Monthly Prayer Agenda
August 2018 Prayer Agenda
Welcome to the August 2018 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.
North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe
Scripture Reading: Ps 145: 1 – 11.
Prayer for Revival in the United States of America
Prayer For Pastors Across America
If the church in America is to experience revival to bring spiritual healing and transformation to the nation, that revival must begin first among pastors, the leaders of God’s house. Over the next couple of months, we will focus our prayers on pastors across America.
Top 2 Causes for Pastors Leaving Ministry and More Statistics
More than 70% of pastors do not have a close friend with whom they can openly share their struggles. The dominant cause for pastors to leave the pastoral ministry is burnout. Number two is a moral failure. These are alarming statistics. And there are many more:
- 80% of pastors believe the pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families (Life Enrichment Ministries – 1998)
- Only 50% of pastors felt that the education they received adequately prepared them for ministry. Most pastors rely on books and conferences as their primary source of continuing education. (George Barna – 2002)
- 25% of all pastors don’t know where to go for help if they have a personal or family conflict or concern. 33% have no established means for resolving the conflict. (George Barna – 2002)
- 40% have no opportunity for outside renewal like a family vacation or continuing education. There is a very clear relationship between the amount of time a pastor takes for personal renewal and his satisfaction in his job. (George Barna – 2002)
- 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)
- 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 those institutions and agencies that provide all types of spiritual support to pastors, including seminaries, denominations and the local church to do a more effective job of training, mentoring and caring for the spiritual, emotional, social and family needs of the pastors they serve.
Prayer for the Government, Upcoming Mid-term Elections, and Appointment of New US Supreme Court Justice
1 Timothy 2: 1 -6
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, four who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, six who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
As we pray for the US Government, the upcoming Mid-term elections and the new Supreme Court Appointment, let us do so with Paul’s instructions in 1 Tim. 2: 1- 6
- For President Donald Trump and his Cabinet, All Members Congress, the Judiciary, State Governors and other State Legislators and Mayors, across America for wisdom to govern the nation in equity and fear of God. Pray also that God’s divine intervention in the affairs of the nation’s Government will result in the healing of our deeply divided nation, and in the advancement of the moral, social and economic well being of the nation for general the benefit of all Americans and the advancement of His kingdom locally and internationally.
- For all candidates seeking offices in the upcoming mid-term elections and also for God’s will to be done in the appointment of persons to these offices, who are honest, God-fearing and committed to serving the nation in pursuit of justice and equity for all regardless of their political allegiances.
- For, God’s will to be done in the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice, a person that not only knows the law and can apply it but one who will do so in fear of God and through the admonition of the Word of God.
Prayer for Children Across America
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: National Resource Center on Children & Families of the Incarcerated. (2014)
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OF THE INCARCERATED FACT SHEET
The growing number of children with an incarcerated parent represents one of the most significant collateral consequences of the record prison population in the U.S.1 Children with Parents in Prison Demographics ·
- More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. That is 1 in 28 children.2 · Approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives.3 · One in 9 African American children (11.4%), 1 in 28 Hispanic children (3.5%), and 1 in 57 white children (1.8%) in the United States have an incarcerated parent.4 · Approximately half of the children with incarcerated parents are under ten years old
While many of the risk factors children of incarcerated parents experience may be related to parental substance abuse, mental health, inadequate education, or other challenges, parental incarceration increases the risk of children living in poverty or experiencing household instability independent of these other problems. 6 · A misperception exists that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to be incarcerated than their peers, and are predisposed to criminal activity. There is no basis for this in existing research. 7 · Parental incarceration is now recognized as an “adverse childhood experience” (ACE); it is distinguished from other adverse childhood experiences by the unique combination of trauma, shame, and stigma.
About 15 -20% of children entering the child welfare system have an incarcerated parent
(More recent statistic.) More than 5 million children, or one in 14, in the U.S., have had a parent in state or federal prison at some point in their lives, according to the Casey Foundation. (DATELINE ARTICLEMay 24, 2016 By Teresa Wiltz)
- Pray that children with a parent in prison will have good, loving care – either by a family member or foster family. Pray that all caregivers will know or come to know Jesus and provide a solid spiritual base for the children. Pray that God will give caregivers strength, wisdom and great grace and patience.
