Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 503 | Tue 04 Nov 2008

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The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
For resources, visit

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 503 | Tue 04 Nov 2008

'Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord
that man gets justice.' (Proverbs 29:26 NIV). SO let us come
into the courts of the Lord with confidence on this
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2008.

Critical Prayer Requests (CPR) for Strategic Nations
and political leaders
feature amongst resources on the IDOP website.

This RLP provides up-to-the-minute updates to the CPR.

Whilst the CPRs for INDIA and IRAQ remain fully applicable, the
persecution in these countries has escalated from serious to
urgent, with violent religious-ethnic cleansing and threats of
genocide the immediate concerns.


For the nation: for God to intervene and restrain Hindutva
violence and use this tragedy to awaken Indians to a reassessment
and rejection of Hindutva ideology.

For the Church: for God to protect and provide for the hundreds of
thousands of Christians displaced by genocidal Hindutva terror in
Orissa, and unsettled by the Hindutva violence in BJP-led states
across the country.


For the Church: for God to protect and sustain the hundreds of
thousands of Christians displaced by genocidal religious-ethnic
Muslim violence in the south, the centre, and now in Mosul the
capital of northern Iraq's Nineveh Province. We pray this also
for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christian refugees living
in dire conditions scattered across the Middle East, primarily
in Syria, Turkey and Jordan.


On IDOP 2007 we prayed asking God to be at work in the Republic of
Maldives in times of challenge and change, requesting specifically
that religious liberty become a reality. This year we praise God
for Maldives' successful democratic elections (28 October), for the
peaceful transition of power, and for the new reformist government
of President Mohamed Nasheed.


In August the Supreme Court intervened to postpone the signing of a
Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Government of Philippines
and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MoA would have
given the MILF jurisdiction over a de facto Islamic state in
Mindanao. When the signing ceremony was cancelled, Muslim militants
who were aligned with the MILF attacked Christian rural areas of
Mindanao, murdering and wounding dozens and displacing many
thousands. In October the Supreme Court ruled that the MoA was
unconstitutional. Tensions are high. Some Islamic elements are
threatening jihad.


Islamic militants waging jihad in Somalia have assassinated some 24
aid workers so far this year. When they captured humanitarian aid
worker Mansuur Mohammed (25) in September they did not merely kill
him. Rather, because he had left Islam and converted to
Christianity (apostasy) in 2005, they beheaded him in a public
spectacle of raging apostaphobia (fear of apostasy). Eye witnesses
report that before they executed him, the Qur'an-chanting, gun- and
sword-wielding militants publicly denounced him as a 'murtid', an
Arabic term for one who converts from Islam to Christianity. They
then recorded the execution on a mobile phone and spread their
terror throughout the region. Mansuur Mohammed reportedly remained
calm and quiet to the end.

Pray that God will use the witness of a young Christian martyr
named Mansuur Mohammed to win many Somalis to Christ.


In line with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, legislative
elections are due to be held by July 2009. A year ago the situation
looked futile in the face of the provocative separatist rhetoric
from the south and the belligerent jihadist rhetoric from the
north. There has been much prayer for a unified opposition to
contest the 2009 elections and unseat the Arab Islamist military
regime in Khartoum. Praise God that the late Dr John Garang's
vision of a 'New Sudan' (united, secular and rights-affirming) is
now catching on and a campaign to forge an opposition that could
contest the elections is emerging. Both the Islamist government
(based in the north) and the Southern People's Liberation Movement
(a national movement based in the south) are re-arming and conflict
appears imminent and unavoidable. But if a strong, broad political
opposition can be built around the SPLM and given a mandate to
govern then the Islamist regime's days could well be numbered.

For the nation: that God in his mercy will bring life and energy
to the 'New Sudan' vision, and raise up wise leaders of strength
and conviction who will advance justice, liberty, equity and
hope in a brighter future.

For the Church: for the Holy Spirit to fill the longsuffering,
traumatised, war-ravaged and persecuted church with a Spirit of
grace that will equip them to advance reconciliation and gospel
witness amongst those who have persecuted and terrorised them
for so long.

Previous RLPs may be viewed at
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World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty
Prayer List <
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The WEA Religious Liberty Commission sponsors this
RL Prayer List to help individuals and groups pray
specifically and regularly for religious liberty
issues, and in particular to uphold the Church
where it is suffering persecution.

RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
of the WEA RLC and convenor of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.