4. Barbados: The legacy of slavery must be completely routed. Toward this end, a ceremony initiated by Christians was conducted in 1998 to great effect. In 1999 there was a national act of repentance during the anniversary of independence celebrations. This island, with the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere, also saw Anglican parishes endorse and prosper from slavery. This, too, has seen an act of public repentance.
Pray that, through these acts and the extension of forgiveness, any remaining scars might be removed forever.
External challenges to the gospel are evident – increased activity in and acceptance
of the occult as well as intensified efforts by Muslims and Mormons to win those
disillusioned with what they see of traditional Christianity.
Pray for the confounding of these efforts and for true Christians to powerfully demonstrate God’s love and truth.
5. Belarus: Belarus stumbled into an unexpected independence, yet it remains, in political
structure and operation, a virtual throwback to the Communist era. Elections are largely
a sham, and the nation remains firmly in Moscow’s sphere of influence. The prospects of a
grassroots democratic revolution seem very slim. But growing numbers are opposed to the
regime and vocally in favor of increased freedoms; change came unexpectedly and quickly to
the USSR in 1991 and more recently to Ukraine and Georgia.
Pray for hope, justice and a brighter future for the people of Belarus.
The Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 occurred in the Ukraine, but affected Belarus
most severely. Subsequent environmental and human devastation is significant, with 20%
of the nation’s land area affected, two million people uprooted and several thousand dead or
dying from radiation-induced cancer. The government views “radiophobia” as the biggest
problem now, since it prevents effective resettlement and recultivation of the affected area.
Many charities were set up to care for those affected, particularly orphans and children born
with health issues.
Pray for wisdom for those overseeing resettlement, help for those already affected and hope for those who still live in uncertainty as a result of the disaster.
6-7. Belgium: Belgium has witnessed, for centuries, blood spilled on their land by other European powers, irrevocably wounding Belgian character and identity. The Protestant community is only in the last few decades recovering from the destruction of its 600 congregations by the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th Century.
Pray that the defilement of past violence might be removed by Christ’s own blood, and pray that true healing of past damages and fear might occur.
Leadership in the churches is a challenge. The lack of Belgian, and especially Flemish,
Christian workers and pastors is crippling indigeneity and growth. There are very few fulltime
Pastors; most are bi-vocational. This in turn undermines first-generation believers (the
majority of indigenous Belgian evangelicals), since they need solid discipleship in post-Christian
Belgium. Immigrant churches, through their tithing, have shown that it is possible to support a
full-time pastor, even with a small congregation.
Pray, in this light, for the ongoing work of well-established Belgian Bible training institutions.
8. Belize: Many missions, especially short-term, have saturated this small nation. Much
has been positive, particularly in the areas of medicine/health care (especially in the
remote and poorer areas), literacy and training. But the never-ending presence of mission trippers
creates dependency, which actually undermines the national Church.
Pray for fruitful partnerships that empower and require true sacrifice by all for Kingdom purposes.
Unity is an uphill battle against significant cultural and denominational diversity. Barriers
among churches are formidable and persistent.
Pray for initiatives that will break down these walls and draw together Hispanic, English, German and Mayan-speaking believers.
9. Benin: Economic advancement and endemic corruption. Genuine efforts to uplift the
economy too often fail because of corruption; as a result, Benin remains one of the world’s
20 least-developed countries. Up to 70% of the skilled workforce must subsist by taking manual
or menial-labor jobs.
Pray that those in positions to enrich themselves at the nation’s cost might instead be honest and self-sacrificing workers and leaders.
Structures of sin such as people-smuggling and the black market (fayawo) are highly
influential. Some 75% of economic activity is underground. This is deeply tied to Nigerian
interests and makes Benin very vulnerable financially. Allegedly, tens of thousands of children
are smuggled from Benin each year to work as child laborers, mostly to their eastern
neighbors. They are often maltreated and abused.
Pray for justice and righteousness to take root in Benin and for Nigeria’s influence to become a more positive and godly one.
9. Bermuda: The world’s wealthiest Black majority territory still faces challenges. The
disparity of wealth and the aging population will test the practical righteousness of the
churches as will the influx of immigrants from poorer Caribbean nations. Gang-related
violence has rapidly escalated in recent years.
Pray for a godly response to these issues.
The Church’s impact is blunted by a failure to work together as much as is possible.
However, United for Change – a large fellowship of pastors representing most evangelical
churches – has recently formed to make prayer the overall priority among believers and to bring
a united voice to the community on moral issues.
