2009 APRIL PRAYER ASSIGNMENT
The year continues to march on and we move into the season of April showers. May we began to experience the showers of the Lord’s presence over the nations of the earth. May the power of the Holy Spirit begin to release angelic visions to those that can not be reached through evangelistic ministries. Let us believe to see the glory of the Lord cover the nations like the waters cover the seas.1-5 CHINA, PRC: There may only be a ten-year window of opportunity for receptivity. Materialism with increasing wealth, the debilitating effects of spreading corruption, the moral decline and the social impact of the one-child policy all are conspiring to blunt the cutting edge of the Church.
PRAY that present openness in the midst of opposition may be used to the full.
The social and health needs in China overwhelm the available resources. Diseases are a challenge – 1.9m with tuberculosis, over 300,000 with HIV/AIDS, 10m mentally retarded through iodine-deficiency, 60m disabled, 13m blind and 520,000 registered drug addicts. Then there are the unemployed and the numerous victims of famines, floods and earthquakes due to the density of the population.
PRAY that Christians may find many openings to serve such in the social and caring professions and opportunities to show and speak about the love of Jesus for them.
China faces environmental disasters on many fronts – deforestation causing massive flooding, the unknown impact of the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, polluted rivers filled with industrial and human waste, nine of the ten most polluted cities in the world, desertification in the north and east, and the continued increase of the population.
PRAY for a government courageous and trusted enough to take the difficult decisions required for the long-term well-being of the nation.
Communist Party members are the elite and number some 60m. All are officially atheist, but among them are many who are secretly religious and even Christian.
PRAY for the collapse of the whole atheistic system and its lies so assiduously propagated in the education system.
PRAY for the conversion of those within the Party.
6. CHINA, HONG KONG: The Christian community is 10% of the population, but has long exerted a strong influence in running 505 of the schools, 60% of social organizations, and 25% of the hospitals. This influence could diminish if its privileged position is challenged and leaders acquiesce with negative trends, potentially exposing churches to discrimination or even persecution.
PRAY that the Church may be bold and uncompromising in exercising its prophetic role in society.
The CCCOWE (Chinese Coordinating Committee on World Evangelization) has played a vital role in linking together Christians in the 70 million Chinese Diaspora for fellowship and outreach to less evangelized Chinese communities. Its headquarters is in HK.
PRAY for the effective mobilization of Chinese wealth and manpower for world evangelization.
The Christian community is 10% of the population, but has long exerted a strong influence in running 505 of the schools, 60% of social organizations, and 25% of the hospitals. This influence could diminish if its privileged position is challenged and leaders acquiesce with negative trends, potentially exposing churches to discrimination or even persecution.
PRAY that the Church may be bold and uncompromising in exercising its prophetic role in society.
7. CHINA, MACAU: Macau has the dubious distinction of being the first Christian territory in Asia to become non-Christian. In 1600 Macau was 95% Catholic. By 2000 this had been reduced to about 7.4%. The Catholic Church has suffered disastrous decline, and Protestant churches have always been small. The number of Protestant churches had grown from 33 in 1986 to 78 in 1999.
PRAY for the people of this territory to be changed by the Word of God.
Macau was the starting point of Protestant missions to China. There, the first Chinese convert was baptized, the first Chinese Bible translated and Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to the Chinese, was buried. Yet today it is one of the least-discipled communities of Chinese in the world. The Church is small, divided, introspective and weakened by emigration and a high turn-over of leadership. The Macau Bible Institute was the first theological school, but there are now three theological institutions for training leaders.
PRAY for local leaders to be raised up who will help the Church survive and grow and be a blessing to China and the world.
Macau was named ‘City of the Name of God’ by the Portuguese, though it was a Chinese god that gave it its present name. It has truly become the ‘City of Sin’. Gambling and prostitution are major money-earners which are run by ruthless Triad gangs who wage wars for control of this lucrative ‘industry’. Lawlessness characterized the twilight of Portuguese rule, but the new government is seeking to change this.
