Summer vacations begin and we spend more time outdoors. As we celebrate God’s creation, let’s also remember those who don’t know the Creator. This month our list of nations is small but the different people groups that inhabit this part of the world is very large. They need to experience the love of God in their lives. Let us choose to be diligent in prayer and believe for a visitation to the nations of the Living God!
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Psalm 113:4
1-16 India: India is the spiritual home of Hinduism. Of the 820 million people in the world who follow Hinduism – 96% of them live in India. The whole of Indian society is based on Hinduism, which divides everyone into different ‘castes’ (classes). Hindu ways of thinking even effect parts of the church and faith of some Christians. India’s economy has grown quickly in the last ten years and India is now a nuclear power, but it is home to many of the world’s poorest people. Over 600 million people in India live in deep poverty and another 300 million don’t have enough to live on each day. Yet in the past 10 years poverty has been reduced by 10%.
There are 4 million orphans in India alone. Half the children and young people of India live in poverty and many more are malnourished. Millions of children work sweatshops or are sold into slavery to pay off their parents debts. There is also a growing trade in child prostitution, buying children from neighboring Nepal and Bangladesh.It is believed that ever since the arrival of Apostle Thomas, there have been Christians in India for two thousand years! There is still freedom for Indian Christians to tell people about Jesus, despite widespread persecution and intimidation. in some states. Through the persecution that Christians have suffered, the church has become more united. India has more people groups with no Christians or churches than any other part of the world. This is a challenge that the worldwide church has to respond to.
Pray for Christians in India who face continued persecution – that they have the strength to love and forgive the people who are persecute them.
An amazing 100,000 Indians find out about Jesus everyday through the Jesus film.
Pray that God would protect the teams of evangelists who are taking this film around the country
Hinduism is the world’s third largest religious system.
Pray that people searching for fulfillment and truth through Hinduism will find Jesus and get to know God, their creator.
The church in India is growing.
Pray that the church will develop models of discipleship and ways of worship that reflect their own culture.
The Indian missionaries face persecution and opposition. Some have been martyred in recent years because they have shared their faith, shown films about Jesus or tried to distribute Bibles.
Pray for the Indian missionaries working in India.
There are 41 million Indians without a home, many living in the slums of India’s largest cities.
Pray for those whose lives and health is at risk everyday.
There are at least 400 languages spoken in India. At the current rate of progress it could take 100 years to translate the Bible in all of India’s languages.
Pray that the translators would be equipped for this challenge and more people would step up to carry out the task.
10 million people in India are blind – a quarter of the world’s blind population.
Pray for ‘Torch Trust for the Blind’ who are producing the whole bible in Braille in 12 major Indian languages.
17-26 Indonesia: Indonesia is a string of 17,000 islands, which stretches between Thailand and the northern tip of Australia in the Indian Ocean. Indonesia is troubled by deep racial divides and the situation recently worsened in the north of Sumatra where the situation for Christians and Christian organisations has become precarious. there are 170 million Muslims compared to the 30 million Christian minority in Indonesia. Whilst there is a large Christian population, they are systematically and socially discriminated against. Many Christians are in jail under false or unlawful charges. Everyone must choose to follow one of five recognised religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christian (Protestant of Catholic). At least 30 % of Indonesia’s 1.5 million students are Christians.
Loads of people who used to believe in animism, worshipping and sacrificing to spirits, have become Christians. Over 50% of Chinese Indonesians now follow Jesus.
Throughout the ‘90s persecution against Christians united the church and gave birth to a growing passion for prayer.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. In some areas, like East Timor and Ambon, Christians have been attacked and killed by Islamic extremists. However, at least 65 million ‘Muslims’ do not strictly follow the religion
Pray that they would be able to hear about Jesus.
Indonesian Christians are committed to spreading the gospel across the whole of their nation.
Pray that God would resource their vision to see people hearing the gospel in every village on every island.
Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island is the largest unevangelized island in the world. More than 25 million people there have never heard about Jesus.
Pray for laborers for this vast harvest field.
The cities of Jakarta and Surabaya are key cities in reaching the rest of Indonesia. The capital of Jakarta has at least 1,000 churches and thousands of cell groups.