- Pray that these children will have good friends at school who will not shame them or make fun of them. Pray that schoolmates will have compassion for their situation.
- Pray for the fathers and mothers in the U.S Prison System, their guards, Wardens and their attorneys.
- Pray for Christian Prison Chaplains and other Christian prison ministries
South America and The Caribbean
Nicaragua crackdown targets Catholic Church
After seeing protesters take over entire cities and block main roads, forces loyal to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega have cracked down. They have broken through street barricades with overwhelming firepower and retaken most of the lost territory. But they have also gone far beyond that. They have attacked at least ten churches and personally assaulted priests—even Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes himself.
When the protests against a tax increase first broke out in April, Ortega sought out the Catholic Church as a mediator. The Church worked out a deal for protecting hundreds of youth who had escaped Ortega's police and paramilitary forces. But when the Church began to denounce the escalating violence of those forces, Ortega turned against it. No longer could protesters find refuge in the Church. On the contrary, many priests themselves are seeking refuge. Now, according to Bishop Rolando Alvarez, “I dare say that all priests, or practically all, fear for their lives.”
Assaults on the Catholic Church have intensified this month. On July 9, a mob attacked Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, other prelates, and the Vatican's diplomatic envoy. They were trying to rescue people taking refuge in a church in Diriamba. On July 13, paramilitaries mounted a 15-hour siege against the Church of Divine Mercy in Managua. In a hail of bullets, two protesters were killed, and ten were wounded. Three bullets pierced a life-sized painting of Christ. Two days later, a mob of Ortega supporters shot six explosives at Bishop Abelardo Mata's car at a road checkpoint. Though police merely looked on, Mata managed to escape.
Death threats against Mata and others escalated after Ortega spoke publicly on July 19. Ortega was celebrating the 39th anniversary of the victory which he had led over former dictator Anastasio Somoza. Ortega accused Catholic bishops of supporting opponents who sought a violent coup. “The opposition is in league with Satan,” he railed, “and the bishops should exercise them.”
Citing Ortega's of term limits and his use of state institutions to destroy political opposition, many human rights groups say that Ortega is turning into a dictator himself.
Background source: Church Becomes Target in Nicaragua Crisis.
PRAY WITH US FOR GOD TO:
- Show the atheist Nicaraguan president that You are God. Make his war against the Catholic Church to cease. Also, raise up prayer in that church for God to arise and Your enemies to be scattered.
- Demonstrate Your power to protect Your chosen representatives of Your kingdom, as You did with Nebuchadnezzar. Lead Ortega to recognize and extend the favor to them, and to all who are called by Your name. Let their voices for Your peace and Your government to prevail.
- Raise up Your choices to lead Nicaragua in the future. Arrange a peaceful transition of power in Your timing. And establish those authorities for Your good purposes for Nicaragua.
Revival across Europe
- A second Brexit referendum is back in play
The parliamentary deadlock means it may be necessary to go back to the people
THE ECONOMIST | July 19, 2018 [adapted]
SINCE the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, the more optimistic among those on the losing side have been lobbying for a rematch. Some argue for a re-run on the basis that Brexiteers lied during the campaign and broke election law (on July 17th the Electoral Commission fined the official Vote Leave campaign £61,000, or $80,000, for deliberately exceeding spending limits). Others say the public deserves a chance to vote on the final deal, which will bear little resemblance to the glittering one they were promised.
But the idea of revisiting the referendum is back in play. By law, Theresa May’s government cannot sign a Brexit deal without MPs’ approval. And in the past couple of weeks, it has begun to look as if Parliament will reject any deal. It is hard to imagine MPs agreeing to the unappealing deal that Mrs. May is likely to bring back from Brussels later this year. And if they don’t, Britain could crash out of the EU on March 29th with no deal at all.
Many in Westminster, therefore, wonder if the only way to break the deadlock may be to send the matter back to the people. One way would be with yet another election.