PRAY that this city might lose its unflattering reputation and the gospel of Christ change a society so blanketed by sin.
Evangelical Christians doubled in number between 1990 and 2000. There was increasing cooperation to present a unified witness in the time leading to the hand-over to China. The major hindrances to continued growth are the lack of Christian workers, a close-knit family structure and fear of offending the local god A-Ma after which the city was named.
PRAY for the breaking of every chain that prevents people coming to the Lord.
8-9. CHINA, TAIWAN: The elections in 2000 resulted in a Taiwanese majority government that openly spoke of possible independence. The great hostility of Mainland China to any change in the present ambiguous international status of the government could lead to war.
PRAY for wisdom and restraint for all Taiwanese, Chinese and international leaders involved.
‘Black gold’ is the term used for money gained through corruption fostered by many in the old regime.
PRAY that the new government may gain a reputation for honesty and openness.
The lack of pastors is serious, but slowly improving. Many rural congregations in Taiwan are without pastors, the critical issue being low levels of giving in churches. There are over 33 seminaries and Bible schools, some with international acclaim, such as the China Evangelical Seminary as well as a number of TEE programmes. There is need for good Bible teachers and effective evangelists who know their cultures and how to relate Scriptures to the root issues that hinder advance and growth.
PRAY for staff and students, and for relevant, spiritual training to be provided.
Taiwan remains the only major Han Chinese population in the world where the spiritual breakthrough has yet to come. During the 1990s the influence of Buddhism grew markedly with a large increase in adherents (800,000 in 1983 to 4.9m in 1995). Many of their outreach techniques have been adapted from Christians. Ancestor worship is one of the major barriers to faith in Christ. Added to this is the materialism stimulated by the rapid rise of living standards.
PRAY that every obstacle to the reception of the gospel may be broken down.
10-11.COLUMBIA: Colombia retains its reputation for being one of the most violent countries in the world. Leftist guerrilla movements, right-wing paramilitary groups and the drug-trafficking barons control many areas of the country. Corruption, blackmail, kidnapping, assassination and revenge murders continue to brutalize society, with the abandonment of moral values and ethical standards.
PRAY for the political, legal and spiritual leaders of the nation – for their safety and for courage to stand up for the right.
PRAY that Christians may remain untainted by the evils of their society and become God’s instruments for moral, social and spiritual change.
PRAY that the endemic fear and anger of normal Colombians may lead them to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
Satan’s hold on Colombia must be broken by prayer. Christ’s lordship must be proclaimed over the spirits of violence, revenge, lawlessness and corruption, and occult practices that have brought the nation so low. The web that links drug barons, politicians, guerrillas, paramilitaries and Satanist groups conspires to make war upon the saints, and prevent the spread of the gospel. This usually occurs through intimidation, but often through outright destruction and murder. In 1999, over 35 pastors were killed and 300 churches forcibly closed.
PRAY for a supernatural move of God through this land.
The 1991 Constitution has brought a glimmer of hope with the opening up of the democratic process to those previously unrepresented, reforming the judicial system damaged by the violence of the drug wars, and granting greater religious freedom. Colombians are tired of violence, but all efforts to bring about peace and seek a lasting solution have failed Evangelicals are encouraged by the freedom, opportunity and official representation that the new constitution has brought, but also fear that it may cause them to lose their cutting edge.
PRAY that peace may prevail, and that Evangelicals may continue their bold witness even as religious freedom increases.
12. COMOROS: Comoran believers have gradually increased in number – mainly on Njazidja and Nzwani (Anjouan). They have suffered periods of harassment and persecution, and are deprived of many social and civil privileges. They need earnest prayer that they stand firm in the faith.
PRAY that leaders may be raised up for the several groups of believers.
The quiet witness of Christian medical and veterinary workers in the Republic and on Mayotte has won credit and public honour as well as opportunities to share the Lord Jesus with the people.
PRAY for continued and increased opportunities for witness and that such may bear fruit.
