El Salvador

22 05 2019

Location in Central America, (near Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala). Some say ‘Latin America’.

Population: 6.6 million people, mostly Hispanic, speaking Spanish.

Religion:  Christian 94% .   Non-religious 5%

History:  Independent from Spain since 1821. A separate nation in 1838.

Centuries of exploitation of the majority by powerful, wealthy plantation owners.  A long series of corrupt dictatorships. Gross inequality. Provoked an armed leftist uprising in 1981.  There were 12 years of Civil War. Over 75,000 people were killed.

While the Roman Catholic Church is the ‘official religion’, the Constitution recognises other faiths.  There is a growing number of Evangelicals. Many (3.3 million) Salvadoreans live abroad, and send money home; many are working illegally. Among the youth there are many gangs of young people, orphaned and fatherless.

Prayer: O Father, we pray that the Word of Christ, the way of freedom, and the gracious Spirit of renewal – may visit this land with life-giving power, stirring people to faith in God, and enabling the seeking out of true economic justice in the land. May the evangelical church be given wisdom to know how best to proceed and make headway, through literature, preaching and use of the media. In Jesus name we pray.

 

Location of El Salvador

 

 

 

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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.




Dominica

18 10 2017

A 750 square km Island in the Caribbean. African Caribbean people descended from slaves brought by the French and English.  Ruled by France until 1759. Then English. Independent in 1978. English is the official language but 80% speak French Creole.

Population:  66,600

Capital: Roseau.

Dominica

Religion: 91% Christian, but high very nominal Catholicism.

Prayer: That the Spirit of God will move anew bringing the good news of Jesus Christ, – crucified and risen, and reigning now – to the people of this isolated island, with power. May the Pastors, who often suffer ‘burn-out’, find suitable work to sustain them in their important preaching and teaching roles.  May the evangelical churches in nearby nations find ways to offer support and encouragement.

 





Djibouti

16 10 2017

Capital: Djibouti   … (imagine that!)

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Population: 1 million. About 61% are Somali people, also Afar (28%), Arab (8%).

Official Language: French and Arabic.

A hot dry enclave between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, with possibly the hottest average temperatures of any county on earth.

Religion: Muslim 97% (and the State religion). Religious freedom for foreigners.

Prayer:  Living Lord, ascended Jesus, who loves this nation of people, may your Word be preached here with power.  In this strange nation, so calm and stable, yet with huge problems of unemployment and famine, may the miracle of coming to know Jesus Christ as the Saviour and hope of the world, occur among significant people, that the joy of the true God’s plan and purpose, as Father and Redeemer may be revealed for many people. Come Holy Spirit and bring a quenching of human thirst, in a dry and weary land. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 





Cuba

11 06 2016

The largest island in the Caribbean. (Near the Bahamas, Haiti and Jamaica)

Population11, 350,000

Capital: Havana (Pun: I’m hav’n’ a good time in Cuba)

People:  Hispanic 98%, Asian 1%, Other 1%

Economy: “Sugar production, along with the rest of the economy, collapsed with the Soviet meltdown as aid and subsidies dried up. The US trade embargo, devastating hurricanes, repressive centralized socialist planning, corruption and poor productivity hamper progress. Lack of many essentials (including food) still affects the country, yet there is a high standard in literacy, education and health. Tourism is becoming more and more economically important.” (Operation World, p. 291).

Politics:  “Independent from Spain in 1898. Fidel Castro’s revolution (he was born in 1926) brought Communism to power in 1959, replacing a corrupt and venal regime” (O.W.)

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Religion: Christian 56%, Non-religious 25%, Ethnoreligious 18%, Hindu 0.14%, Chinsese 0.14%, Other 0.14%, Buddhist 0.14%  (where is Islam?…)

Prayer Points:

  1. For political, economic, demographic and ideological needs.
  2. For the purification of the Catholic church
  3. For recovery of the Evangelical churches, devastated by waves of emigration to USA
  4. For the 500,00 plus people imprisoned for ideological reason under Communism
  5. For renewed leadership in the churches, able to cope with change and growth
  6. For the less reached people groups especially those in the Santeria cult, linked with similar evil spiritual powers to Haitian voodooism.
  7.  For the foreign missionaries, largely restricted access.
  8. For the 1 million Cuban refugees (legal and illegal) living in the USA, and their fruitful influence on their home country.
  9. For the Christian help ministries with Bible distribution, Christian literature, radio and music.

Thank you Lord, our God, for the growth of the Church in Cuba in recent years. Thank you for the refinement of the church at a local level, and the Spirit’s persistent ministry to the church. May the numerical growth continue, and may locals have wise leadership and courage to be a rich, powerful blessing to their nation, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

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Côte d’Ivoire

7 06 2016

 

Known until 1985 as ‘Ivory Coast’ (English), Côte d’Ivoire is an extremely beautiful place.