Such a referendum would introduce dangers that might make Remainers think twice. One is that the EU would have less incentive to offer a good deal if a referendum was on the cards—indeed, it might have an incentive to offer a bad one, in the hope that Britain would, therefore, choose to remain, as most Eurocrats would prefer.
As the Brussels talks enter their closing phase, Remainers may be excited by the faint prospect of annulling Brexit. Yet the price of this is a corresponding rise in the probability of crashing out of the EU with no agreement. Mrs. May has foolishly spent the past two years repeating the bluff, aimed at Brussels, that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. There is a terrible risk that the British public takes her at her word.
- Pray for the senior members of the UK government as they meet together, that in His mercy He would bring harmony and a common sense of purpose.
- That in the wider negotiations with the European Union, a structure that is beneficial to both the UK and the EU will be agreed upon that will enable crucial trading and cooperative relationships.
- That God will enable the Christian community to bear witness to the name of Jesus Christ by providing support to the oppressed and the needy, and stability to the entire society in the face of the divisions that the referendum has exposed.
- Christians in Rafina work with authorities after the “big disaster”
“A lot of people are blaming the State, blaming God”, says a Christian in the region. “Please pray for the country”.
AUTHOR Joel Forster | Evangelical Focus | ATHENS 27 JULY 2018 [Adapted]
People are still missing after the wildfires in the municipality of Rafina and Mati (Greece). At least 85 people have died, hundreds are injured and thousands lost their homes. “It’s a big disaster”, Nico Spies, a Christian in Athens, told Evangelical Focus. “A lot of people are blaming the State, blaming God, and blaming others”. Christians, as everyone else, “sometimes get emotionally involved, but we try to stay calm”, he explained. Some people are still missing, some of them are thought to have drowned in the sea. Families are taking DNA tests to officially identify some of the burnt bodies. The presence of thieves who try to loot the remains of the burnt houses is a worry for the authorities.
The city of Rafina is collecting food supplies to help those who have been resettled and are in the hospitals. Evangelical churches have offered their infrastructures, such as a warehouse, to support the distribution of aid. An evangelical community in the region is “waiting for an official answer from the city of Rafina on how to work hand in hand with the city”, Spies said.
CAUSES The government said the simultaneous fires were caused intentionally by arsonists. The high temperatures and the wind blowing at 100km/h only helped to expand the flames. But it also has been known that some citizens did not listen to alerts of the police calling them to leave the zone when the fires started. Ambulances and fire extinguishers were blocked from accessing difficult zones by other cars, and time was lost with calls from people who lied about the gravity of the fires in other regions. In addition, there was a lack of efficient water houses in the whole Attica region. “Please pray for us, for our country, for the workers, and be connected”, Spies said.
- That God will comfort and strengthen His people in Greece, especially those who have lost loved ones and possessions in the wildfires and enable them to be instruments of comfort and hope to others also affected by the disaster.
- That God will enable the authorities to restrain the thieves who have been trying to loot the remains of the burnt houses.
- That the good works of the evangelical community will be a powerful witness to the non-Christians resulting in more people in Greece taking God seriously and putting their trust in Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation.
- “Even drugs and violence become something positive in the world of Pride”
AUTHOR Joel Forster | Evangelical Focus | STOCKHOLM, 26 JULY 2018 [Adapted]
A think tank analyzed the programme of last year’s Swedish LGBT festival and found an alarming collision with public health policies. Per Ewert of the Clapham Institutet says the findings show the ‘colourful darkness’ of the movement.
For ten days, the big LGBT “EuroPride 2018” festival will fill the streets of Stockholm (Sweden) with rainbow flags and all kind of public activities. Between 27 July and 5 August, tens of thousands from across the continent will gather under the slogan: “For a United Europe, open to the world”. But what values are behind the LGBT movement? The Swedish think tank Clapham Institutet looked into the details of the Stockholm Pride by “performing a study of their online programme in 2017”. The 38-page report (in Swedish, read abstract in English here) has been published and shared with the media under the title ‘The Colourful Darkness’.