Almost the entire population is Muslim. There are 780 mosques but no official Comoran churches. They were almost completely unevangelized before 1973. Although Muslim, most are deeply involved in occult practices and spirit possession. Yet many young people are disillusioned with life in Islamic society which offers so little hope. Even today, open Christian witness is forbidden.
PRAY for the opening of this land for God’s Word.
13. CONGO: The Congo needs peace and a government that seeks the welfare of the people. Two decades of Communist dictatorship followed by a fragile, failing democracy and civil war have devastated the land. Six members of a team of nine church leaders seeking to mediate in 1998 were martyred.
PRAY for national reconciliation, the repentance and conversion of those who wreaked violence in the years of fighting, and the resettlement of the 300,000+ refugees of the civil war.
Revival and restoration is the Church’s need. The massive disruption of ministry, the destruction of many churches and the flight of thousands of Christians from the cities during the war years brought discouragement, a questioning of God’s presence and a feeling of abandonment. Many Christians have compromised their faith.
PRAY for new life, vision and trust in God.
PRAY also for committed Christians to be appointed to positions of national leadership.
14-15. CONGO-DRC: Congo’s war has embroiled the military forces of seven nations and provoked the rise of local inter-ethnic conflicts and warlords. Rwanda hunts down Hutu genocidists, Uganda exploits the wealth of the north-east, Sudan seeks to harm Uganda, Angola aims to liquidate UNITA rebel bases in Congo and Zimbabwe’s army is used to enrich its generals and politicians.
PRAY earnestly for:
a) Peace. Much of the country has become a war zone. Nearly three million are estimated to have lost their lives through war, violence, starvation and virtual collapse of the health system. A tide of 1 to 3 million Rwandan, Burundian and Congolese refugees and rebels flows across the land and spills over into neighbouring countries. Pray that international efforts to broker a cease-fire and peace agreement may succeed despite the entrenched vested interests that profit from the conflict.
b) The binding of the demonic powers and the human sin that has brought such havoc and suffering through tribalism, extreme cruelty, greed and corruption – yet in a land that has such a large number of professing Christians.
c) The establishment of an effective national government which has the support of the people and which will rule with honesty, justice and respectful concern for the interests of the governed.
d) Economic recovery and wise use of finances to pay government officials, the military and police, teachers and medical workers and to rebuild the shattered national infrastructure. Without this, corruption as a way of life cannot end.
The Christian Church remains the only viable national social structure to survive and retain some credibility. Its role in rebuilding the nation is crucial. Most of the hospitals, clinics and schools now operate with Christian initiative. The Catholics continue to invest much into these institutions.
PRAY for the raising up of Christian leaders of spiritual maturity and moral integrity for both the denominations and for secular and political positions. There were many Christian leaders who compromised and lowered their standards during the manipulative dictatorship of Mobutu.
A vision for the future. The work of the Holy Spirit in some areas has led to increased love for God’s Word, prayer movements, mobilization of youth and a new indigenous hymnody.
PRAY that this may result in vision for outreach and that conditions may improve to allow this. (ECC leaders have bold goals for 2010 – training in evangelism and outreach, extensive use of river boats for outreach, etc.)
16. COOK ISLANDS: The Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Pitcairn are all officially, or unofficially in the case of the latter, related to New Zealand. None are independent states. All have seen a large part of their populations move to New Zealand or Australia. Pitcairn is one of the smallest (47 sq.km and 49 people) and most isolated territories in the world. It is Britain’s last colonial possession in the Pacific; but administered from New Zealand. It is famous for its settlement by mutineers from the British ship, the Bounty, in 1790. All are Seventh-day Adventists. Its economy is dependent on the sale of postage stamps.
Christian influence has been strong for 150 years. The integration of secular and religious leadership created what are virtually theocratic states. Church attendance is high, but few have assurance of salvation Many smaller islands have no known evangelical witness. There are Evangelicals in several AoG churches and small groups within the older churches.
Pray for a new infusion of spiritual life.
