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31

Daily Prayer - Wednesday 1 August 2018

For generations it has been so hard for Egyptian Christians to get proper permits to build or repair churches that many faithful believers have had no option but to worship illegally in unlicensed buildings. Now, under President al-Sisi, unlicensed church buildings are being rapidly legalised. Praise God for this, and pray that the Muslim majority may follow their president‘s example in whole-heartedly affirming the right of Christians to have places of worship. Fifty-three churches were legalised in March, on condition the buildings were found to be structurally sound, and 166 churches and affiliated buildings in April.

30

Daily Prayer - Tuesday 31 July 2018

On 14 May the bodies of 21 Christians martyred in Sirte, Libya, in February 2015 were airlifted to Egypt, the homeland of 20 of them. They had been beheaded by Islamic State militants, who selected them from amongst other migrant workers because they were Christians who refused to convert to Islam. The bodies were recovered towards the end of last year, after Sirte had been re-taken from Islamic State‘s control. “They‘re Christ‘s beloved … we are happy and proud of them. We thank God for His continuous love,” said the mother of one, “We were greatly pained but God comforted us.” Praise God for the faith of the bereaved families, that they can thank God in such circumstances.

29

Daily Prayer - Monday 30 July 2018

The majority of citizens of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan are the Drukpa, the royal Bhutanese, who consider themselves to be “sons of the soil”. The Drukpas look down on the Nepali-speaking minority and consider them of little value so they do not mind if they convert from Buddhism to Christianity. If a Drukpa does the same thing, however, he or she is likely to be severely persecuted. Praise God there are Christians amongst both the Drukpa-speaking people and the Nepali-speaking people. Pray that all will grow in their faith, and that greater religious freedom for will come to Bhutan.

28

Daily Prayer - Sunday 29 July 2018

We praise You, Lord Jesus, that almost all adults in Nepal have heard the Gospel, and that Hindus often seek out churches and ask for prayer when they are sick or have other problems, many coming to faith in You because of this. We pray for Nepali teenagers, who do not listen to the radio or read tracts as their parents did, and are therefore growing up unaware of the Good News that You died for their sins and rose again. Give wisdom to church leaders seeking to find ways to tell teenagers the good news, via their teenage Christian friends or modern technology. We bring to you also the small groups of adult Hindus and Buddhists who are hard to reach because of terrain or language; may hear and believe. (Romans 10:13-15)

27

Daily Prayer - Saturday 28 July 2018

A new law comes into force in Nepal in September 2018 and will make it a crime for anyone to try to convert a follower of Hinduism or Buddhism to another faith; this will be punishable with five years in prison and a fine of 50,000 rupees (£345; $480; €390). Pray for the protection of church leaders in Nepal, who are likely to be the prime targets of the new law, and who also receive death threats from various extremists. Pray for the protection of Christian activists working for religious liberty. Some political leaders, including the Maoist Party chairman Prachanda, promised Christian leaders that he would take up the issue of religious liberty in parliament and work for the necessary amendments to the constitution.

26

Daily Prayer - Friday 27 July 2018

Brunei is set to roll out the second stage of implementing sharia (Islamic law) after the Islamic Religious Council and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah signed off the measure on 10 March. The phased introduction of sharia was announced in 2014. It appears that international criticism caused a delay in initiating the second stage, but it is now going ahead. Pray that the Lord will intervene and that this law, which treats non-Muslims as inferior to and of less worth than Muslims, will not be fully implemented. About 10% of the population of Brunei are Christians.

25

Daily Prayer - Thursday 26 July 2018

On 3 March, the Chief Minister of Sarawak, East Malaysia, announced that he would amend the state laws so that converts from Islam would not be left in limbo. His announcement followed a ruling by the federal Malaysian High Court that four Sarawak citizens who had left Islam to become Christians could not have their change of religion officially recognised, unless they got permission from a sharia court. But going to a sharia court might result in them being prosecuted for apostasy from Islam. “Give me six months to do this,” said Chief Minister Johari, who is himself a Muslim. This allotted time period expires in early September. Pray that the necessary amendment to the Sarawak Syariah Court Ordinance 2001 will indeed be made. Sarawak is the only Malaysian state where there are more Christians than Muslims.

