health measures, including the training of health workers on infection prevention and control, closer engagement with communities, case investigation, and contact tracing. She says the use of a vaccine and promising new drugs have been a boon to these efforts. (Lisa Schlein, VOA News, February 01, 2019)
KINSHASA — At least 15 mass graves have been found in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo in the wake of three days of ethnic bloodshed in December, a spokeswoman for the U.N.'s MONUSCO mission in Congo said Tuesday.
Earlier in January, the United Nations estimated that at least 890 people were killed as a result of the violence, some of the worst in the area for years which highlighted the precarious state of inter-ethnic relations even in the Central African country's more peaceful regions.
A MONUSCO special mission looking into the circumstances of the fighting found at least 11 mass graves and 43 individual graves around the town of Yumbi and at least four communal graves containing at least 170 bodies in nearby Bongende, spokeswoman Florence Marchal said. (Reuters, January 29, 2019)
- Pray that those responsible for the murders of innocent people and placing their bodies in mass graves would be brought to justice.
- Pray for the Spirit of God to surround the new president with wisdom and godly counsel, to reconcile the country, and bring peace and healing to suffering citizens
- Pray for protection of the health providers who are working in dangerous areas managing the Ebola menace.
- Pray for revival and growth of the Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tanzanian authorities say that 10 children who were kidnapped in December were found dead and were killed for their body parts. The children’s ears, teeth and “private parts” were removed, and some were missing limbs, according to published reports that cited the authorities. They were 2 to 9 years old. Authorities in Tanzania have indicated that there may be more children missing. A relative of three of the children has been arrested.
Authorities are said to suspect that witchcraft motivated the horrors that were inflicted upon the children. Some witch doctors in the area where the children were killed claim that by obtaining some body parts, people can attract money and good fortune. The children went missing while their parents sold food at a market, the BBC said.
"This is all about superstitious beliefs and many believe they will get help from witchcraft," Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri said. "These murders are linked to witchcraft practices because that is the trend for such crimes, where herbalists ask people to get these human parts for money rituals," he said. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has described the body parts market as one that fetches from $2,000 for a limb to $75,000 for a corpse.
Authorities said the murder and mutilation of the 10 children were not related to the killings of albinos in the country. (Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News, January 29, 2019).
- Pray that those responsible for the kidnapping and murders of the 10 or more children would be brought to justice.
- Pray for the stronghold of witchcraft to be pulled down and demolished in Tanzania. Also, pray for the salvation of some of the witch doctors involved in the mutilation of children.
- Pray for the Church to lay hold of and demonstrate the supernatural power of God so that people would seek God for help and not witch doctors.
Prayer for Movement Day Global Cities, the Persecuted Church and Other Critical Concerns of Asia
Scripture - Psalms 29: 1 - 11
Movement Day Expressions
- Pray that God would anoint the emerging leaders that were in attendance during the 100 Cities Summit
- Pray for financial provision as leaders are planning their 2019/2020 Movement Day expressions. We have a total of 26 expressions on the calendar for 2019!
- Ask God to nourish every newly cultivated and reestablished relationship fostered during the week of the 100 Cities Summit.
- Pray for our Global Hub Leaders, as they cultivate relationships within their respective regions to advance unity within the body of Christ
- Pray that God would strengthen the Movement Day expressions team as we plan for Movement Day Global Cities 2020.
The Global Persecution of Christians
Open Doors Lists Top 10 Persecutors of Christians Worldwide
Over 215 million believers are persecuted with intimidation, prison, and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ across the world, Open Doors USA says in a report, listing the top 10 persecutors of Christians.
Half of the top 10 human rights offenders toward Christians are Islamist terror groups, including the Islamic State terror group, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. The brutal and targeted attacks from ISIS have driven many Christians to flee countries like Iraq, where Christianity has had a presence for nearly 2,000 years, the report says. "Ten years ago, there were nearly 1 million Christians living in Iraq, with a large majority of the population living in Mosul. Today, ISIS has been driven out of Iraq and Syria for the most part, but now they are spreading to Southeast Asia. Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi is the current leader of ISIS in western Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan," it notes. While Islamic State was listed as No. 1, the list is not comprehensive or in particular order, the ministry notes.
The second persecutor of Christians listed is the al-Qaeda terror group,
The far-right Hindu nationalist movement" seeks to wipe out any religious expression, including Christianity, that falls outside of the Hindu faith, the report says. It mentions the Hindu nationalist association Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, which "has created a culture war and made it very dangerous and difficult for many Christians living in the region who are often forced out of villages, beaten and arrested for believing in Jesus." The governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in India is seen as the political wing of the RSS.
Fifth on the list is the al-Shabaab terror group, which is "in many ways the Eastern African version of al-Qaeda." "Al-Shabaab has terrorized the country of Somalia for the past decade and is recently focusing its attacks on the neighboring country of Kenya. In 2015, a Kenya college campus faced an attack where Christian students were specifically targeted, killing 148 in total. Any place al-Shabaab controls operate under Sharia law, which includes the slaughtering of anyone who identifies as Christian."
Another top persecutor is the Boko Haram terror group in Nigeria, "whose belief is that any sort of Western influence is heresy, especially Christianity." "Boko Haram has conducted raids, bombings, and assassinations against any target it deems Western, especially churches and schools. They have taken out contracts on influential Christian leaders and are also at war with the Nigerian government," says the ministry.