The findings show that violence and the consumption of drugs were openly promoted during Pride, a reality that “works against the goals of public health” of the government, explains Per Ewert, Director of Clapham Institutet. During Pride 2017, prostitution was presented in a positive light, clearly colliding with the country’s efforts to put an end to the sexual exploitation of women through anti-sex trafficking legislation (then known as ‘Nordic Model’). The authors hope the report will help to draw a real image of a movement that has received much praise in the last years: “No sponsor, opinion maker or politician can say that they didn’t know”, Ewert says.
- That the eyes of the people in Sweden will be opened to see and acknowledge the prostitution, drug use and other destructive elements in the Pride festival as represented by the rainbow flag
- That those who uncritically support the movement will withdraw their support and instead, redistribute this support to organizations promoting dignity and public health.
- The Pride movement and all it stands for will be brought down to the dust and that, in contrast, the name of Jesus Christ will be exalted and held in high esteem
Israel, the Middle East, and Africa
Psalm 98:1-9 (3 Min) 9:22 – 9:25
Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Israeli strikes killed three Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after a soldier was wounded by gunfire in a fresh flare-up of violence despite a United Nations-brokered ceasefire deal. The Israeli army said the strikes targeting Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas were in retaliation for the shots fired at its soldiers along the border earlier Wednesday. One soldier was moderately wounded and taken to a hospital, the army said.
The latest bloodshed comes five days after the UN and Egypt brokered a deal to halt a surge in violence that once again raised the specter of a new round of conflict between Hamas and Israel. (AFP, July 25, 2018)
JERUSALEM — Israel launched its newest air defense system on Monday on the Syrian frontier, where Damascus's Russian-backed forces have been routing rebels, as Moscow sent envoys for what it called "urgent" talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu planned to meet Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and its armed forces chief, General Valery Gerasimov, later in the day, a visit the Israeli leader said was arranged last week at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a sign of high tensions, Israel launched two David's Sling interceptor missiles at rockets which the Israeli military later said fell inside Syrian territory and was part of the internal fighting there. It was Israel's first published operational use of the mid-range missiles, which are jointly manufactured by U.S. firm Raytheon Co. The incident triggered sirens in northern Israel and on the Golan. (Reuters, July 23, 2018)
Israel evacuated 422 volunteer White Helmet rescuers and their families from the Syrian war zone Saturday night and took them to Jordan in a convoy of buses accompanied by Israeli police and United Nations vehicles. The Israeli Defense Force, identifying the rescue workers as civilians, said on Twitter they were “evacuated from the war zone in southern Syria due to an immediate threat to their lives. The transfer of the displaced Syrians through Israel is an exceptional humanitarian gesture.”
The Syria Civil Defense, or White Helmets as they are known, was founded in 2013 as a network of first responders to rescue wounded people in the aftermath of airstrikes and other attacks during Syria's seven-year conflict between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and insurgents trying to overthrow his government. The IDF said the evacuation, the first of its kind, was done at the request of the United States, Canada, and European countries. (Ken Bredemeier, VOA News, July 23, 2018)
- Thank God that Israel was able to safely evacuate 422 volunteer White Helmet rescuers and their families from the Syrian war zone.
- Thank God that the USA government continues to show public support for Israel
- Pray for the protection, peace, and prosperity of Israel. Pray for God to expose and frustrate the plans that Israel’s enemies have against them.
- Pray for missionaries to effectively reach Israel with the gospel.
WASHINGTON — Israeli officials speaking to a U.S. conference of pro-Israel Christian activists have vowed to keep pressuring Iran to stop perceived human rights abuses and to withdraw military forces from Syria. The tough stances of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, drew cheers and applause from the thousands of evangelical Christians attending Monday’s gathering in Washington.
Netanyahu said Christians have been “brutally” persecuted in Iran. Christians are a recognized religious minority under Iran’s Islamist constitution. But, the U.S. State Department’s latest report on International Religious Freedom said Iran has restricted various Christian practices and sentenced several Christian converts to 10 years in prison for their religious activities.
“Let me say clearly: Israel stands in complete solidarity with persecuted Christians in Iran,” Netanyahu said. “And I ask: Why are so many people silent as Christians are jailed … in Iran? Well, I can say this: We in Israel will not be silent, and I will continue to raise the plight of the long-suffering Iranian people – Christians, Baha’is, students, and journalists.” (Michael Lipin, VOA News, July 24, 2018)
Iranian security forces raided the home of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani on Sunday, where they beat him in front of his family and tasered one of his son's, according to a human rights group.
Nadarkhani, a convert from Islam to Christianity, was also told that his 10-year prison sentence will be at the notorious Evin Prison. Iran Human Rights Monitor reported that the attack was carried out on Sunday when the pastor's home was raided and he was taken to the Branch 2 of the Revolutionary court of Rasht, northern Iran.
"Plain cloth agents went to Mr. Nadarkhani's home and attempted to break down the door to enter the home. When Nadarkhani's son opened the door, the state forces threw him to the ground using an electric shocker. Then they beat Mr. Nadarkhani with an electric shocker and arrested him before his wife and child," said a source close to Nadarkhani's family, who wasn't named.
The raid, which was also reported on by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, was instigated even though no official summons had been issued, according to the source. (Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter, Jul 24, 2018)
- Thank God that Israel has taken a public stance against the persecution of Christians in Iran. Pray for the international community to take a similar stance against the persecution of Christians in Iran.
- Pray for the release of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani from prison. Also, pray that the 10-year prison sentence would be overturned. He was sentenced because of his Christian faith.
- Pray for the release of Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith in Iran.
- Thank God for the growth of the underground Church in Iran. Continue to pray for the protection and effectiveness of the Iranian Church and missionaries in reaching people with the gospel in Iran.
N'DJAMENA — Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 18 farmers and kidnapped nine women in western Chad, authorities said, part of a wave of violence that has spread from neighboring Nigeria across the region. The attackers came into the village of Mayerom in Lake Chad region after dark on Thursday last week and slit the farmers' throats, governor Mahamat Abali Saleh told Reuters.
The fighters took nine women, but one had since escaped, he said. "The farmers went beyond the area marked by security services while searching for new land to farm. This is why they were attacked," he added.
Boko Haram has been fighting for at least nine years to carve an Islamist caliphate out of northeast Nigeria and carried out raids across the border into Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. (Reuters, July 23, 2018)
- Pray for the release of the eight women kidnapped in western Chad by Boko Haram.
- Pray that the Boko Haram terrorists responsible for the murders of 18 farmers would be brought to justice. Also, pray for the complete defeat of Boko Haram in Chad.
- Pray for the protection and growth of the Church in Chad.
At least 12 people were killed early Monday when al-Shabab militants carried out a raid on a Somali military base in the Lower Juba region. Officials told VOA Somali the attack targeted the Sanguni camp, located about 50 kilometers north of the port town of Kismayo.
Mukhtar Abdi Mohamed, a unit commander with Somali forces in Sanguni, says troops identified two car bombs and detonated them before the vehicles could reach the base. Mohamed said 80 to 100 militants attacked the base from the north, sparking a fierce firefight. Somali officials say four soldiers and at least eight militants were killed, including the drivers of the two vehicles.
"We had the information about the attack,” Mohamed said. “If we didn’t have prior information, we would not have been able to destroy the vehicles before they entered the camp,” he added. (Harun Maruf, VOA News, July 23, 2018)
At least 15 people were killed in central Somalia when villagers clashed with Al-Shabab militants trying to recruit their children as fighters. According to local sources, 10 militants and five villagers died in the fighting in Aad village, in the central Galmudug administration. A villager who requested anonymity told VOA's Somali Service that the militants met with local elders two days ago and sought help with the recruitment. "The fighting came after they demanded that we provide young children to fight alongside them," he said.
He said the villagers organized themselves and decided to resist, but Al-Shabab moved into the village and took control. "They are using power, they want to take kids, they want livestock, the fighting is not over," he said. (Harun Maruf, VOA News, July 04, 2018)
- Pray that the local elders and villagers will continue to oppose Al-Shabab militants trying to recruit their children as fighters. Also, pray that the Somali government will assist the villagers in resisting Al-Shabab.
- Pray for the complete
- Pray that the Al-Shabab militants involved in the attack against the Somali military base will be brought to justice.
- Pray for the protection and growth of the Church in Somalia. Also, pray for the salvation of key Al-Shabab leaders.
