Ethiopia

19 05 2020

Capital: Addis Ababa

Population:  10.8 million

African Nationborders with Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.

Life Expectancy:  54.7 years

People:

  • Semitic/Ethiopian: 14.5%  Amhara, Tigrinya, Gurage, Silti
  • Cushite: 41.6%
    • Oromo. Hararghe, Tulama, Wallega, Macha, Selale, Arsi
    • Somali
    • Afar
  • Omotic
  • Nilotic
  • Other

Language: 35.9% Literacy.  Official: Amharic, English, Regional languages.  Total 88.

flag-800

Economy: Agriculture. Coffee, cattle, corn. (Decades of under-development and war).

History: An ancient, long, written history. Orthodox Christianity expressed in a State Church, from 1270—1974.

The revolution of 1974 overthrew the Emperor Haile Selassie and imposed Marxism on the country, from 1974—1991. Some 17 years of suppression of freedoms, religions, and political opponents.  Brutal Murders. Mass Graves. Now there is a Red Museum, recalling the horror of Marxism, saying: ‘NEVER AGAIN’.

The costly 1998-2000 war with Eritrea financially drained the nation, but unified it too.

Religion: Today, it is perhaps: 1/3 Orthodox, 1/3 Evangelicals, and 1/3 Muslim.

Points of Praise:

  1. Sustained remarkable growth of evangelical members of churches.
  2. Unity among believers
  3. Bible is increasingly distributed and read
  4. Increased political stability.

Prayer Points:

  1. For uniting in the nation, and for peace with neighbouring nations; especially for a decrease in hostilities with neighbours Somalia, and Eritrea.
  2. Poverty to be overcome. Better use of aid.
  3. For the Orthodox Church to grow, to mature in faith, be transformed in active members who know the gospel well. As a landlocked nation, with no access to a shipping Port, it has been ‘a Christian island in a sea of Islam’ (Operation World, p.329).
  4. Giving Thanks for Massive growth in Protestant and Independent Churches, praying for wisdom, and good fruit in Evangelism and Mission, and in planting of many more churches in Africa and South Asia.
  5. For leadership training. Bless the Lutherans and Pentecostals and Nordic Missions
  6. For wisdom in facing the challenge of Islam’s growing influence on the nation.
  7. For hospital care to battle with HIV/AIDS. For Orphans to be loved and cared for.
  8. For Foreign Mission workers to hear God’s Call and be a blessing.
  9. For the many children and young people on the Addis Ababa Rubbish Dump, needing help and encouragement, and the ability to learn and be nourished.
  10. For the Bingham Academy, in Addis Ababa, where so many children of missionary workers are educated. May the school community, from Reception to Year 12 prosper and grow. Praise God for their work. May the Spirit of Christ Jesus guide, move, bless and awaken this land further to the Father’s love for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Egypt

6 05 2019

Geography: Mostly desert. Only 3% is arable land. This is along the banks of the delta of the Nile River, and around the Western Desert oases.

Population: 98 million.

People: 92% Arab.

Produce: Agriculture, natural gas, oil, textiles, tourism, (& Suez Canal dues!).

Politics: Relative stability under President Mubarak. In 2006 the Muslim Brotherhood gained 20% of the elected parliament seats. They ran as independents, since religious parties were banned from running. …Many Egyptians are disillusioned with the political process.

Religion: “Islam is the State Religion; until recently the large Christian minority were left in relative peace. The last – 20 years (2020) – however, have seen higher levels of communal  violence. The rise of Islamism caused Islamist violence” (Operation World).

Christians 12.8% .     Muslim 86.67% .       Non religious 0.5%

History in Review: It is sobering to recall that for over 1,000 years Egypt was a majority-Christian country, even after the Arab Muslim conquest in AD640. Egypt gave to the world some of its greatest theologians and the monastic movement.

