Displaying items by tag: Global
It has been another year of remarkable progress in Bible translation activity. Many areas of the work have seen significant acceleration. We see the favour and hand of God on translation projects and teams, enabling them to help create a world where everyone can know Jesus through the Bible. The number of language programmes that Bible translation teams are working on has seen its biggest leap on record, with new programmes starting at a rate of one per day. Also, Bibles and New Testaments have been launched at a rate of almost one per week. There is so much to be thankful for and be encouraged by. More people have God’s word in their language. More languages have a Bible than ever before. More languages have a New Testament than ever before. All this means that God’s word is available to millions of people in their own languages for the first time.
Tearfund works tirelessly to help communities escape the very worst effects of poverty and disaster. They believe that the same people facing these troubles also have the best ideas about the ways they can overcome them. So Tearfund listens and then helps people to utilise their resourcefulness and determination to overcome their circumstances. When disaster strikes, Tearfund and its local partners are usually already present, hard at work in those very places. They have been responding to emergencies since 1968, working alongside local churches and Christian organisations wherever possible. They know the people, they know the problems and so often they can see simple, inexpensive solutions.
World leaders met for the annual G20 on 15-16 November, intending to discuss global economic plans. On the second day Volodymyr Zelenskiy presented proposals for a ‘Ukrainian formula for peace’ which was followed up on his telegram channel. He said, ‘Ukraine has always been a leader in peacekeeping efforts, and the world has seen it. If Russia says it supposedly wants to end this war, let it prove it with actions. We will not allow Russia to wait, build up its forces, and then start a new series of terror and global destabilisation. There will be no Minsk-3, which Russia will violate immediately after the agreement. There is a Ukrainian formula for peace for Ukraine, Europe and the world, and a set of solutions, when implemented, really guarantee peace. Ukraine offers the leading states of the world to be co-creators of peace together with us.’
UN chief António Guterres warned the COP27 summit that humanity must cooperate or perish. He warned world leaders, ‘We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/science-environment-63330171 Rishi Sunak said the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices globally are no reason to go slow on climate change. They are reasons to act faster. Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron also urged world leaders to deliver climate justice. The UN said progress on cutting global warming emissions has been ‘woefully inadequate’ since COP26 last year. The planet has warmed 1.1C since pre-industrial times. Scientists say rises must only be 1.5C by 2100 to avoid the worst effects. Continuing current policies would cause a higher rise of 2.8C.
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted (IDOP) is Sunday, November 6. It is observed every year around All Saints’ Day when the Church traditionally remembers the saints of the Church, many of whom suffered torture and martyrdom for Jesus. IDOP recognizes those who have paid the ultimate price for their faith in Christ and reminds us that many are still paying that price today. This is a special time for us to pray for those who are persevering in the face of hardship, letting them know they are not forgotten and we are praying for them. Prayer Alert intercessors are invited to be a part of this special day by scheduling a few minutes to pray for Afghans, Ukrainians and the many others now arriving into new countries, and those still waiting to re-settle. For most Ukrainian’s this will be seen as a temporary re-settlement. Pray for converts to Christianity in the Muslim world, who have been threatened and abandoned by their families because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
While governments look for solutions to their countries' economic crises, the people in 90 countries protest. Some pay a heavy cost. In nine months, over eighty people have died in protests over the cost of fuel, in at least nine different countries. Antarctica is the only continent free of fuel protests. Indonesia has seen 600+ protests over petrol this year: in 2021 there were 19. Italy had 200+ in eight months - 2 last year. Ecuador experienced 1,000+ protests over fuel in June alone. Most surprising is that protests are occurring in places not prone to protests. High costs of living are driving people to protest against crippling prices. Fuel costs affect much of daily life - personal travel, transportation of goods, energy for electricity and heating. People are demanding that petrol be made more affordable and available. They are sitting in peaceful protests or attacking governments.
Governments are blocking swaths of the internet. Pro-democracy activist Ko Jimmy was executed after condemning Myanmar’s military coup online. Idamange Yvonne was sentenced to 15 years in prison for YouTube videos criticising Rwanda’s repressive president. Nicaraguan authorities sentenced journalist Miguel Urbina to nine years in prison for Facebook posts and tweets they deemed threatening to national integrity. Siarhei Tsikhanouski, who ran a YouTube channel criticising Belarus’s government, was jailed for 18 years for inciting unrest. These are only a fraction of the cases in an internet freedom survey by Freedom House, which stated, ‘The same rights protected offline should also be protected online. Human rights are restricted online in 70 countries and 2022 marked the 12th consecutive year of decline in internet freedom’. But it also found that when societies push back against repression, under the right conditions, they can win. Pray for the digital rights groups who research, advocate against, and bring strategic litigation cases to overturn repression online.
Since 2014 Russia has secretly funnelled $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates in at least 24 countries in Europe, Africa ,and elsewhere to shape political events beyond its borders. Putin wants to weaken democratic systems and promote global political forces aligned with Kremlin interests. A senior US official, speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence findings, said the administration decided to declassify some of the review’s findings to counter Russia’s ability to sway political systems. ‘By shining this light on Russian covert political financing and attempts to undermine democratic processes, we are putting these foreign parties and candidates on notice that if they accept Russian money secretly, we can and we will expose it’, the official said. Countries identified included Albania, Montenegro, Madagascar, and Ecuador. An unnamed Asian presidential candidate received millions in cash. Russia also used shell companies, thinktanks and other means to influence political events, sometimes to the benefit of far-right groups.
The 77th session of the UN General Assembly opened on 13 September 2022, with a high-level debate running from the 20th to 26th. This year’s theme, ‘A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges’, acknowledges the shared roots of crises such as Covid-19, climate change and conflict, and the need for solutions that build global sustainability and resilience. Like all crises, these have unique and disproportionate impacts on women and girls. From harsher economic fallout to heightened risk of violence, women and girls are suffering in specific ways that require targeted solutions - a need that too often remains unmet. These crises are unfolding against the backdrop of a global backlash on women’s rights, compounding forces that threaten to undo already insufficient progress. Pray for this session to generate more action towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls around the world.
Barnabas Aid invited people to join them for their Suffering Church Action and Awareness Week launch on 22 October at their new UK offices in Swindon. It also launched its new medical.gives project. The meeting provided an overview of the increasing suffering endured by Christians, and how we can understand the times we are living in. There were also updates on recent projects supported by Barnabas Aid, under God’s guidance. If people were unable to get to Swindon, Barnabas Aid were livestreaming the event.