Pray for genuine unity and collaboration for effective ministry in Bermuda and beyond.
10. Bhutan: The Nepali population has suffered what amounts to ethnic cleansing since 1990. The Buddhist Bhutanese majority has suppressed Nepali culture and language and even
allowed violence against people and property in the course of expelling up to 150,000 Nepali
Bhutanese. The vast majority of these huddle in meagre UN refugee camps in southeast
Nepal, though some emigrate to Western nations. In these camps, several dozen informal
Christian fellowships have formed among those who have found faith, and the number of
believers is growing.
Pray that the compassion of Jesus might be demonstrated to these displaced people.
Bhutan is one of the world’s least evangelized nations. The continued isolationist
policies of the government combined with the highly significant role of the Buddhist
monarchy further reinforce the hold of tantric Vajrayana Buddhism, complete with the strong
occultic/demonic influence of pre-Buddhist Bon animism.
Pray for true spiritual liberation for this land of the Dragon (Druk Yul). Pray for King Wangchuk and his salvation.
11-12. Bolivia: The political context of Bolivia changed significantly in the last 10 years. A socialist president with strong agendas, a shift to the political left regionally, claims for ocean access (through Chilean territory) and a push for autonomy by some regions of Bolivia all unsettle the status quo. Attempted constitutional amendments and rich gas deposits intensify tensions between the white elite, highland Quechua and Aymara of the west, and the mestizo and Indian peoples in the gas-rich east.
Pray for peace within and around Bolivia.
Pray also for wise governance that will bring justice for the poorest Bolivians and the mistreated indigenous peoples, while strengthening the economy for the benefit of all.
The spiritual grip of the enemy remains strong after centuries of entrenched
paganism, and continues its hold on the Church. Christians now recognize that spiritual
warfare is essential to consolidate what breakthroughs have been achieved.
Pray that the Church will wake up to the enemy’s deep-seated influence, bind the strong man and pray in transformation and harvest.
13. Bosnia: The post-war socio-economic situation is troubled, and recovery is slow. A poor
country even before the strife, Bosnia still struggles with poverty. Only organized crime
syndicates do well for themselves; these groups must be shut down if Bosnia hopes to join the
EU with all the accompanying financial rewards. Young people in particular are pessimistic –
more than 60% want to leave the country; the brain and youth drains further sap Bosnia’s
Pray for economic transformation, and for a new generation of Bosnians to lead their
nation into a bright future rather than flee a sinking ship.
Evangelical believers have increased significantly but still represent only a miniscule
proportion of the population. From three congregations in 1991, there are now about 35.
Only evangelicals are effectively bridging the ethnic fault lines. Baptists and Pentecostals
predominate, but several other smaller churches are also at work. Baptists run a seminary in
Sarajevo, and both Pentecostals and Baptists have Bible schools. An Evangelical Alliance has been founded for Bosnia. Bosnia is not a spiritually receptive place.
Pray for believers and their witness in this divided land.
Pray that many hearts might open to the gospel.
14. Botswana: AIDS has devastated the country. Botswana has the world’s second-highest prevalence of AIDS after Swaziland. The disease, spread mostly by sexual promiscuity, has stolen 28 years from the nation’s life expectancy and created a situation so dire that a recent president stated, “We are threatened with extinction.” Over 100,000 AIDS orphans exist in the country, a staggering number for such a small population.
Pray for the following:
a) The government
The government has fast-tracked a program that makes anti-retroviral drugs available
through the public sector, drugs that will keep many alive.
Pray that the government might have wisdom to know and do what is right.
Pray that people will make use of these services in a way that effectively prolongs their lives.
b) The many ministries working with AIDS victims and orphans.
There are countless opportunities to demonstrate Christian love in this context.
Pray for compassionate ministry to those who suffer and for effective preventative work among those not yet infected, particularly youth abstinence programs.
c) Individual congregations.
Not a single church exists whose membership is unaffected by AIDS.
Pray for the ending of any stigma toward sufferers and for congregations to work together for mutual support and prevention.
15-18. Brazil: Brazil has become a leading mission-sending nation with great emphasis on the unevangelized and on church planting. Brazilians’ faith, enthusiasm, adaptability and talents (football, music, dancing) open many doors, but poor preparation and support can undermine all these.
a) More who will go to the field and more churches who will send them.
While just under 2,000 is a formidable number of missionaries sent, given the mass of Brazil’s evangelicals, the sending ratio is actually very poor. The large majority of congregations have no involvement in missions, and the explosive growth of missions in the 1980s and 1990s may not be characteristic of 2000-2020. There is still great and untapped potential!
b) Mobilization and facilitation.