Niue has become valuable cyber-territory for web sites because of its ‘.nu’ address. It has become a money magnet for Japanese telephone pornography, internet gambling and Russian money launderers.
PRAY against these global evils, the neutralization of their corrupting influence and for God to judge their criminal perpetrators.
Migration to New Zealand for employment has given another means of bringing new life into the islands. Eighty per cent of Niueans, 70% of Tokelauans and over 60% of Cook Islanders now live in New Zealand.
PRAY for the Island churches in Auckland and other New Zealand cities. Blessing there will affect the islands.
17. COSTA RICA: The Federation of Evangelical Missions of Costa Rica has become a shining example of God’s grace in envisioning the Church for world evangelization. Alcance 2000 was a vision to mobilize 12,000 prayer warriors, target 50 unreached peoples around the world and send out 500 cross-cultural missionaries. Over eight years the number of Costa Rican missionaries doubled to more than 260 in 1997.
PRAY for the growth and maturity of this movement.
The Roman Catholic Church has been deeply impacted by charismatic renewal. Many came to a living, personal faith in Christ. On the one hand, attendance at mass and the number of indigenous seminarians and priests has increased. On the other hand large numbers left the Church for evangelical groups. The great majority of Costa Ricans remain very nominal in their faith and in spiritual need – immorality, alcoholism and spiritist practices are widespread.
PRAY that charismatic Catholics may be able to inject greater spirituality through their ‘re-evangelization’ program
18. COTE D’IVOIRE: Spiritism is still strong in Côte d’Ivoire, despite apparent numerical decline. There are 4000 evangelical churches, but 5000 sacred fetish groves. Many Christians are still affected by the power of spiritism and fetishes, compromising both their witness and their own life in Christ.
PRAY that all who have not fully left behind their spiritist past might be completely delivered by the power of Jesus. Pray that believers might withstand temptation to revert to old practices.
The level of Bible knowledge and discipleship is low, partly a result of rapid church growth. Many churches accept the ‘prosperity’ gospel, and open air campaigns sometimes focus more upon miracles and healings rather than the One who is their source. However, this trend has been counterbalanced by the growth of Bible Institutes, Study Centers, and Correspondence Courses in which thousands of students are now enrolled.
PRAY that students at the new CMA theological school may grow in the mastery of the Word. Pray for the AoG’s new training institute, opening soon in Abidjan. PRAY also for the Navigators and other ministries that focus on the much needed area of discipleship.
Islam spread and grew rapidly during the 20th Century – from 5% in 1900 to near 40% today. Interest by Christian Ivoirians in ministry to Muslims is growing, but the level of participation remains very low compared to actual needs. Tribal groups in the north and pockets of tribes all over the country are becoming Muslim. Urban concentrations of Muslims are high, and so are conversion rates among new immigrants to the cities.
PRAY that Christians may be zealous to win non-Muslims while they can, and also show more concern for the Muslims themselves.
PRAY for the healing of the north-south ethnic divide created by the politicians which is making outreach to Muslims even harder than before.
PRAY that Christians may learn how to show real love to their Islamic neighbors.
19. CROATIA: The link between ethnicity and religion for Orthodox Serbs, Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats have stifled any spiritual breakthroughs. The Balkan Wars since 1991 have helped some of those who have suffered most to be more open to change.
PRAY for the breaking of all satanic bondages and cultural blindness that prevent people from repentance and personal faith in Christ.
Evangelical churches have always been few in number and stronger amongst minorities, but there has been growth during the 1990s among the Croat majority. In many areas, such as Istria, Dalmatia and Zagorjé in the west and on the coast, there are very few churches.
PRAY for effective church planting in every part of Croatia.
Leadership training. The impact of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek has been great. From small beginnings in 1972 (under Communism) it has grown into an international, interdenominational school impacting much of Central Europe as well as Croatia. Many fruitful ministries have had their birth within it.
PRAY for the continued spiritual fruitfulness and theological health of faculty, student and graduates – now serving in 27 countries.