Movement Day Global Cities, the Persecuted Church and Other Critical Concerns of Asia
Psalms 47: 1 - 9
- For Ebony Small continues as she continues to have conversations with potential Movement Day Expression leaders. There are 45 interested cities!
- For financial provision as Movement Day Oslo leader, Joakim Magnus and his team are strategizing and handling logistics for this first time gathering. Joakim Magnus is a young leader, who has a true passion for youth. Along with spearheading this Movement Day gathering he also works with Youth with a Mission (YWAM)
- That God will continue to guide Adam Durso and the team planning Movement Day New York City, which is taking place on October 26, 2018 For Movement Day Africa leaders Hermann Loubser and Jurie Kriel as they plan all plenary logistics. This year they will be gathering 1500 leaders from 35 key African Cities that representing different
- spheres of society. For the vision to unite and empower Christian leaders across the African continent so that their cities are impacted through positive influence on urban issues such as; fatherlessness, education, poverty, and unemployment.
- For the Global Cities Leadership Community (GCLC), 20 leaders will be having their annual meeting in Nairobi August 26-27,2018. During this gathering, they will strategically plan for Movement Day Global Cities 2020. They are asking for God to pointedly lead them as they are planning.
- For Movement Day Expression survey that serves to measure the outcome/effectiveness of Movement Day’s impact on attendee leadership to receive high-level responses (at least 100!).
Prayer for Micah Global Triennial Consultation September 10 -14, 2018 in the Philippines
Overarching Theme: Integral Mission and Resilient Communities: addressing poverty, injustice, and conflict
- Day One: Resilience and God’s Mission: our starting point is to ensure all we are doing is drawn from our call from God to participate in His Mission
- Day Two: Resilience in the Pursuit of Justice: God’s mission is one of liberation, restoration, and reconciliation and we are called to demonstrate this and disciple our nations towards it What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God – Micah 6:8
- Day Three: Resilience in Compassion: in God’s story throughout the Bible we see Him, again and again, rescuing, restoring and healing
- Day Four: Resilience in Disaster Responses: building capacity of communities and responders to stand through the shocks that come through political, economic, environmental, social and spiritual instability · Day Five: Resilience in Partnership: the task requires a united effort, the call requires a united spirit and the desired impact requires solidarity.
(Adopted from http://micahgc2018.org/. IPMI is a member of Micah Global. For more about the organization visit their website)
- For the Lord to open hearts of sponsors to help those who would like to attend but cannot afford it, especially for those from the global south who struggle financially.
- For discernment to know what God wants us to speak about and discuss.
- For security and safety in the Philippines.
- For Micah young people: for as many as possible to be able to attend and for their voices to be heard.
- For the ongoing preparations for the event.
The Global Persecution of Christians
What Does the State Department's Potomac Declaration Say and Do?
WASHINGTON — The Trump State Department capped off its first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Thursday by issuing the historic Potomac Declaration proclaiming religious freedom a "God-given right" and launching accompanying initiatives designed to help facilitate that right worldwide.
As nearly 80 percent of the global population lives in areas with limitations to religious freedom, the declaration issued Thursday evening reassures that every person in every nation has the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. As well, every person has the right to hold any faith or lack thereof and has the freedom to convert to their faith.
The declaration is accompanied by an extensive "Plan of Action" that stresses many things, including the importance of governments preserving the "cultural heritage" of threatened religious minority groups and the need for states to repeal oppressive anti-blasphemy laws and other statutes that victimize religious minorities.
Top of Form
The documents were made public at the end of the ministerial, which was attended by delegations from over 80 nations and included six nations that have either been labeled by the State Department as "countries of particular concern" for religious freedom (Uzbekistan) or labeled as Tier 2 countries of concern by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Bahrain). (Source: Christian Post, July 27, 2018)
- Praise God for the Potomac Declaration which seeks to advance religious freedom around the world.
- That the Potomac Declaration will have a positive impact on the 80 nations, including nations in Asia and the Middle East with a high incidence of Christian persecution, that participated in the conference leading to meaningful improvement in religious freedom for religious minorities including Christians living in these nations.
- That the Potomac Declaration will result in the launching of other initiatives, providing relief for the millions of persecuted believers around the world in need of food, medicine, and finances to survive.
Hindu Radicals Destroy Only Church in Village in Attempt to Force Christians to Leave
“Hindu radicals in the village of Sangameshwar, located 80 miles north of Hyderabad in India, destroyed the only church building in the area earlier this month, which Christians say is a message telling to leave. Pastor Srinivas Sapa told persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern on Thursday: "All that the Hindu radicals want is for Sangameshwar to be a 'Christian-free' village." "Of all the 50 odd Christians who are native to Sangameshwar, most were born in the village and are now panicked over the situation," he added.
“The group of radicals destroyed the church on July 14, reducing the building of bricks, cement, and iron sheets to rubble. Sapa noted that Christians have been targeted in Sangameshwar in a variety of ways. Hardliners have warned others from buying anything from his grocery and medical store, seeking to cut off the pastor's means of supporting himself. The radicals have also used social media to call on others to beat the pastor”
"Though Christianity has existed for nearly 50 years in the village, there has been a growing strong opposition toward Christianity," he said. "The Hindu radicals want to see a 'Christian-free' village in Sangameshwar as part of their larger goal of establishing a Hindu India."
“Christian persecution across India has been on the rise in the last few years, with church members beaten and attacked for worshiping on a number of occasions. Also earlier this month, 35 Hindu radicals beat nearly 150 Christians gathered together for prayer in the Pratapgarh District of India's Uttar Pradesh State, which left 20 seriously injured.” (Source: The Christian Post, July 26, 2018)
- For God’s protection and provision for Pastor Srinivas Sapa and the 50 odd Christians of Sangameshwar, whose Church building was destroyed by Hindu radicals on July 14.
- For the continued growth of the Christian witness across India despite increasing persecution
- For the protection of Christians facing increased persecution from Hindu radicals, that are intent on cleansing the nation of both Islam and Christianity and employ violence to this end.
WHAT DOES PEACE BETWEEN THE KOREAS MEAN FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS?
IN RESPONSE, THREE QUESTIONS IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND:
- What does this mean for the 300,000 Christians who are forced to keep their faith a secret?
- What will the denuclearization and peace talks do to help expedite the release of over 50,000 Christians suffering in hard labor camps because they believe in Jesus?
- Will we see more intellectual and religious freedom in the North in response to these peace talks with the South—and later with the U.S.?
“It’s hard to answer these questions. … this could indeed signal a shift—even a subtle one—in North Korea’s hardline stance as a closed and militant country. And it’s possible that this is the beginning of answered prayers to relieve some of the pressure on persecuted believers in the North.”
“So what does peace between the Koreas mean for persecuted Christians? In short, nothing yet. But it should continually spur us on to remember the suffering Body of Christ in North Korea.”
(Sources: The Christian Post and Open Doors)
- For total intellectual and religious freedom of the over 300,000 North Korean Christians that hangs in the balance and the rapid growth of the church in North Korea.
- For the Lord to respond to the desperate cries of the persecuted Church in North Korea, including the approximately 50,000 fellow believers serving long, harsh prisons terms in concentration camps.
- For the ongoing US Government’s peace settlement negotiation with North Korea to result in the advancement of religious freedom in North Korea.
Global Religious Freedom Takes Its Biggest Hit in Over a Decade
“Pew puts China as the worst country for government obstructions. The rigidly atheist Communist regime banned theonline purchase of Bibles earlier this year, following efforts to raze churches andremove Christian symbols from home years prior. The Communist Party of China’s “control over religion is to be exerted not only through law but also by reconciling religious doctrine with the party’s socialist values,” wrote Brent Fulton in a 2016 analysis for CT.” (Source: Christianity Today, June 21 20128).
- Praise God for the survival, resilience and continued growth of the Christian community across China despite the various attempts by the Communist government to decimate the Christian faith in China.
- For all attempts by the Chinese Government to restrict the availability and distribution of the Bible in China to fail.
- For the continued growth of the church across China to facilitate the expansion of Christianity across Asia.