“But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great congregation I will bless the Lord."
Mistrust against Christians in BHUTAN[i]
Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist nation situated between China and India in the Himalayan Mountains, where Buddhist, Hindus, Christians and other small minorities have lived in relative peaceful coexistence, as the government of Bhutan commands an unusually high level of respect from its people. Disturbingly, a Compass Direct News Services (CDNS) release from September 9th reports about growing mistrust on part of the government against Christians in Bhutan. The report states that Bhutan’s parliament is considering an amendment to the penal code that seeks to penalize conversion by coercion or inducement (fraudulent conversion), which as the prime minister acknowledges is essentially designed to deter evangelism. Government officials have accused Christians in using unethical means for conversion, which Christian leaders claim to be far from true. Concerns have been raised that some could misuse the law to make false allegations and thereby create religious disharmony, as in Indian states with similar anti-conversion legislation. While debates on the issue are currently ongoing, Christians in Bhutan continues to await the decision on whether they will receive official recognition.
-Pray for wisdom and sensitivity in the government in Bhutan on how to preserve and strengthen religious freedom and tolerance in the country.
-Pray that the Christian community in Bhutan will receive official recognition by the government.
-Pray that the spread of the Gospel in Bhutan will not be prevented.
Christian killed in the PHILIPPINES[ii]
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOM) reports about the recent murder by Muslims of a Christian man, Clarito dela Cruz, in the region of Mindanao in the Philippines. The man was tortured and strangled with an electrical wire, then shot twice. His motorbike, which belonged to his father-in-law and was the family's means of earning a living, was also stolen. Clarito leaves behind a pregnant wife and 3-year-old son. VOM also reports that Muslims in the area had tried to convert members of the Church to Islam, where Clarito’s parents oversee the Church’s evangelism programme. VOM also reminds that Muslims attacked Christians in Linamon several years ago, burning homes and stealing livestock.
-Pray for consolation and care over Clarito’s family.
-Pray for protection over Christians in the area.
-Pray that God will continue to embolden Christians in the Philippines.
Crackdown on Methodist Church in FIJI
The Research and Analysis Report of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) from September 11th, which most of you have probably reviewed, conveys the statement of the RLC, condemning the order of Fiji’s military-led government to cancel the Methodist Church’s annual conference and ban all church activities except Sunday worship. The annual conference of the Methodist Church was cancelled for the third consecutive year last month. The authorities reportedly issued this last minute order when around 1,000 delegates had arrived. The Methodist Church is the largest Christian denomination in Fiji, with roughly 218,000 members. Godfrey Yogarajah, WEA-RLC’s Executive Director, said: “WEA-RLC expresses solidarity with the Methodist Church in Fiji and stand with the Methodist Church of New Zealand [Fiji’s closest neighbor] and the World Methodist Council in providing all assistance to the Fijian people to ensure full religious and other civil rights.”
-Pray for the Methodist Church of Fiji, that it will remain strong in these difficult times.
-Pray for dropping of all banns, issued against the Church.
-Pray for justice in regard to religious freedom to be restored in Fiji.
ü Additional prayer items are available at the WEA website, http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/ .
ü Please continue to pray for the preparations of International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church 2011 (IDOP 2011). Visit www.idop.org for more information.
[i] Source: Compass Direct News Service, available at: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/12469/article_120136.html
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.