Next on the list are Muslim Fulani herdsmen in northeastern Nigeria, who have been accused of aligning with Boko Haram.
The 2017 Global Terrorism Index described the herdsmen, who attack Christians regularly in southern Adamawa, as terrorists in 2014. According to the index, the Fulani are responsible for as many as 60,000 deaths since 2001. Nigerian Christian leaders have warned that if the current rate of massacres continues, with hundreds of believers being killed each month, Africa's most populous nation is on the brink of decimating its Christian population by 2043.
Open Doors further identified as a top persecutor radical Islam, which continues to spread, "aiming to bring many parts of the world under Sharia Law." "The movement, which often results in Islamic militancy and persecution of Christians," is expanding in Asia, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and in African countries like Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia.
Also making a list are drug cartels in Colombia and Mexico. "On top of the danger that these groups bring to ordinary citizens, Christians are specifically targeted," the report says. "A soul won for Jesus is a soul lost for them," it quotes a pastor from Colombia as saying. "They know that too." "For this reason, Christian evangelists are particularly targeted. Drug cartel leaders know that they are the greatest threat to their way of life."
Rounding out the top 10 on the Open Doors list is "the ultimate enemy," or Satan. "It's easy to read this list and feel hopeless in the face of so much evil. However, in Ephesians 6 we're told our war isn't a physical war, it's a spiritual one. Behind all of the atrocities listed above is Satan, who prowls this world like a roaring lion," the ministry explains. "We are also told that God's kingdom is forcefully advancing and that in the end, Satan is overthrown and all things are made new."
Open Doors said it published the list because "Jesus commanded us, directly, to pray for our enemies." "Pray that God would stop their actions, change their hearts and shine the brilliant light of the gospel onto their path." (Source: Christian Post - June 2018)
- For the over 200 million Christians worldwide suffering persecution with intimidation, prison, and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ across the world to experience the blessings of the Kingdom promised by Christ to those who suffer persecution for righteousness;
- For the leaders of ISIS, al-Qaeda terror group, Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations involved in the wide-scale persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
- Pray that God would stop their actions, change their hearts and shine the brilliant light of the gospel onto their path."
Pakistan extremists vow to murder Christian woman Asia Bibi despite acquittal over 'insulting Islam'
Extremists are vowing to take matters into their own hands and execute Asia Bibi for 'insulting Islam', despite a ruling by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday rejecting a challenge against its decision to acquit her. Hours before the ruling, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which led violent protests demanding Bibi's execution after her acquittal, called for its members to be ready for action in a message sent to journalists.
"She deserves to be murdered according to Shariah," Hafiz Ehtisham Ahmed, an Islamist activist linked to the extremist Red Mosque in Islamabad, told AFP.
The new ruling lifts the last legal hurdle in the years-long blasphemy case and potentially paves the way for the Christian mother to leave the country to safety, her defense team and activists hope. The ruling ignited immediate calls from activists to allow Bibi to leave Pakistan, where she remains a prime target of extremists. The government is refusing to reveal her whereabouts as Islamist militants call for her murder.
Speculation is rampant that she will seek asylum in a European or North American country, and unconfirmed Pakistani reports claim her children have already fled to Canada. Moments after the ruling was announced, Bibi's lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook hinted that his client's move could be imminent. But extremists vow Bibi will not be safe even if she leaves the country.
Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 in what swiftly became Pakistan's most infamous blasphemy case. (Source: The New Arab, January 29, 2019)
- For the continued safety and protection of Asia Bibi and her family in Pakistan as they await an Asylum offer from another country.
- For a quick offer of Asylum to the Bibi family from one of the various nations from which Asylum is being been sought.
- For God, by His sovereign grace to open the door for the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, to be proclaimed throughout Pakistan.
Philippine troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf gunmen in fierce jungle fighting that left five soldiers and three militants dead, as the military pushed forward with a fresh offensive following a deadly church bombing last weekend.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government forces to destroy the Abu Sayyaf after the bombing last Sunday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in the Sulu provincial capital of Jolo that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100. The attack has renewed terrorism fears across the Philippines, where the national police went on full alert and security has been strengthened in churches, shopping malls, and other public areas. The militants were led by Abu Sayyaf commander Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who is suspected of helping plot the bombing. The Abu Sayyaf, which has about 300 to 400 armed fighters, has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization because of years of bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation. (Source: VOA News, January 27, 2019)
- For the Government of the Phillippines to succeed in its efforts to eradicate the entire Abu Sayyaf terrorist network in the Philippines.
- Pray for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral and for the families of the 22 people that were killed in the terrorist bombing there. Pray also for the speedy recovery of the over 100 persons that were injured in the bombing.
- Pray for the continued growth of the church across the Philippines.
China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years
Officially, the People's Republic of China is an atheist country, but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seems to have supplied. Christian congregations, in particular, had skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976 signaled the end of the Cultural Revolution. Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world's number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.
China's Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre's Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline. By 2030, China's total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil, and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted. (Source: The Telegraph, February 2019).
- Praise God for the tremendous growth of the Church across China, despite ongoing persecution and the various attempts of the Communist Government to stifle the growth of the church.
- Pray against all the various efforts of the Chinese Government to restrict the growth of house churches across China, including demolition of church buildings, removal of crosses and banning free access to Bibles.
- For the growth of the church across China to facilitate the expansion of Christianity across Asia.