It is an African west coast nation situated between Ghana and Liberia. It has rainforest to the south and savannah and highlands in the north.

Capital: Yamoussoukro (895,000 approx.) Abidjan is the economic, cultural capital. Population. 4.1 million.

Population:  24 million approx.

Operation World says: it is “One of the world’s largest producers of cocoa, coffee and palm oil” (p. 284).

They obtained independence from France in 1960.  But political coups, failed peace agreements, and political tensions have dogged the nation. As with many other African nation, there is a Muslim north and a non-Muslim (Christian and animist) south.

Religions: Muslim 41%, Christian 33%, Ethnoreligious 24%

Money: They use the West African Franc. As does Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

It is good to ponder the very existence, life, uniqueness and glory of every nation. For just as the nations enter the arena of the Olympic Games in a unique, noble, glorious manner, so too from Côte d’Ivoire, “people will bring into [the Holy City , the future community] the glory and honour of this nation” (Revelation 21:26).

Prayer Points:

  1. For political leaders who are visionary, non-partisan and free of corruption.
  2. For ways to handle million of immigrants from neighbouring countries.
  3. For the ongoing growth of the Evangelical churches, sharing God’s Word.
  4. For believers in Christ to resist the temptation to return to animist ways.
  5. For the demographic sectors of society needing the gospel.
  6. For the nearly 1 million people who have contracted AIDS in the country.
  7. For the ministries of many young people who have recently become Christians, to flourish.

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Ivory Coast.

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Language: French is used by 48% of the population. Also Jula is a native trade language in the north. There are 77 indigenous languages. Only half of these have Scriptures.

Politics: Independent from France in 1960. Lots of tension, and need for stability. Muslims is the north, and non-Muslim in the south. Missionary activity is very difficult.  Syncretism is big. So is Traditional religion.

Prayer: O Lord Jesus, Ascended and at work, we pray for new upcoming leaders who are free of corruption. We give thanks for the rise of Evangelical churches, and pray the blessing of hearing upon the Word; this is the true hope. For movement beyond nominalism in the Catholic churches. For bible teaching to expand, and missionary training to grow. For the many unevangelized people to be reached with the gospel.  For the young people to respind to the Word of hope. Lord hear our prayer.

 

 

 

 

 





China (Republic of): Taiwan

20 02 2014

Taiwan (formerly ‘Formosa’, a name used by the Portugese) is a mountainous island, situated 160km east of mainland China. Taiwan includes the Penghu archipelago and the islands of Kinmen and Matsu. With a population of 24 million people it is one of the world’s most densely populated places.

Capital City: Taipae 2.6million       Life Expectancy: 78.5 years.

Economy:  High Tech goods.

Brief History: Taiwanese Aboriginal inhabitants owned the land. The Dutch and Spanish (1626-1642) established colonies there in the 17th century. Next, the Qing Dynasty of China (1683-1895) took over. Then it was under Japanese Rule from 1895—1945.  Again, Chinese rule prevailed under the Nationalist Government. When mainland China became subject to Communist Rule in the Mao Zedong power-grab of 1949, Taiwan became a refuge for the Nationalists, under Chiang Kai-shek. It remains independent, (uneasily) today, from mainland China.

Religion: It is a secular State with freedom of religion. It is a stronghold of both Buddhism and a ‘ubiquitous’ Taiwanese folk religion, with Confucianism, Daoism also quite prominent. Operation World (p. 260) says that Taiwan is still the only major Han Chinese population in the world where, from a Christian perspective, a significant spiritual breakthrough has never occurred.

Chinese Religion 60.74%;  Buddhist 28.8%; Christian 5.82%; Non-religious 2.31%; Other 2% +  (O.W.)

Prayer:  We pray for wisdom for Taiwan’s leaders, to continue to negotiate peaceful relationships with mainland China. We pray for corruption to decrease and a love of honesty, and of the truth to arise. We pray for the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of God’s love for the people of Taiwan to be made known, through the ministry of the Christian churches. In particular we pray that the Christian people would become known as trustworthy, and a new open-ness to listen to the good news of Jesus would occur. We pray for the training of more Pastors to occur, and for the 33 seminaries and Bible schools to have a renewed energy, vision and enabling by the Spirit of God, in this matter. We pray for the Christian youth and university students to be given a deep desire to take up this call. We pray for missionaries to hear the call to this place, as the doors are wide open for full time work to take place here.  We give thanks for the joyful hope that Christ has already brought to Taiwanese people, and ask that it may occur more and more.

 








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