Associação de Missões Transculturais Brasileiras (AMTB) mobilizes churches into mission and serves as a resource and linking network for 35 of the largest Brazilian cross-cultural mission agencies. Associação de Conselhos Missionários de Igrejas (ACMI) aims to help local churches set up viable missions structures, programs and channeling mechanisms.
c) Missionaries sent from Brazil.
Pray for their recruitment, their effective training and preparation for the field and their long-term survival and fruitfulness in cross-cultural situations. More and better training programs are improving the level of adequate preparation that was previously lacking for many workers. Unrealistic expectations and traditionally poor levels of pastoral support are also being addressed.
d) Sending churches to increase their long-term commitment to pray for, send and support
Prayer support is often very strong, but at times promised financial support arrives. Attrition from Brazilian missions has been disproportionately high in the past, and better support from the home end is an integral part of the solution to this.
19. British Indian Ocean Territory: British Virgin Islands: This “Paradise” is one of the most beautiful in the world, yet vice has a strong grip. Most of the population profess Christianity, and church attendance is high, but the fruit of faith is not in evidence.
Pray for Christian lifestyles to be in accordance with confession.
Tourism combined with offshore finance bring both large numbers of wealthy
pleasure-seeking visitors and illegal (and too often undesirable) immigrants, with the inevitable moral impact on island life.
Pray for local Christians and for their witness to both tourists and immigrants.
19. Brunei: The Christian Church exists under very difficult conditions. Evangelism is illegal, and although the number of Christians grows, no new registrations for churches are forthcoming. No foreign Christian workers are permitted – visiting ministers must arrive unannounced and in secret. Importing Bibles and Christian literature is illegal for ministry purposes, but not for personal purposes. Religious instruction in all schools, including the six Christian schools, is on Islam alone.
a) Perseverance, boldness and unity.
Their harsh treatment has drawn together most of the churches and birthed a holy determination among many.
Pray for Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution.
b) Christian leadership
A leadership that is schooled in the Word, anointed by the Spirit and able to build up all believers. Almost every Bible study and underground church is run by an untrained
c) Numerical growth despite restrictions.
Most of those converted are local tribal peoples and Chinese;
Pray for new believers from among all ethnic groups and segments of society.
20. Bulgaria: The Orthodox Church needs renewal and new life. A bitter schism weakened and undermined the Church, stemming from the collusion of Orthodox leaders with the former Communist regime. Disunity persists, even at the local level. Orthodoxy is still largely equated to a Bulgarian identity, but this is changing as other religious groups take root and grow.
Pray for a genuine move of the Holy Spirit that brings reconciliation of rifts and a full realization of Orthodoxy’s spiritual richness.
Evangelicals have grown, matured and unified in response to challenges and
opposition of the past two decades.
a) The Evangelical Alliance (BEA).
Its work of drawing diverse churches together to act and speak with a common voice is crucial to further growth.
b) The Bulgarian body of Christ
The body of Christ is capable of making an immense positive impact on this country where racial tensions abound and where hope for the future is rare. True unity amongst believers of different ethnic and denominational backgrounds could be a powerful testimony.
c) Sofia, the capital
Bulgaria’s only large city, has many churches, but more are needed.
Pray for the nation’s centre of influence to be saturated with the gospel. Meanwhile, 2,500
villages are without any evangelical church.
Pray that the peoples of the rural areas would not be neglected; their spiritual need is great.
21-22. Burkina Faso: As a landlocked, resource-poor, underdeveloped country, Burkina Faso naturally struggles with poverty. There is little likelihood of immediate or rapid improvement of the situation, and both the economic reality and the poverty mentality that grip the land must be
a) Aid, development, microfinance and microenterprise projects.
The projects that will actually lift the people out of poverty rather than create further dependence.
Pray against corruption in the government and the aid industry that siphons resources away from the people most in need of it.
Pray for creative solutions to this longstanding problem.
b) The many Burkinabé who emigrate for work.
An estimated three million Burkinabé worked in Côte d’Ivoire before violence broke out there in 2002. Large numbers fled back to Burkina Faso, but are now returning to Côte d’Ivoire. As many as 70% of these émigrés convert to Islam while away from home. Burkina churches are taking up the challenge by sending pastorsband missionaries to reach these Burkinabé abroad, especially AoG, CMA and WEC, but more
c) Rapid urbanization
This process continues as subsistence agriculture and traditional rural life prove
inadequate to support families or to keep young people occupied. Rural churches now set
up branches in the capital to maintain contact with their students and educated members;
this also strengthens the church in the home territory.