24

Daily Prayer - Wednesday 25 July 2018

Sabah in East Malaysia has a Christian heritage, but nowadays has a majority-Muslim population, due to many Muslims settling here in recent years. The Sabah state government has promised to help non-Muslim communities develop places of worship. The Sabah Chief Minister, a Muslim, reaffirmed this in late May saying, “I give my assurance we will help build more churches.” Pray that this welcome pledge will result in concrete action. Sabah Christians living in the interior are mainly very poor and there is a major shortage of church buildings.

23

Daily Prayer - Tuesday 24 July 2018

Before their surprise election victory in Malaysia, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition promised to recognise the status of the two East Malaysian states, Sabah and Sarawak, as set out in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 when these two territories on the island of Borneo agreed to join with Malaya to become Malaysia. West Malaysia was predominantly Muslim, but in East Malaysia Christianity was strong. East Malaysians feel that, over the last 55 years, they have been controlled and partially Islamised by West Malaysia, contrary to what they believed had been agreed for them in 1963. PH promised that within 100 days of being elected there would be a Special Cabinet Committee set up to enforce the 1963 agreement. This 100-day period finishes on 17 August. Pray that the Committee will indeed be established and will restore full religious liberty to East Malaysia.

22

Daily Prayer - Monday 23 July 2018

Christians in Malaysia are overjoyed at the surprise results of their country‘s election on 9 May and praise God for the dramatic answer to prayer. The party which had been in power for 61 years lost to an opposition coalition called Pakatan Haraban (PH). Pray that the new government will live up to its manifesto and relax the restrictions on Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. The leaders of PH were formerly in other political parties and active in promoting Islamisation.

21

Daily Prayer - Sunday 22 July 2018

We thank You, heavenly Father, for delivering 2,000 Kachin Christians from their captivity in the jungle of Myanmar (Burma). We praise you for the compassion of local elephant owners who helped so many to safety. Especially be near to and bless the sick and injured, as well as the babies born in the jungle, as they recover from their ordeal. We ask that Your hand will be upon the government of Myanmar to restrain them from evil and that the persecution of the Christian and Muslim ethnic minorities in Myanmar will end. May Christians be recognised and valued as a channel of blessing to that land.

20

Daily Prayer - Saturday 21 July 2018

“Our house was burned down, our cows were killed, I had to flee and lost everything I owned,” said an 80-year-old Christian widow in Myanmar (Burma), recalling the second time her village was attacked. Displaced since 2012, she is from the Kachin ethnic group, who are being repeatedly attacked by the Myanmar armed forces, even in the camps for displaced people. “I still have faith in God,” she said, “but sometimes it is very difficult to see our people suffering. I am an old lady, but I pray that God will take care of my children, my grandchildren and our Kachin people. I pray for their future. Can you please pray for me too?”

19

Daily Prayer - Friday 20 July 2018

Twenty-four new converts to Christianity in Vietnam are being pressured to renounce their Christian faith. First the local authorities threatened to expel them from their village in the north-western highlands, and then a mob, led by the village chief, attacked them. Four of the Christians were hospitalised. According to the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, conditions for Christians have worsened since the implementation in January of a new Law on Belief and Religion, and violence against them has increased. Pray that the 24, who are from the Hmong ethnic group, will know the presence, strength and peace of their Lord and Saviour as they suffer for His Name.

18

Daily Prayer - Thursday 19 July 2018

In May, US President Donald Trump announced his country‘s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran and later his intention of greatly increasing sanctions against the country. The whole population is likely to face severe hardship if this policy is maintained, and the harassment of Christians will probably increase. Pray that our brothers and sisters, many of them converts from Islam, will not waver in their faith and that their bold and loving response to persecution will draw others to know the Lord Jesus Christ for themselves.

17

Daily Prayer - Wednesday 18 July 2018

“I accepted Jesus as my Saviour a year ago. I want to be baptised. Please introduce me to someone you trust so I can get baptised and meet other believers. I am the only believer in my family, but sometimes I try to steer the conversation towards Jesus.” This message came from Afghanistan to a ministry which reaches out with the Gospel in Afghan languages. Pray that this new follower of Christ may grow in faith and knowledge, and for all other isolated converts and secret believers around the world. Praise God that He knows each one by name.

16

Daily Prayer - Tuesday 17 July 2018

Two Christians died and four were seriously injured on Sunday 15 April when motorcyclists opened fire on worshippers leaving a church service in Quetta, Pakistan. Four Christians had already been killed in a similar shooting elsewhere in Quetta on 2 April (Easter Monday) in a Christian area of the city, when a rickshaw was ambushed by armed men on two motorcycles. Nine Christians were killed in a church attack just before Christmas. Quetta Christians are now trying to leave their home town. Pray that the Lord will be their shield and their defender, and that they will not be afraid.

