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.
Brunei has an extremely high level of economic wealth, however, Christians are treated like second-class citizens. The country is governed by sharia (Islamic) law. Churches must be registered and are heavily monitored. There are three registered churches that can display crosses. Other public displays of Christian symbols and the public celebration of Christian holidays (like Christmas) are illegal.
Pray: For believers in Brunei to continue to be bold in their faith and for the Church to continue to grow.
Although Morocco is a relatively tolerant and stable country, Christians still face persecution from both the government and their communities. Christians who openly share their faith risk imprisonment and those who convert from a Muslim background can lose their inheritance rights and custody of their children.
Pray: For Christians from a Muslim background who have lost custody of their children because of their faith.
It is believed that “to be Kazakh is to be Muslim”. No religious activities outside of state-run institutions are allowed. Conversion is seen as a betrayal and some converts are locked up by their families, beaten and expelled from their communities. Unregistered churches are illegal and even registered churches are under surveillance and sometimes have their Christian materials confiscated.
Pray: That the State will see Christians as a blessing to Kazakhstan and not a threat.
In Bhutan, sharing the Gospel is illegal and those who convert to Christianity face severe persecution. Christians face discrimination when looking for work and can be excluded from community traditions. Churches are not allowed to be built and worship gatherings have been threatened and closed. Christian meetings remain underground.
Pray: For unity and courage for the Bhutanese Church amidst persecution that keeps them underground.
In Nepal, evangelising is illegal, and Christians can be arrested for attending a baptism. Christian children are mocked by other children while adult believers face challenges in their personal and business relationships. Some Hindu extremist groups see Christianity as a threat to their identity and bomb churches and beat believers.
Pray: That the eternal hope of Nepalese Christians will outshine the multiple pressures on their daily lives.
While Jordan claims religious freedom, the Muslim-based belief system places limitations on Christian living. Churches are monitored by the secret police and distribution of Christian materials is restricted. Despite this, God is using Jordan’s unique location to provide a haven for persecuted Christians fleeing volatile neighbouring countries.
Pray: For Christians from a Muslim background to withstand the pressure to return to Islam.
Islamic extremism and intolerance towards Christians have increased in Indonesia and in May 2018, three churches were bombed in Surabaya. Many churches are still unable to receive building permits despite meeting all the requirements. Local authorities are afraid of seeming to support the growth of Christianity. Those who leave Islam to follow Jesus often must hide their faith from their family and community.
Pray: That God will turn many Sauls into Pauls in Indonesia – encountering the truth about Jesus!
Government officials are responsible for most of the persecution in Tajikistan. They raid church meetings, detain Christians and confiscate religious materials. Apart from state-controlled institutions, no religious activities are permitted. Registered groups have some freedom, but gaining registration is extremely difficult. It’s not illegal to convert to Christianity but new believers can be beaten by their families and pressured to deny Jesus.
Pray: That believers in Tajikistan will find ways, despite various oppositions, to share the Gospel.
Despite being one of the first Christian nations in Africa, Ethiopia is being influenced by surrounding Islamic countries. Muslim converts to Christianity are often cut off from their families. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church also plays a large part in persecuting the Church from within. They consider themselves the only ‘true’ Christian denomination and can be very hostile towards other believers.
Pray: For unity across the Church and that their reconciliation will be a testimony of God’s love to many.