For the month of March, we as a church have committed to pray for the persecuted church. We would ask you to join us as we pray for a different country each day during the month.
The Communist Party is becoming more controlling in China and the government has increased citizen surveillance. In an increasing number of cases, Bibles have been confiscated, churches raided, and pastors fined and arrested. Some missionaries have even been kicked out of the country. The growing influence of materialism and consumerism has also been identified as a threat to the Church in China.
Pray: That religious restrictions don’t cause the Church to shrink back but instead grow in numbers and in boldness.
In Turkey, Islam and strong nationalism co-exist. Christians often feel pressured to stay silent in their faith. Outspoken believers can face discrimination in their workplace and in legal matters. Some are also falsely accused of crimes they didn’t commit. Although the marginalisation of Christians looks to be increasing, the Church in Turkey remains faithful and is growing stronger each day
Pray: That the Church continues to grow and remain strong even as persecution increases in Turkey.
Mauritania is completely dominated by Islam. Poverty is rampant in Mauritania and the activity and aid of Arab countries from the Gulf region have been significant in the influence and prominence of more austere and intolerant versions of Islam becoming increasingly visible in the country. The rights of Christians are rarely protected and those who leave Islam to follow Jesus lose everything.
Pray: For the hearts of Muslims who are persecuting the Church – may they encounter Jesus and be saved.
Mali is predominantly Muslim. Most Christians live in the south of the country and many face increasing pressure due to the threat of Islamic extremist groups from the north. It’s hard for Christian converts from Islam to live out their faith and they often must keep it a secret from their families. Missionaries also live under the constant threat of abduction
Pray: For Christians who boldly continue to share the Gospel despite the cost and risks.
During the days of the Soviet Union, atheism was enforced by the state. Religion is still viewed with suspicion and distrust, and the Church is heavily regulated. Police raids, surveillance and confiscation of Christian materials are common. Most Turkmens identify as Muslim. Converting from Islam to Christianity can lead to violent persecution and rejection from family and community.
Pray: For more religious freedom and for Christians to continue to be bold in sharing the Gospel.
During the reporting period, violence increased dramatically in Algeria and a dozen churches were closed. Algeria rose 20 positions on the 2019 World Watch List. The main source of violence is the relatives of Christian converts. Christians are becoming bolder in their faith and have even been imprisoned for sharing their faith on social media.
Pray: For God to give peace and wisdom to church leaders whose churches have been closed, as well as to those who are facing church closures.
Most of the population is Christian, but Islamic extremist groups and corruption make life difficult. Christian homes and churches continue to be attacked, leaving thousands of Christian families homeless, unemployed and forced to live in camps. New Christians, from a Muslim background, are often ostracised or beaten by their family and neighbours to force them to deny Jesus.
Pray: For comfort and healing for those who have been rejected and hurt because of their faith in Jesus.