The spirit world is very real in Burkina Faso, where, as the saying goes, the population
is “50% Muslim, 20% Christian and 100% animist”. The power of the occult has yet to be
decisively challenged and broken in many peoples of Burkina Faso. Few countries in West Africa are more dominated by idolatry, fetishism and secret societies. Even in churches, occult power is wielded, hampering and polluting the message of Christ. The most strongly animist groups include the Lobi, Birifor and Dogosi peoples (WEC), Dagara (Canadian Pentecostals, AoG, WEC), Senufo and Bobo (CMA), Lyele (IMB), Karaboro and several smaller groups. Almost all live in the west and southwest of the country.
Pray that the power of the risen Christ might be demonstrated for the saving of many.
23. Burundi: True peace and reconciliation is something to work toward. Revival in the 1950s
brought blessing and great church growth, but a generation later the land is physically,
morally and spiritually devastated. Most Burundians recognize the Church as the only institution in the land able to bring true reconciliation and peace; this in turn can be achieved only through God’s intervention.
Pray that the spirits of enmity and vengeance may be bound by the power of Christ.
Pray for the peace-building work of groups such as the National Council of Churches and its constituent members, of World Vision and World Relief, Tear fund, African Enterprise, the Alpha Course and many others.
There is a genuine need for expatriate Christian workers. Between 1970 and 1985,
nearly all missionaries were expelled by the regime of that time; few returned thereafter
due to ongoing instability. Many are needed to work with national leaders in areas of discipleship, theological education, reconciliation and trauma counseling, literacy and education and holistic development. Now, numbers of workers are increasing, but the large majority of these focus on Bujumbura, the capital.
Pray for more workers for the neglected rural areas and for ministry that empowers Burundi believers rather than creates dependency.
Pray for the calling of the right missionary personnel and their effectiveness, for godly modeling and good relationships with national believers.
24-25. Cambodia: Spiritual darkness persists in Cambodia and must be lifted by prayer. That darkness is seen in the ubiquitous spirit shrines, Buddhism’s opposition to any ideological rival and a general moral collapse. Structures of sin are prevalent throughout, and the people of Cambodia are made to suffer by the enemy of souls.
Pray for the light of the gospel to so shine that the structures of society as well as of individuals may be decisively changed.
Pray for the following:
a) Land grabbing.
Unscrupulous officials (who pocket the income) have sold huge swathes of
Cambodia’s land to rapacious foreign developers and speculators, with locals driven out and
evicted from their homes to make way for hotels and resorts. Cambodia is being sold/stolen
from under the feet of its own people.
b) Children at risk.
The genocide of the 1970s and 1980s created a very young nation where
60% of the population are 24 years old or younger. But many of this generation are sadly
exploited by others.
Pray for deliverance and salvation for the following issues:
i Child laborers.
Poverty forces over 1.5 million children under age 15 to work to survive and supplement their family’s meager income, often at the price of their education, their health or even their lives.
ii Sex trade victims.
They number up to 100,000. A recent study estimated 20% of tourists to
Cambodia made use of the sex trade, often with the young or underage. Yet even this is a
small amount compared to the widespread use of prostitutes by Cambodian men. That
factor combined with others, gives the nation one of the highest rates of HIV in Asia. Many
poor parents sell their own children to traffickers for as little as $10. The Vietnamese ethnic
minority is especially targeted by traffickers, being both light-skinned and detested by most
Khmer. The much-publicized rescues of these girls, as young as age six, are only the
beginning of a long process of healing and equipping for a life after the sex trade.
iii Homeless children and orphans.
Family structures shattered by the Khmer Rouge and subsequent poverty caused high numbers of street kids and unwanted children. Many Christian ministries see a high response to Jesus’ love among these precious souls. At one point, orphanages were booming, but as the population stabilizes, drop-in centers and increased ministry to extended families are becoming more appropriate.
c) c) Drug trafficking and abuse
These have increased greatly in the last 15 years. Addictive drugs hold sway over many locals, while crime lords profit from the suffering.
26-27. Cameroon: The spiritual poverty of the churches is the country’s greatest tragedy. Nominal Christianity is a bigger problem in Cameroon than in most of Africa. The early pioneer work of Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Baptists was damaged by compromise and the arrival of liberation theology. Tribalism, pagan practices, alcoholism and low moral standards are endemic. Most in these churches (Council of Protestant Churches of Cameroon) have little concern for the unreached of the north, and they are only now starting to have a prophetic
voice to address the major ills of society.