15

Daily Prayer - Monday 16 July 2018

On 21 April the Chief Justice of Pakistan announced that a new date had been set for the Supreme Court to hear Aasia Bibi‘s appeal. But no date has yet been announced. Aasia, a Christian, was sentenced to death in 2010 under Pakistan‘s notorious “blasphemy laws” after a dispute with her Muslim co-workers. Zealous Muslims in Pakistan often react violently to any suggestion that someone who has been accused of “defiling the name” of Muhammad should be allowed to live. Pray that God will provide a way out, so that His innocent daughter may be safely freed, without a violent reaction from Islamists.

14

Daily Prayer - Sunday 15 July 2018

Lord Jesus, we lift up to You our Christian sisters in Pakistan, who are so vulnerable to discrimination and violence from the majority community. Please protect them from those who consider their lives worthless, not only because they are female but also because they love and follow You. We ask that You will comfort the bereaved family of Asma Yaqoob (25), who died in April, after a man poured petrol over her and set her on fire because she refused to convert to Islam and marry him. Bring Your peace and consolation also to the grieving relatives of Kainat Masih (17), murdered in May by the family she worked for as a maid, simply for not cleaning the house properly.

13

Daily Prayer - Saturday 14 July 2018

Doctors and other staff at a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, beat to death a Christian called Sunil. He and his two brothers had told a local news channel how hospital staff had discriminated against their pregnant sister, Kiran, not allowing her to see a doctor when she visited the hospital on 26 March. Pray for protection for Kiran, her baby, and her two surviving brothers, Johnson and Anil.

12

Daily Prayer - Friday 13 July 2018

On 22 March a Nepali Hindu mother brought her 13-year-old daughter to visit their Christian neighbour Soniya, asking Soniya to pray for the girl, who was sick and all efforts to treat her illness had failed. Soniya and her sister shared the Gospel with the Hindu mother and daughter and then prayed for the girl, who was completely healed. Both mother and daughter decided to follow Christ and threw out all the Hindu idols in their home. But when the woman‘s husband came home he was enraged. After trying to attack his wife with a knife, he filed a case against Soniya and her sister for breaking Nepal‘s anti-conversion laws. Soniya was arrested with her six-month-old baby and later released on bail. Pray for Soniya, her sister and all Christians in Nepal that they may have courage to continue to witness for the Lord Jesus.

11

Daily Prayer - Thursday 12 July 2018

There are around 600,000 Christians living in Kuwait (17% of the total population) but only a few hundred of them are Kuwaiti citizens. The rest are migrant workers, who are therefore far from home, working long hours and vulnerable to abuse, forced labour and deportation. Some are illiterate. They gather together to worship in many different languages including Amharic, English, French, Hindi, Malayalam, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Praise God that this Gulf state allows Christians to worship together and pray that each will find strength in the Lord to cope with the difficulties they face daily.

10

Daily Prayer - Wednesday 11 July 2018

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia visited the UK in March, meeting with the Queen, Prime Minister and Archbishop of Canterbury. Afterwards, Lambeth Palace issued a statement saying that the Crown Prince had made a strong commitment to promote the flourishing of those of different faith traditions. Pray that these words will be translated into action. At the moment, there is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia: non-Muslims are not allowed to show their faith in public in any way and there is a death sentence for converts from Islam.

09

Daily Prayer - Tuesday 10 July 2018

The Communist government of China, which allows a certain number of Chinese Bibles to be printed and distributed to churches every year, has banned the online sale of Chinese Bibles. There is an urgent need for the Word of God in China, where the Church is growing rapidly but many new believers are vulnerable to false teaching. Some have commented that the government seems to recognise the power of the Bible or they would not want to restrict its circulation. Pray that the teachings of our Lord Jesus will be accessible to all our brothers and sisters in China, and that they will grow up in their salvation now that they have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:2).

08

Daily Prayer - Monday 9 July 2018

On 14 March, a church-run kindergarten was shut down in Weihui, Henan province, China, allegedly for health and safety reasons although much worse run kindergartens nearby were not targeted. Later the same month, the church-run Beatitudes Kindergarten near Beijing was barricaded by public security guards in riot gear, preventing anyone from entering. Two months earlier the Beatitudes Elementary School had been evicted from their premises, when the authorities put pressure on their landlord. Pray that the authorities in China will recognise Christians as a positive, beneficial influence in society and cease harassing them.