Pray that the lives of Christians in these cities will be able to spiritually impact their whole country.
Pray that churches and key Christian agencies will be able to provide solutions for post-tsunami issues and the widespread poverty.
27-29 Iran: Under the royal Shah, Iran did not have democracy but enjoyed other western freedoms and good living standards in the cities. The liberal monarchy was overthrown by a Shi’ite Muslim Revolution in 1979 which imposed Islamic fundamentalism and continued the strict political controls through the secret police. Unlike the Shah, the Islamic government tightened social control, restricting woman and religious freedom. There have been many human rights abuses. Iran’s Islamic regime has used trumped-up charges to jail, try and execute two other former Muslims for alleged “treason.” Since then, another four Protestant church leaders have been assassinated. Dozens more have fled the country to escape legal prosecution for apostasy or proselytizing.
Dozens of evangelical Christians have been arrested this past year in ongoing police crackdowns in major cities and northern Iran. Although most of these Christians were released after several weeks of harsh mistreatment and interrogation, they remain under threat and police surveillance.
There is a small but growing number of Christians who are from a Muslim background . The punishment and persecution for Muslims turning to Christianity is so severe that their faith must be kept secret, so it’s difficult to know exactly how many Christians there are. Thank God for all these people who have chosen to follow Jesus whatever the cost.
Parsees are people who follow an ancient Persian religion (the wise men who visited Jesus were Parsees!) There are communities of Parsees living across the Middle East and Asia and over 2 million live in Iran. None of them have been reached by the gospel.
Pray for opportunities for them to come to hear about Jesus and worship him – just like the wise men did!
The struggles Christians from a Muslim background face are huge. They are rejected and isolated from their families and forbidden from meeting with other Christians.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would be at work in their hearts and lives and that they would not be discouraged in the face of opposition.
Pray that the population will see through government propaganda and demand a return to social and religious freedom
30 Iraq: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says about 25,000 U.S. soldiers will be deployed to Iraq beginning in the fall, replacing troops scheduled to come home by the end of the year. Among the seven Army combat brigades and one division headquarters unit that would be sent to Iraq this year is the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Fort Wainwright, Alaska. The deployments announced Monday would maintain a level of 15 brigades in Iraq, or roughly 140,000 troops — the number that military leaders expect will remain on the warfront at the end of July, once the planned withdrawals are finished. Under a new Pentagon policy effective in August, those Army units will serve for 12 months, rather than the 15-month tours that units in Iraq now are serving. (5/19/08)
Continue to pray for our troops and their families.
Until 2003, Iraq was ruled by the harsh dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a US lead coalition, the country has had coalition forces facilitating the establishment of a free government (set to be fully constitutional summer 2006). However, looting, Sunni insurgent attacks, and sabotage have undermined efforts to rebuild the economy. An insurgency against the Iraqi Transitional Government and Coalition forces is primarily concentrated in Baghdad. Fear of race killings and lack of government protection is driving over a million to Syria and Jordon. ¼ of the middle class has left Iraq already because of frequent racial killings on the streets and in schools. The Sunni Arabs have traditionally repressed the Shi’a Arabs and Kurds and now carry out violent attacks.
Teachers and schools have been targeted in attacks which have meant that exams have been cancelled, schools have been closed and students have been withdrawn from education. Current Iraqi law actually allows Christians to worship freely. Unlike many Muslim countries, Christian holidays and festivities, such as Christmas, are celebrated in Iraq. Pray that a new government will not only maintain these things, but enforce such freedoms.
There is a small but growing number of Kurdish Christians in the north of Iraq. Some have been martyred for following Jesus.
Pray that these Christians would remain strong and united.
Numbering less than 200,000, Iraqi Christians have endured overt discrimination in recent months, ranging from death threats, to graffiti, to brutal assassinations. They are especially worried about backlash from Muslim fundamentalists. One church has hidden all they have so that they can flee within 30min. “Prayers are all we have left,” said one member.
Please pray for their immediate and ongoing protection.
We have come to the half-way month for this year and it is the perfect time to stop and give God praise for answered prayers. We continue to press forward in faith believing for increased opportunities to see a Move of God in our world. Thank you again for your consistent time spent praying for the people of the earth who have yet to hear the good news.