                         

Prayer Points:  

  1. For the recognition of the Church’s history in Egypt over the past 2000 years.
  2. That the Scriptures will be read, as so many have been strategically distributed by the Bible Society.
  3. For innovative us of the Media to proclaim the Gospel
  4. For the great prayer movement of recent years to expand and prove to be a huge blessing for the nation.
  5. For God’s blessing upon the Coptic Church, by far the largest body of Christians in the middle east, and a key for the proclamation of the gospel in this nation.
  6. For the steadfastness of the Christian community. In the last 20 years persecution of Christians has steadily increased. Operation World report that: “Harassment, discrimination on individual and communal levels and financial incentives for Christians to adopt Islam are all used to break the morale of Christians. Some areas, such as Upper Egypt, face more intense pressure than others. In most cases, the attacks that occur are carried out by vigilante Islamists groups – but often with the tacit acceptance of local security forces. Identity cards stating religion can be a huge challenge for believers from Muslim backgrounds, who tend to be on the receiving end of persecution more frequently than Copts. O Lord we pray for Christians who waver, that they may find new courage to hold fast to Christ; and we pray for the Egyptian government to respond to unfairness and attacks and violence, with genuine resolve for the wellbeing of all people – and for them to legislate and act with “an even hand. We give thanks for the many Muslim-background people who are being found by Christ Jesus – that they may work out how best to respond to Jesus, and to love their family, community and nation.
  7. May the people of Egypt come once again, into the great hope of forgiveness, joy and salvation, through knowing the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ, in the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit.




Turning Points—in Church History

24 05 2012

Study Material. — is being prepared, and is available, for the average Joe or Josephine, to take a quick overview (by concentrating upon some of the Major Turning Points) of 2000 years of Christian activity:

TURNING POINTS:

UNDER CHRIST’S PRESENT REIGN

The book Turning Points, by historian Mark Noll has been the primary book from which the studies have been prepared. Indeed, Mark has chosen the following as Turning Points worth focussing upon:

The Fall of Jerusalem

70 AD

The Church Pushed out on its own

1

The Council of Nicaea

325

Realities of Empire

2

The Council of Chalcedon

451

Doctrine, Politics, and Life in the Word

3

Benedict’s Rule

530

The Monastic Rescue of the Church

4

The Coronation of Charlemagne

800

The Culmination of Christendom

5

The Great Schism of East and West

1054

Division Between East and West

6

The Diet of Worms

1521

The Reformation: Protestantism

7

The English Reformation

1534

A New Europe

8

The Founding of the Jesuits

1540

Catholic reform & global Outreach

9

The Conversion of the Wesley’s

1738

The New Piety

10

The French Revolution

1789

Discontents of the Modern West

11

The Edinburgh Missionary Conference

1910

A Faith For All the World

12

Further Turning Points of the 20th Century

to 2000

Pentecostalism/Communism etc.

 

 


[1] Mark A. Noll, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity, Baker Books/IVP, 1997.  

Book Reviews





The Bursting Wineskin

16 08 2010

Jesus talked about the New People of God, (The New Testament Church) as New Wine.

It would burst the Old Wineskin of Judaism.

Well it also bursts the “Churchy” Wineskins that we get into our own head, nation, denomination, etc:

All over the world, Christian churches have, unfortunately, taken up a weakened view of the church and ministry, by adopting an idea that kinda-seems right but is not.

Example of what happens:    

* Clergy are put in place as the “trained” leaders.

* Laity (from ‘Greek’ word ‘Laos’), meaning ‘The People’ are gathered to follow, or be passive recipients of the Clergy teaching and leadership:

MODEL No. 1:   The ‘old’ diagram of the church — Clergy at the top, the Laity beneath:                      

                           CLERGY

_______

                            LAITY

MODEL No. 2:   The ‘new’ diagram of the church  

                     

              LAITY        […CLERGY, within]

MODEL No. 3: The New Testament Church

Commenting, Geoffrey Bingham writes:

“All members of Christ’s body are ministers (diakonoi) and the changes history has wrought in the Church have been unhappy ones. I have made the point that the outward form of ministry is wrong, but that Christ has raised up both domata and charismata in succeeding years. Underneath the clergy-laity order, the true order of the Church must have beenand is—in spite of the imposition of the biblically wrong clergy-laity division.”

From ‘The Beautiful City of God’ by Geoffrey Bingham, p. 149-150

http://www.newcreation.org.au/books/pdf/377_BeautifulCityGod.pdf

May the Church of today be a genuinely bursting movement of the Spirit, Jesus leading onward and inspiring, new ways ahead – in this type of formation:

Church NT (Model 3)

 








%d bloggers like this: