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.




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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Dominican Republic

21 02 2018

Located in the Caribbean, to the east of the same island as Haiti.

Population: a surprising 11 million people (of which 10% are poor, undocumented French Creole speaking, illegal migrant labourers).

Brief Recent History: “Columbus declared affection for this island and subsequent European colonisation have yielded 500 years of turmoil. Foreign disease and the Spanish destroyed the one million indigenous Arawak Taino people. Sugar can crops soon became massive plantations, which then required the importation of slaves. Both European colonial powers and Dominican governments have ruthlessly exploited the land and the people – this can be seen in the massive gap between a small wealthy elite and the poor majority. Pray for justice – economic and political – something missing from most of the Dominican Republic’s history” (Operation World, p. 308).

Capital: Santo Domingo

Religion: 94% Christian. (82% Catholic, 12% Other denominations).

The large Haitian underclass is a scapegoat, and a challenge.

Churches need to change from a receive-only attitude, to a lively participation.

Prayer:  O Lord of Life, we pray for religious liberty and freedom for those proclaiming the gospel. We pray for the development of biblical ethics to witness to the power and presence of Jesus Christ, as a clear contrast to the alarmingly wide sway of ‘corruption, violent crime and promiscuity’.  We pray for groups such as the 2 Chinese congregations to see more established evangelical outreach among their people. Especially we pray for the youth (37 universities and colleges, with more than 200,000 students) to find purpose in life, and incentive to study. For the AFES and CCCI who only have a total of 1,000 members, for their staff and leaders to be empowered by the Holy Spirit as they proclaim the Lordship of Christ.

 





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.

 

 

 

 

 

 





Denmark

16 10 2017

Capital: Copenhagen.

Population: 5.5 million

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Christian 85%, Non-religious 10%, Muslim 4%

Over 80% of the population remain members of the Lutheran Church.

However church attendance is around 2%. And ‘much of the Lutheran Church is experienced by ordinary Danes as ritualistic and dead and the fresh winds of the Holy Spirit must blow through this institution.‘ (OW, p. 303). There is a shortfall of pastors. Islamic relationships – due to riots in 2006 are tense.

Prayer:  Living Lord, may the Lutheran church across the world, see the needs here, and respond in earnest prayer and genuine missionary support.

 








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