20. CUBA: There are about one million Cuban refugees living in the USA. These were mainly from the white middle and upper classes but more recently from all sections of society. It is estimated that 80% are Catholic and 10% are Protestant.
PRAY that freedom may come to their land again and permit their return, but also that God might enable them to understand, adapt and be a blessing to, a very different country from the one they left.
Foreign missions have been restricted to tactful support and occasional pastoral visits from outside the country. A few were permitted to remain in a low-profile teaching ministry. The Cuban Church will need humble, helping ministries rather than high-publicity, foreign generated programmes and aid.
PRAY that missions may plan wisely for the day that Cuba is free once more.
The Protestant churches were decimated by several waves of emigration to the USA, a move encouraged by the authorities. Recovery and growth was slow, but out of the furnace of persecution high-quality leadership and committed membership arose that witnessed fervently. Since 1989 growth has become spectacular with churches springing up in every corner of Cuba. Evangelicals now outnumber church-going Catholics. The 1,250 evangelical congregations in 1990 has increased to possibly 4,500 congregations and a further 10,000 house groups in 54 denominations. A high proportion of the new Christians are young people.
PRAY that this growth may continue whatever the political situation.
21. CYPRUS: The Orthodox Church has long been a refuge and guarantor of Greek Cypriot survival. The boundary between politics, culture and Church is blurred. Church attendance is high at 48%, but traditionalism is also strong.
PRAY for Holy Spirit renewal movements to bring many to a warm personal faith in Christ.
Evangelical churches among Greeks are few – the major ones being the Greek Evangelical and the Church of God of Prophecy. Negative propaganda against Evangelicals holds many back from considering joining one.
PRAY that the barriers of history, theology, prejudice and fear may be removed and significant church growth begin. Few workers and ministries are focused on the majority.
*Turkish Republic of North Cyprus: Almost the entire population is Muslim, but also very secularized. About 10% are regular mosque-goers.
PRAY that the historic prejudice against Christianity may be broken down. There is Little known focused outreach to them.
A small group of about 20 Turkish believers has come into being.
PRAY for them, for their outreach and growth in numbers.
22. CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech Protestants are experiencing life without persecution foronly the second time since 1620. The Protestant churches have an important place in the history and culture of the nation.
PRAY that this may also become true spirituality. Almost all evangelical churches are experiencing at least modest growth, and several are seeing this accompanied by charismatic renewal.
PRAY for Evangelicals both within the larger Protestant denominations and the smaller, younger groups, such as the Baptists, Pentecostals and numerous independent congregations.
The Catholic Church outnumbers all other denominations nearly 7 to 1, and yet is in serious decline. It had a brief opportunity to re-establish its influence after 1989, but failed due to internal dissension and insufficient action. The Church is now making conciliatory gestures towards other Christian groups and a renewal movement is active, but the leadership is old (average priest’s age is 69), and the laity is aging and decreasing rapidly.
PRAY for God’s Spirit to sweep through the Catholic Church and awaken these millions to the living reality of Christ.
Though Communism is a fading memory, the transition to another social paradigm has not been easy. The entry of market capitalism has left its trademark – wealth and hedonism for a few, but increased economic stress for many. The great moral vacuum formed by decades of Communism has not been filled. The resultant moral decline in the past decade has been accompanied by an increase in crime, substance abuse, prostitution and family breakdown.PRAY that this negative spiral might be cut short by the intervention of God into this godless society.
Christian radio and television programs have much potential and are open to evangelical influence. Pray that the vision and funding might come in to kick-start a national Christian broadcasting movement. There are 21 hours of Christian radio each week from TWR and HCJB, in Czech, Slovak, German and Polish. The JESUS film has been translated into these languages as well, and has enjoyed a wide viewership.
PRAY for God to use Christian radio, TV and film to both reach unbelievers and train up Christians in all truth.
23. DENMARK: Denmark needs a fresh visitation from God. Ninety percent of the population are members of the Lutheran Peoples Church. Church attendance varies between 1% and 4% in most parishes, yet many Danes still hold to their Christian identity (50% regularly pray).
