Looking Out Looking Up
A month has passed since the earthquake, devastating tsunami and radiation leakage. The death toll has topped 10,000. There are over 17,000 missing and all feared dead. The affected areas of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki are some of the most spiritually needy places in Japan. About 0.15% or 9,000 out of 4.9 million people there who are active Christians. Fukushima has the lowest average worship attendance with only 19 people per church.
PRAY for the restoration of electrical power and the risky restoration of the vital functions at the nuclear power plants. Pray also that the Japanese people will find true hope in the Lord through this enormous tragedy. - WEA
For many years, Sudan was torn by a civil war between the North and the South resulting in the deaths of millions of civilians. Since the civil war ended in 2005, Sudan has seen a steady decrease in violence and political tension. In January this year, the citizens voted successfully in a referendum for the independence of Southern Sudan. As the North is more Islamic, many Christians are now migrating to the South to start a new life.
PRAY for a smooth transition as post-referendum arrangements are being put into place to create an independent government for the new state. Also, pray that Christians will be effective peacemakers for the healing of the nation's wounds. - WPPC
Let us keep Pakistani Christians in our prayers as they face an unparalleled time of persecution. The recent assassination of Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights in Pakistan is a reflection of anti-Christian sentiments in the country. Other human rights activists also received death threats for their work on repealing the country's controversial blasphemy laws.
PRAY for the safety and protection of all those who are standing up for the rights of the Christian minority in Pakistan. Pray that this growing persecution against Pakistani Christians may turn out for the furtherance of the kingdom of God! - WEA
Two pastors and 16 newly converted Christians were arrested for responding to the Gospel of Christ without official permit in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district in India. The Christians were charged under the "Orissa Freedom of Religion Act," which prohibits any conversion without governmental authorisation.
While they are on bail, PRAY that the state government will withdraw the charges and halt all anti-Christian violence. Pray for God's protection and strength especially over the newly converted Christians in India, who are undergoing such persecutions. - VOM
While the constitution grants the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion to all citizens, the Religious Organisations Act of 2007 only recognised Buddhist and Hindu organisations. As a result, no church building or organised Christian activities are allowed in the country hence worship services are held in the homes of local believers, Bhutan has a population of 708,484 people, of which roughly 75% are Buddhists. Christians are estimated to number between 6,000 to nearly 15,000, about 2% of the population.
PRAY that the government will amend the law to allow the registration for a national body to represent the interests of Christians. Pray also for dialogues between the church and the government in order to remove misunderstandings and suspicions. - CDN
While the government is considered a moderate regime, it has been harassing Christians to appease religious extremists opposed to conversions to Christianity. Last year, six buildings that Christians used for religious purposes were closed. The government monitors the activities of all religious groups and discourages public proclamation of the gospel. Out of its 22.5 million population, 90% are Muslim and 6.34% are Christian.
PRAY for wisdom for the local Christian when sharing their faith in this environment. Pray also that the current uprising will result in greater political and religious freedom in Syria.- WINTF
In March, a mob firebombed a church building in a village south of Cairo, after a local imam, issued the call during Friday afternoon prayers to "kill all the Christians". The church building was completely burnt but no one was injured. In response, about 2,000 people gathered outside the Radio and Television Building in Cairo to protest not only against the attack but also the government's reluctance to address the persecution of Christians.
PRAY that the heightened tension between Muslims and Copts in Egypt would subside especially among the older generation. Pray for God's protection over Christians as they speak out for religious freedom and justice. - CDN