“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me* out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.”
Violence against Christians in SRI LANKA[i]
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOM) calls our attention towards several incidents of persecution against Christians in Sri Lanka in recent weeks. As reported by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, on July 10th a pastor was assaulted after attending a meeting convened by a Buddhist monk in Ampara District, Eastern Province. On July 19th a mob of approximately 50 people attacked the homes of five Christian families in Badulla District, Uva Province.
Further, the VOM’s country report on Sri Lanka reveals that believers there continue to battle anti-conversion legislations that could bring about increased and legitimized persecution and harassment of minority religious groups in Sri Lanka. In 2008 and early 2009, renewed efforts to implement the revised anti-conversion bill began, heightening concern for Christians in the country.
v Pray for protection for Christians in Sri Lanka as they are confronted by opposition.
v Pray for healing for those injured in the recent attacks in Eastern Province and Uva Province.
v Pray for courage and perseverance in Christians in the country.
Continuous restrictions against Christians in AZERBAIJAN[ii]
The July 27th edition of Forum 18 reports about continuous tension and restrictions against Christians in Azerbaijan. The leader of a Baptist church in Azerbaijan's port city of Sumgait, Pavel Byakov, received a verbal warning by a judge not to meet for worship without state permission. Forum 18 further reports that prolonged delays in dealing with applications for legal status in the country still continue, having in mind that in defiance of Azerbaijan's international human rights commitments, unregistered religious activity is illegal.
v Pray for Brother Pavel Byakov, as well as for all brothers and sisters from the Baptist church in Azerbaijan's port city of Sumgait.
v Pray that the Azerbaijan government will honour all undertaken human rights commitments.
v Pray for the discriminated Christian minority group in the country.
Violence feared in INDONESIA
The Research and Analysis Report of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) from July 28th, which most of you have already probably reviewed, calls for our joint actions to prevent the violence and the on-going tensions against the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Bogor city in Indonesia. The church has been holding worship service on a sidewalk on Sundays for the last few months as their church remains sealed even after a Supreme Court ruling overturned Bogor city administration’s plea to uphold a lower court’s decision to shut down the church. An Ombudsman has also recommended that the church be re-opened. The open-air worship meetings have been held amid protests by some local residents and extremist elements, and the situation can turn violent any time. WEA-RLC urges all concerned Christian groups, individuals and civil rights organisations to write letters of concern to the mayor and other officials to stop the apprehended persecution of members of the GKI church.
v Pray for efficient and joint actions by the international community in support of the Christian community in Bogor city.
v Pray for our brothers and sisters from Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church in Bogor city.
v Pray for the Indonesian government and local Bogor city administration to be able to suppress the violence and to ensure religious freedom for all Christian and other religious minorities in the country.
ü Additional prayer items are available at the WEA website, http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/ .
[i] Source: Voice of the martyrs Canada, available at: http://www.persecution.net/pnp.htm#1107282
[ii] Source: Forum 18 News Service, available at: http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1598
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.