PRAY that the Spirit may make Christ real to Danish Christians who have turned to secular or New Age thinking.
Much of the Lutheran Church is formal, and the fresh winds of the Holy Spirit must blow through this institution. A number evangelical pastors are committed to renewal of the Church.PRAY for wisdom for all who seek to transform the Church and make it relevant to secular Danes.
Young people have been particularly affected by the prevailing secularism and post modernism of society, and have become more responsive to spiritual challenges. While there is a new enthusiasm towards the person of Jesus, many seek answers in new religious movements.
PRAY that the Church may be able to approach such young people with an effective message.
There has been a steady decline in the number of overseas missionaries.
Pray for more to be called and that Danish mission agencies may contribute effectively in the globalized missionary movement.
24. DJBOUTI: Djibouti, Africa’s third smallest state, is a haven of calm in a stormy region. It is also a key base for Christian witness.
PRAY that present freedoms may not be eroded by the politics of the Horn of Africa nor b y the Islamist voice which gets louder a the economic situation declines.
Ethiopian refugees are often destitute. Many are Orthodox Christian. There are also five lively evangelical congregations among them, many with a strong desire to witness
PRAY that they may be both relevant and effective in that witness.
The only legally recognized Protestant witness is that of the French Protestant Church, which began in 1960. The FPC has given hospitality to Ethiopian, Malagasy and local believer groups and mission agencies entering the country. It also sponsors a number of social projects among refugees and the poor. The FPC and other bodies have formed a Council of Churches and Missions.
PRAY for continued effective cooperation and unity among Christians.
The few Somali and Afar believers are often isolated and suffer many pressures from relatives. Most of them are jobless and some are illiterate.
PRAY for effective use of literacy programmes and the Scriptures in Somali and Afar
The Somali believers are meeting regularly for Bible study together.
PRAY that from these believers, leaders for congregations may be raised up.
25. DOMINICA: Historically Dominica has been and remains predominantly Catholic, but Evangelical Christians have increased from 2% in 1970 to over 13% in 2000. The Association of Evangelicals has been providing good leadership. There has been interest in a saturation church-planting program.
PRAY for continued growth in the gospel witness.
The Carib Indians live on an isolated reservation on the northeast coast of Dominica. They are the last of the indigenous peoples in the Caribbean to survive the arrival of colonialism and subsequent waves of immigrants. Most are nominally Christian, but few have a living faith in Christ.
PRAY that these socially deprived people may find their true identity and fulfillment in Him.
25. DOMINICAN REP.: Columbus’ importation of sugar cane has been the source of 500 years of wealth and misery. It was one factor in the genocide of the one million indigenous Arawak Taino people, the importation of slaves in the past and also the present exploitation of Haitian labor. Another factor is EU distortion of the world sugar market by exporting under-priced, subsidized beet sugar.
PRAY for more fair and considerate treatment of the poor by both the Dominican government and richer nations in their trade policies.
Leadership for the churches is a constant challenge. Emigration of the gifted and moneyed to Puerto Rico and the USA is a loss the growing churches can ill afford.
PRAY for vision, commitment and stick ability for all called to Christian work.
PRAY also for those willing to serve in the poorer, rural areas.
PRAY that the seven or more accredited, theological training schools and the National Evangelical University may provide spiritual, mature and stable leaders for the future.
The large Haitian under-class has been the most responsive of all. The Nazarene and Christian Reformed congregations have multiplied. Haitians are immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, who are often despised by Hispanics yet needed as sugar-cane and manual workers. They face discrimination from Dominicans – even Christians, and the question of their emancipation is a major unresolved issue that must be faced by both government and people.
PRAY for church leaders and their congregations to be good witnesses in this tense and inequitable situation.
26. ECUADOR: The country urgently needs an honest government that gives stability and peace, yet has the courage to tackle the serious economic and social problems that have held back real progress, and confront the vested interests of the entrenched, privileged elite.
