WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News, December 15, 2009

Prayer December 17, 2009
 “…For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace...”Isaiah 6:9 


* World Evangelical Alliance is a global ministry working with local churches around the world to join in common concern to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus in their communities. God is glorified and the nations of the earth are forever transformed.

The purpose of the WEA Religious Liberty Prayer Release is to keep you informed and mobilized in prayer and intercession for the needs of justice and religious liberty in the Church around the globe, so that we can stand together for the work of the Kingdom and the healing of the Nations. The Prayer Release is comprised on the basis of different credible Christian based resources.

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Unprecedented Christmas gathering in VIETNAM[i][1] 

Compass Direct services, Open Doors and several other sources reported about an event of unprecedented magnitude in Vietnam, marked to be as “history made in communist Vietnam”. After receiving permission from the government at the last moment following an initial denial of a stadium with 30,000 seats, on   December 11th around 40,000 people gathered in a hastily constructed venue in Ho Chi Minh City to worship God with a choir of over 1,000 singers, to celebrate Christmas, and to hear a gospel message. Up to 8,000 people responded to the gospel message indicating the desire to follow Christ. The event was symbolically entitled “With Our Whole Hearts.”  Compass Direct comments that for house churches, large gatherings are both very rare and very special, and for many this was their first glimpse of the strength of Vietnam’s growing Christian movement. The event raised more than 60 million dong (US$3,280) for a charity helping needy children. Friday’s event was streamed live on the Vietnamese website www.hoithanh.com and viewed by thousands more in Vietnam and around the world. An outcome of this event has been a positive article on the event which appeared in the state-controlled press, which often vilifies Christians.

Prayer points:
v     Pray to accelerate real strong and persistent growth of Christian movement in this communist nation through this historic Christmas event in Vietnam.
v     Join in prayer the cry of Christians in Vietnam: “Lord, bring revival to all of Vietnam!”
v     Pray for continuous favour on part of the governmental institutions and local authorities towards Christians and their activities in Vietnam.  

Freedom of Religion in the MALDIVES[ii][2]

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in both population and area, an island country in the Indian Ocean. The original inhabitants of the Maldives were Buddhist, probably since 300 BC. Islam was introduced to Maldives in 1153 A.D. and has remained dominant since, being the smallest predominantly Muslim nation in the world with Islam being the only legal faith. Forum 18 News Services report that on 18th November the parliament of Maldives, the Majlis, unanimously approved in the initial stages of a bill banning all non-Muslim places of worship, with proposed penalties of large fines and long imprisonment for those who violate the Law. This is just another disturbing sign that hostility from both state and society to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression continues in the Maldives. The situation in the country requires our prayers.

Prayer points:
v    Pray for the small community of Maldivian Christians to stay strong in the midst of the repressive legal instruments, state actions and social intolerance.
v    As the bill, mentioned above, is still in the initial stage of its approval, pray for God’s intervention in preventing the final voting of this law.   

Church Screening of ‘Jesus Film’ Attacked in Pakistan

Urgent alarming news from Compass Direct inform that on 9th December some 50 Muslim villagers armed with clubs and axes attacked a showing of the “Jesus Film” near the city of Sargodha in Punjab Province in Pakistan. Seven of the evangelists were injured, two of them very seriously. The Muslim hardliners also damaged a movie projector, burned reels of the film and absconded with the public address system and donations from Christian viewers. Sources of Compass Direct said the church compound was crammed with Christian villagers clapping as the film showed Jesus Christ performing miracles, raising the dead, casting out evil spirits and healing ailments. The “Jesus Film” was screened within the premises of the Catholic Church of Chak, which sits within the police precincts of Saddr police station-Sargodha. Officers at the Saddr police station refused to register a case against the Muslim assailants. Inspector Azeem Warriach of Saddr police station told Compass that registration of a case against a large number of Muslim villagers would further create a break-down of law and order. 

Prayer points:
v    Continue to pray for freedom of religion to become a reality in Pakistan, in spite of repression and aggressive opposition.
v    Pray for the gospel message of the “Jesus Film” to give fruit in many hearts and lives in Pakistan, in spite of the disturbances at the event.
v    Pray for the Church in Pakistan to stay strong and determined to follow Christ.   


Persecution in Karnataka, India[4]

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India reports that on 24th November in Madhugiri, Kolar district, about 30 Hindu extremists accused Operations Mobilization's (OM)  four Bible students from the International Cultural College of Studies of forceful conversion and burned Bibles, compact disks and Christian tracks belonging to the students. The students were detained for about 20 hours.

Five pastors were also detained on charges of forceful conversion on 24th November. Further disturbance by Hindu extremists of Christian gatherings in the area followed the events.

Prayer points:
v     Continue to pray for Karnataka where persecution of Christians have become a common occurence.
v     Pray for Christians in the area to stay strong in the face of persecution and their testimony to turn many to Christ.     

  
ü      Additional prayer items are available at the WEA website, http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/

ü      Keep in your prayer also the upcoming events and activities of the WEA globally, regionally and nationally, posted at http://www.worldevangelicals.org/newsletter/july31_09.htm

NOTE: Due to the holidays season, next release of WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News will be January 15, 2010.




[ii][2] Source: Forum 18 News Service, 7 December,  2009 release, available at http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1383

[iii][3] Source: Compass Direct, available at: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/pakistan/12536/     

[iv][4] Source: WEA prayer topics, available at: http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/article.htm?cat=top&id=%202370