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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Eritrea

28 04 2020

Eritrea is in Africa. And it is surely a nation that needs our prayers.

In 1993, Eritrea espoused a Marxist ideology (which Ethiopia broke free of—and the Addis Ababa ‘Never Again’ Red Terror Museum tells the brutal story of ‘why’), and it placed severe restriction upon people’s freedom.

Capital: Asmara. A beautiful city.  It looks more European, than most African cities. Why? The Italian’s colonised Eritrea from 1890-1941.

Eritrea is bordered by the Red Sea. In terms of its people, they really belong together with their inland neighbour, Ethiopia. Many natural inter-related families. However, power-politics, increased poverty, suppression of genuine faith and religion, interference and war have produced a nation that has many troubles. Lord have mercy! May the help of God, in Christ, continue to flow to the people of Eritrea.

  • “Eritrea’s Capital Is Lovely. But Scratch the Surface and You’ll Find a Terrifying Reality. People are jailed in cellars of houses, a network of informers has destroyed trust between people and hundreds of thousands have fled. A rare visit to the ‘North Korea of Africa’. “
  • In Asmara, “The streets in the city center are spotless. There’s very little traffic, people walk in the center of the road, no one honks. Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, appears to be one of the loveliest and most pleasant cities in Africa. Orderly and quiet, the place seems like a sort of souvenir from the 20th century. As in Cuba, the cars are mostly old, from the 1960s and ‘70s. The many VW Beetles stand out. Italian architectural gems evoke the pre-World War II colonial period”.

  • “A stranger visiting the city won’t sense that anything is amiss. Outwardly, nothing suggests that this is one of the most insular dictatorships in the world, the North Korea of Africa. President Isaias Afwerki has ruled the country with an iron hand for 25 years. In Afwerki’s Eritrea, men serve in the army from age 17 until as late as age 50. Until recently, soldiers deployed along the borders were under orders to shoot anyone trying to flee to one of the neighboring countries. And throughout Eritrea, citizens are entangled in an extensive government-run network of informers: Students betray friends who have deserted the army; housewives inform on neighbors who criticize the regime and so on.” (Magazine, source, below).

  • See: https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-eritrea-s-capital-is-lovely-but-under-the-surface-is-a-terrifying-reality-1.7088041
  • See: https://www.wsj.com/articles/eritreans-flee-conscription-and-poverty-adding-to-the-migrant-crisis-in-europe-1445391364

Religions: (1) Sunni Islam (2) Orthodox (3) Roman Catholic (4) Lutheran.

Population: 6.7 million.    87% Semitic African, Afar, Saho, others.  7.8% Arab.

Language: Tigrinya, Tigre, Arabic, English.

Answers to prayer:

  1. The Growth of the Church in Eritrea is strong. Persecution and the closure of denominations produced a flowering house church movement. Many in prison have received the Gospel. (Operation World, p. 323)
  2. Jesus Christ has come into the world, for such a people as this. And he is establishing his people in places where many would imagine it to be impossible. The Ascended Christ is Lord over all governments, times and places.

Prayer Points:

  1. For peace with neighbouring Ethiopia.
  2. For religious freedom.
  3. For protection from severe persecution of Christians.
  4. For wisdom and courage for Christian leaders.
  5. For expelled missionaries and foreign workers who have a heart for the people.
  6. For the success of the radio and TV ministry.
  7. For the Living Lord to draw Eritreans to hope in him.

 

 

 





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

 

 

 





Ecuador

6 05 2018

The Republic of Ecuador is situated in Latin America. Between Columbia to the north, and Peru in the south.

The Capital city: Quito. They generally speak Spanish (of the 25 languages spoken).

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Of the population of almost 14 million people, some 94% are Christian.

Famous Ecuadorians include:

  1. Pauline Aguirre – an Ecuadorian singer/songwriter. She is a Christian, and her first solo album was “Mujer de Fe” (Woman of Faith).
  2. Victor M. Medina is an actor, film art director and a production designer.
  3. Gerado is a Latin rapper and a singer.
  4. María Capovilla lived for 116 years and 347 days (Guinness World Record, at the time).
  5. Edison Mendez, football (soccer), scored 5 goals in the qualification phase of the 2006 World Cup.
  6. Antonia Valencia, football (soccer), [Manchester United] forward and midfielder.
  7. Pedro Vicente Maldonado (1704-1748) was a scientist physicist, mathematician, astronomer, topographer and geographer. He was part of a Mission measuring the roundness of the earth, and

Interestingly the Galapagos Islands are part of the nation’s responsibilities.  Interesting comment from Operation World:

The 28,000 people living on the distant and barren Galapagos Islands now have a growing ministry in their midst through MVI. The islands host many eco-tourists who, through Darwin’s legacy, are often hostile to biblical Christianity”.

Thanks to God: We do give thanks for the genuine Christian faith that has taken root in this nation. We lament the presence of all powerless, lethargic, nominal ‘religion’, and pray for fresh movements of the Holy Spirit, awakening faith, hope and love for Jesus Christ, his saving Cross, and His Living Word.

Prayer Points:

  1. Pray for the poor, especially the slum dwellers, of Quito and Guayaquil.
  2. Pray for the wealthy. Many of the upper and middle classes are largely unresponsive to the gospel. There is little vision to reach them with the gospel.
  3. Pray for the Afro-Ecuadorian people. There is much spiritism among them, and with this they delve into an engagement with the occult and powers of darkness. Only a small percentage, just 0.03% are evangelical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Colombia

13 03 2014

Colombia is a Spanish speaking republic in Latin America, situated in the northwestern corner of South America. It is rich in resources, such as oil and coal, and its main employer is Agriculture. It produces 90% of the US’s cocaine. And so the armies of drug lords swarm the nation. It became independent of Spain in 1819, and a separate state in 1891. It is good to learn that the murder and kidnapping and crime rates are decreasing of late, and that progress is being made by government crackdowns.

Capital: Santa Fé de Bogotá (8.5 million)       Total Population: 47 million

Spanish Speaking.

The nation identifies as largely Christian, and the population has largely been Roman Catholic. In recent years (since 1991) the other denominations have been given greater freedom to proclaim the Word and to serve the community. Evangelicals now constitute about  7.5% of the population, and Charismatics some 18%. So the church seems to be on the move, in the face of threats and opposition from drug cartels.

The story of the transformation of the worst Prison – BellaVista Prison – where there were 2 murders per day, is a huge encouragement to the nation.  Hardened criminals have come to know Christ Jesus as Lord, and this has changed them amazingly – and the story never grows old.

http://www.pfi.org/media-and-news/films/pf-colombia

Prayer Points (from Operation World, p. 264):

1. Colombia remains violent and dangerous. Pray the government will continue to remain strong.

2. Three million people have been displaced due to poverty and danger. Pray for hope for orphans and widows.

3. The lawlessness is Satanic. Pray that it will be broken.

4. Pray for renewal amongst the nominal Roman Catholics of the nation.

5. Pray for the protection of evangelical Christian workers, subject to violence, and needing bold leadership.

6. Missionaries are targets for the enemies of the gospel, pray for courage and faithfulness, ‘unto death’.

7. Pray for the Vision of hope to grow, and for unreached people groups to be ministered to – especially street ‘urchins’.

8. Pray for the student and youth work to grow, amid the marxist ideology that persists. Also for Muslims to hear of Jesus, truly.

9. Pray for the Amerindians, often poor and victims of discrimination, to be uplifted by the gospel.

10. Pray for Christian literature, Christian radio broadcasts and audio and video resources to be more and more available.

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