Pray for deep repentance, lasting deliverance and true revival.
Pray for a restoration of Bible reading, preaching and holiness among Christians.
Leadership and discipleship training in the churches are urgent needs, as Cameroon’s
churches struggle with shallow and biblically illiterate Christianity. Today’s spiritual mess
has its roots in a failure in theological training.
a) Godly leaders,
Leaders are needed that are well trained in the Scriptures. Some church leadership is more noted for pride, power struggles, disunity, moral failure and misuse of funds than for holy living.
Pray for the provision of born-again, godly staff for the nearly 20 denominational and
interdenominational theological schools in Cameroon.
Pray also for a spiritual revolution in these theological faculties and seminaries that will bring new life and biblical standards to churches so long deprived.
b) Pray for lay training programs that will introduce the Bible to Christians.
For many, the pastor’s sermon is the extent of their interaction with Scripture. There are increasing numbers of modular-training programs, aimed at poorer, bi-vocational pastors and
Pray also for the two Christian universities that aim to provide quality academic education within the framework of a Christian worldview.
28-29. Canada: Catholicism is by far the largest religious influence in the country. Although Quebec in particular has a strong Catholic heritage, Catholicism is in fact strong throughout the
country. It is growing as a proportion of the population and accounts for the largest number of incoming immigrants, a notable issue in a country built on the back of immigration. It is multicultural and thriving in the urban environment. There is a real vibrancy in Catholicism (apart from in Quebec itself) and charismatic renewal has been a significant part of this – two prominent ministries in this framework are Catholic Christian Outreach and National Evangelization Teams.
Pray for this movement to grow and interface well with other expressions of living Christian faith in Canada.
The remarkable diversity of evangelicals reflects Canadian society in general. They are not
only in mainline denominations and conservative Protestant groups, but they are increasingly
from new, independent churches and emergent expressions as well. Evangelicals are racially,
culturally and linguistically varied and include many immigrant communities.
Pray for this diversity – and the unity found therein – to become both a strength for and testimony by evangelicals to the truth and power of the gospel.
30. Cape Verde Islands: Economic and ecological problems must be wisely addressed. Scant resources were poorly managed in the past, intensifying Cape Verde’s poverty.
Pray for government leaders who will make good decisions and develop the economy for the betterment of the whole nation.
There are 490,000 Caboverdians living in migrant communities; the largest are
in New England, USA (266,000), Portugal (80,000), Angola (46,000), Senegal and France.
Their remittances are vital to those living in Cape Verde.
Pray that many in these communities may become true disciples of Jesus and be spiritual and economic blessings to their homeland.
30. Cayman Islands: Christianity is numerically strong. There are more than 90 churches, many of them evangelical. With one church for approximately every 500 people, Christian faith and
values should (and do) have a significant influence on society – The nation’s flag bears part of Psalm 24, “He hath founded it upon the seas”. The new constitution includes recognition of the Christian heritage of the Cayman Islands.
Pray that this might continue to be the case amid the materialism and hedonism.
Pray that God’s sovereign power would be acknowledged.
Well over a million tourists visit the islands each year.
Pray for many to be confronted by the claims of Christ while in pursuit of pleasure.
31. – April 1. Central African Rep: The physical human needs of CAR are immense. The seemingly endless series of coups and counter-coups
devastated the economy and infrastructure.
Pray for the following needs:
a) Peace and stability, particularly in the north and east.
Constant uprisings and banditry grinddown the already poor and blight the government’s efforts to restore the infrastructure. Anarchy continues to reign in the north of the country, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in the past few years.
Pray that banditry and chaos might not prevail and that a strong and just central government can establish peace throughout the country.
The nation, although blessed with vast mineral resources, is weak economically.
Pray that the government might bring to bear a wise hand in increasing wealth that enriches
the entire nation and not just a privileged few.
c) c) Unemployment.
Pray for the emergence of employment opportunities for the many without work.
Pray for the emergence of Christian businessmen who will be agents of transformation in the economic and spiritual spheres.
d) d) Health.
CAR is another nation increasingly devastated by AIDS; HIV rates peaked at 15% of
the adult population infected, although now reduced to 6%. Life expectancy is dropping year
Pray for programs and ministries to combat not only HIV/AIDS but also diseases
that come about from malnourishment, lack of clean water, faulty hygiene and poverty.
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© Operation World 2001
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