07

Daily Prayer - Sunday 8 July 2018

Our Lord God, we lift up in prayer Christians held in detention in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, as they suffer forced medication and mental and physical torture in “re-education camps”. We pray that you will preserve them firmly in their faith as they endure mental anguish and the hardship of overcrowded conditions. We pray that our brothers and sisters held in detention camps for their faith will be witnesses for You, to their fellow-detainees and their persecutors alike. O Lord protect Your persecuted people in China and let nothing separate them from You. In Your mercy, incline the hearts of the Communist government‘s leadership to mercy and tolerance towards Christians. (Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 8:38-39)

06

Daily Prayer - Saturday 7 July 2018

The Christians were “slaughtered like goats” said a pastor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, describing an attack in Beni, in the north-east of his country, in March, which left eleven people dead. Many Christians are fleeing from this and other areas of the DRC where the Islamist militants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attack without warning, seeking out the “infidels” [non-Muslims] to kill. Pray that Christians in the DRC will not give way to fear. Pray also that they will remain faithful to Christ, if necessary faithful unto death, when ADF militants try to force them to convert to Islam.

05

Daily Prayer - Friday 6 July 2018

The Allied Democratic Forces are an Islamist militant group, originating in Uganda, who have been active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2014. They have killed about 2,000 Christians and captured territory in the resource-rich Kivu province. They say that only when Islam is established as the main religion will there be peace in the DRC. This is in line with the teachings of classical Islam, i.e. that Muslims must wage jihad against non-Muslims until they have taken control of their land and established Islamic rule there; only then can war cease. Pray that their plans will not succeed (Psalm 33:10).

04

Daily Prayer - Thursday 5 July 2018

Twen Theodros has been in prison in Eritrea for most of the last 13 years but has never been charged, tried or had access to a lawyer. She has endured terrible beatings and torture, sometimes even taking the punishment for another prisoner who was very sick. She has been held in a shipping container, in a prison so harsh that hundreds of inmates died from heat and sickness, and in a remote labour camp built specially for Christian prisoners. Last year she was moved to a prison camp nearer to Asmara, where her family lives, so now they can visit her. Praise God for Twen‘s faithfulness and that of the group of Christian women prisoners whom she leads. Pray for all Eritrean Christian prisoners that the Lord will sustain and strengthen each one, and glorify His Name through them.

03

Daily Prayer - Wednesday 4 July 2018

Last year over 100 people were arrested in Eritrea for practising religions not officially recognised by the state, which include many Protestant denominations and Shia Islam. The persecution has continued this year. In March alone, 32 Christians were arrested in the capital, Asmara. On 5 March a newly married couple, and ten visitors who had come for a traditional coffee ceremony to welcome the bride, were arrested. Most of them were released over the next 22 days, but the groom and two guests remained in detention. On 25 March another 20 Christians were arrested. Pray for Eritrean believers that they will stand firm.

02

Daily Prayer - Tuesday 3 July 2018

Around 130 Sudanese converts from Islam used to sleep in the church of Pastor Stephen (see above). They were mostly women and children, thrown out by their Muslim husbands/fathers. The Islamists who murdered Pastor Stephen also burnt down his church building. Praise God none of the converts sleeping in it at the time were killed, but many were injured. Afterwards they had to sleep in the open, despite cold and heavy rain, which led to disease and several deaths amongst the children. Barnabas Fund has helped with their physical needs, including food and shelter. Pray that their faith may not fail at this time of trial. Pray too that their husbands become Christians.

01

Daily Prayer - Monday 2 July 2018

Pastor Stephen was asleep at home with his wife and two daughters in Darfur, Sudan, when six masked Islamists burst in, during the early hours of 2 March. They asked why he had continued to preach about Jesus, after they had warned him several times to stop. Stephen had a powerful evangelistic ministry and the day before had led 56 Muslims to Christ. Stephen‘s answer to the Islamists was simply to tell them about the Lord. The attackers tied up the family and chopped off their limbs until they died. Stephen, the last to die, sang “Hallelujah Hosanna” throughout it all. At their funeral, the powerful preaching caused another 214 people to give their lives to Christ. Praise God for the faithfulness of Stephen and his family and pray for all who have become Christians because of him, that they may glorify God by their lives and – if need be – their deaths.