Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Sunday 11 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Pastors and evangelists
Project(s): 00-478, 00-477, 00-316, 00-430
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Africa, South and East Asia, Central Asia
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Unnoticed by the world a quiet, steady work of God is going on in many remote places around the globe. Evangelists, church-planters and pastors have obeyed the call to serve the Lord in their own homeland and are building up the Church and bringing the Gospel to those of other religions. Many have given up the possibility of a comfortable life to work in poverty and anonymity. Often their ministry is very lonely. They may experience hostility and antagonism from the majority religion.
|This pastor and his wife are church-planting
in poor, rural villages in Indonesia
Last year an evangelist couple, among 481 pastors and evangelists who were supported by Barnabas, moved to a remote, impoverished area of their Central Asian country where everyone is Muslim. Soon afterwards, nine people in their village accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, news that was met with much resistance from Muslim neighbours and the authorities. The couple can visit the new believers only secretly at night, and the village committee has already tried to evict them twice.
Governments can also greatly hinder the work of these full-time Christian workers. In many Muslim countries they risk heavy fines, long prison sentences or even being killed if they are found out. Harsh religion laws in some Central Asian countries forbid sharing and teaching about one’s faith. Some states in India have anti-conversion laws that place many obstacles in the way of Christian evangelism. In Nepal a newly proposed penal code is currently before parliament that may make it very difficult for Christians to talk about their faith to non-Christians.
In November 2011 an Indian pastor was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir State after a YouTube video appeared showing him baptising seven converts from Islam. He was also called before a sharia court to explain the “forced conversions” and threatened by the Grand Mufti of Kashmir.
Barnabas Aid projects include:
- Evangelists’ Support Fund (Ref. 00-478)
- Pastors’ Support Fund (Ref. 00-477)
- Practical help for leaders (Ref. 00-316)
- Leadership Training Fund (Ref. 00-430)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.