Displaying items by tag: Religion

Thursday, 31 March 2022 21:55

Asia / Arab world: pray for missionaries

Interserve works alongside the Church in nations across Asia and the Arab World, and in other locations where there is opportunity to disciple Asian and Arab peoples. Some missionaries serve long-term, others for a shorter time. Some join through as volunteers or as consultants. Pray for more people to hear God’s call on their lives to be involved in bringing transformation into the lives of the people by starting a business, or working in medicine, or ministering to refugees. Pray for God to send those with the skills to assist immigrants, now in the West, with language classes, teaching, and much more in partnership with the global Church. Pray for those already discipling people in dangerous situations; ask God to keep them safe. Pray for those countering human trafficking, working alongside refugees, and assisting immigrants in every way possible. https://www.interserve.org.uk/focus/ Times have changed, but Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 31 March 2022 21:51

Myanmar: over 100 Christian buildings destroyed

Since the 2021 coup which deposed Myanmar’s democratically elected government, the Burmese military has been attacking its own civilians. The junta that controls the government continues to destroy religious buildings with artillery attacks and airstrikes on civilian areas in the Christian-majority Chin state. Residents in some regions have formed militias to resist those destroying religious buildings (often used as shelters during attacks). In Chin state, over 35 churches and 15 other Christian-affiliated buildings were destroyed between February 2021 and January 2022. In Kayah state 12 churches were destroyed in the same period. In May 2021 the military continuously shelled Sacred Heart Church in the capital of Kayah state, killing four who were sheltering there and causing extensive damage. Myanmar’s cardinal published a plea to the regime, urging them to stop targeting religious buildings. The military ignored his request and are continuing to shell many more churches.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 31 March 2022 21:46

India: another anti-conversion law

As India’s election process gathers momentum, more Christians are being attacked. Haryana is the tenth state to pass an anti-conversion law preventing Christians from sharing their faith or Hindus from converting freely. A Haryana pastor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, ‘There has been a gradual shutdown of house churches in the region through threats and violence. The new law will be one more step to validate what they have been doing to Christians. The law can be misused to target innocent Christians.’ Opposition Congress members staged a walkout of the legislative assembly on 22 March in protest at the bill. They called anti-conversion measures ‘draconian’ and said its passing would be ‘a black day in Haryana’s history that will deepen the communal divide. The bill is in violation of the Indian constitution, which gives the right to profess, practice and propagate a person's religion’.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 31 March 2022 21:39

USA: scandals, Hillsong shrinks

Hillsong Phoenix lead pastor Terry Crist has resigned from the Hillsong church and taken his congregation with him. Nine US-based Hillsong churches have left the global organisation in two weeks as the movement shrinks dramatically. The church’s high-profile scandals include the resignation of Australian founder Brian Houston after he breached a code of conduct with two women. The pastor of Hillsong Atlanta left immediately after to launch a new church at Easter. Pastor Crist lost confidence in the global board to continue to lead them as a congregation and had asked to be allowed a local governing board while still operating under the Hillsong banner. The board refused. Pray for the Hillsong families as they process the pain of separation from their community. Pray for healing and change where change is needed.

 

Published in Worldwide

Churches across the UK have marked the second anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown with walls of reflection and remembrance in cathedrals and churches as people brought photos, prayers and memories to honour those who have died. Cathedrals and other landmarks across the country have lighted up their buildings in yellow as a sign of support. The Bishop of London, chair of the UK Commission on Bereavement, said, ‘I recall how helpless so many people, including myself, felt in the early days of the pandemic, surrounded by constant reminders of the magnitude of loss being experienced across the country. Today is a day to reflect, pause and remember those we have lost over the past two years and pray for the millions bereaved during the pandemic.’

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:58

Ukraine: church believes for miracles

Ukraine’s Christians are praying for God's protection, peace, and His will to be done, seeking Him in churches, bomb shelters, and homes. They are believing for miracles, healing and the supernatural presence of God to manifest itself powerfully throughout Ukraine. There is such faith being exercised, with crying out to God, as shown on videos, that some wonder if the presence and glory of God will become so pervasive that Russian soldiers will kneel down and repent on the battlefield, while Ukrainians extend grace, forgiveness and mercy, showing the love of Christ. In the midst of trial and war, the church is singing. It is standing against the wave of evil, bringing a standard of righteousness and holiness in the midst of calamity. Worship and prayer, spiritual warfare tools, are cutting through the darkness and joining brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:34

Kyrgyzstan: overview for prayer

Kyrgyzstan, a remote mountainous nation with a nomadic tribal culture, is one of the poorest former Soviet states. Life is hard and many have left to work elsewhere. Most Kyrgyz have returned to their pre-communist Islamic cultural identity. 93% are Sunni Muslims: 4% are Christians, including less than 1% evangelicals. Some churches worship openly, even in small towns, but being a Christian is difficult because of the Islamic culture. Christian converts are commonly beaten, and the small Christian minority is generally oppressed by society. For example, buses will not stop for those known as Christians in small communities, and believers have difficulty getting jobs and even buying goods. In some communities, Muslim leaders have denied the burial of deceased Christians. Bibles are more accessible in Kyrgyzstan than in other Central Asian nations and can be purchased at churches in larger cities, but they are expensive.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:29

USA: 'moral compass'

A recent survey by the Deseret News reveals a growing trend. Americans are becoming less attached to religious practices and institutions such as daily prayer and attending services. While the state of religion is continually changing, the study found that most Americans still hold core religious beliefs and draw moral guidance from their families and their faith traditions. 7 in 10 Americans believe the country would be better off if we prayed for each other, and most Americans say the Constitution was inspired by God. About 71% consider themselves spiritual, regardless of whether they practise religion or not. 40% attend church at least once or twice a month - a noticeable decline from 2011. Americans over 60 are the most likely to attend church services. 72% believe ‘the nation's moral compass is pointed in the wrong direction’.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 17 March 2022 21:20

A call to churches to help orphans

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and World Without Orphans (WWO) are calling on churches to help in a crisis. The ‘Lancet Child and adolescent health modelling report’, by national and international government and non government organisations, estimates that over seven million children globally have lost a parent or caregiver due to Covid-19. They estimate that for every person killed by Covid, one child is orphaned or loses a caregiver. That equates to one child every six seconds facing a heightened risk of lifelong adversity unless given support in time. Rev Dr Rebecca Goropevsek said, ‘We encourage church leaders to read the report and prayerfully consider how the pandemic has affected families and children in their own context and what support they can offer. Pray for families that are safe and nurturing to adopt and foster orphans; and for communities to protect vulnerable children from adversity and violence.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 10 March 2022 21:13

Iran: landmark decision for nine believers

A court has acquitted nine men who were sentenced to five years in prison for attending a house church in a ‘landmark decision’ for Iranian Christians. They were imprisoned in 2019 for ‘acting against national security’ and ‘promoting Zionist Christianity’. In November 2021 the supreme court ordered a review of their case, arguing that ‘going to church does not mean Christians are enemies of the state’. On 7 March all nine were released when the appeal court judges found there was ‘insufficient evidence’ of them acting against national security as they had only ‘worshipped in the house-church, and Christians are taught to live in obedience, submission and support of the authorities’. Earlier this year Christian agencies which have been supporting their case called on the UN to help Persian speakers in Iran to have the right for a place of worship.

Published in Praise Reports