PRAY for those in authority.
The Catholic Church has seen its privileged position eroded and a recent rapid increase of evangelical and marginal groups. There have been sporadic, local incidents of mob violence, burning of churches and intimidation against Evangelicals.
PRAY for continued freedom of religion, harmony between denominations and an increase in spiritual life among Catholics.
Political uncertainty, war and a series of natural and economic disasters over the past 20 years have broken down old feudal structures of State and Church and made Ecuadorians more receptive to the gospel.
PRAY that this openness may lead to a great spiritual harvest in every part of the country and level of society.
27-29. EGYPT: For over 1,000 years Egypt was a majority-Christian country – even after the Arab Muslim conquest in 640AD. Egypt gave to the Christian world some of its greatest theologians and the monastic movement. Coptic Christians are more authentic Egyptians than those who follow the religion of their Arab conquerors. Every effort has been made to expunge Egypt’s great Christian heritage from the historic records downplay the size of the Church and marginalize its contribution to society.
PRAY that in a rediscovery of this heritage many might turn to Christ.
‘Islam is the solution’ has been the popular slogan pushing for a more Islamic state as the answer to Egypt’s economic and social problems. Acts of terrorism, economic sabotage and intolerance have brought discredit to Islam itself.
PRAY that many might investigate the claims of the gospel and the faith of their forefathers.
The government has to perform a balancing act between the vociferous and often violent Islamists, the silent majorities and minorities in Egypt, and criticisms from the outside world.
PRAY for fair and humane laws that are impartially applied by the courts and police for the good of the whole population.
The Coptic Church is by far the largest body of Christians in the Middle East and is a strategic key for the evangelization of the area.
a) The leadership of the Church. They need a close walk with God and wisdom in handling the Muslim authorities, Islamist persecution and the questioning world.
b) The spiritual enlivenment of the Church in the midst of mounting pressures and communal tensions. There are many nominal Christians.
c) The biblically-based renewal movement in the Coptic Church which has steadily gained momentum since 1930. It has a strong emphasis on Bible study and a warm personal faith and many have become fervent witnesses for the Lord. Pray for the growth and effectiveness of this movement of the Spirit.
d) Christians are numerous in business,, the professions and health services. Pray that their lives and witness may exalt Christ.
The Southern Sudanese have fled to Egypt in their millions from the long civil war in Sudan. Many are destitute, or survive on the fringes of society. Many are professing Christians.
PRAY for the spiritual health of these displaced, suffering people, and for adequate Christian and social ministry to them.
30. EL SALVADOR: Recovery from the social and psychological wounds of centuries of oppression and 12 years of civil war is a priority. The web of violence, hate, suspicion, atrocities and murder will take time to unravel. At the height of the war 20% of the population fled the country and the US poured in $6 billion to shore up the government. Overall, more than 75,000 were killed.
PRAY for repentance, reconciliation and a fair society based on respect for human rights.
Goals for the first decade of the millennium. The Salvadorian Evangelical Confraternity representing over 50 denominations set the goal of multiplying congregations from 3,400 in 1987 to 12,000 in 2000. This goal was not quite achieved, but probably reached 9,000.
PRAY for increased unity, renewed vision and multiplied effective outreach that this nation might belong to Jesus – El Salvador is Spanish for ‘the Savior’.
The impact of Christian institutions and media is wide-ranging. There are 3 Christian universities, 73 Christian schools, one TV station and 25 radio stations.
Pray that the overall impact may bring about spiritual uplift in every area of national life.
Sections of society which are of special challenge:
a) The Amerindian population still retains many of their cultural values and traits even though they have largely lost their languages. Their treatment in the 20th Century has been horrific. Pray for effective ministries to begin and for culturally-sensitive church planting among them.
b) Over 350,000 children were abandoned during the war. Orphanages, counselling, education and job opportunities for these scarred young people is important.
c) The 77,000 university students are the country’s future leaders. IFES has a ministry among them.
Now let us continue on in faith, believing to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
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