Latest prayer points
Christians in Indonesia are feeling more vulnerable after a family with children carried out suicide bomb attacks on three churches in Surabaya city in May. A woman is believed to have blown up herself and two daughters in an attack on one church. Within minutes, her husband had driven his car into another, while their teenage sons on a motorbike detonated a bomb outside a third. The youngest of the children was nine. At least 13 people died and more than 40 others were wounded. Please pray for all those affected by the attacks, which were timed to coincide with Sunday services. The next day, a family of five, including an eight-year-old child, carried out a bomb attack on a police station in Surabaya, killing at least four.
In early March, Papua New Guinea (PNG) experienced a series of earthquakes which caused widespread damage to the infrastructure there and many lives were lost. People’s homes were destroyed and their plots of land damaged, meaning a shortage of food supplies. MAF assisted in disaster response, helping distribute much needed food, water and other essentials to those areas worst affected. We ask you to pray for the people of PNG as they begin the process of rebuilding their livelihoods and peace for the families who are grieving loss of loved ones.
Brunei is a very small country made up of two enclaves on the island of Borneo. They are one of the richest states in Asia with free education and healthcare, no income tax and heavily subsidised housing, fuel and food. Islam is the state religion and the Sultan rules as absolute monarch. Around 65% of the population are Muslim, and despite constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, it is illegal to proselytise and illegal for a Muslim to convert to another religion. No foreign Christian workers are permitted and importing bibles for ministry purposes is illegal, although Bibles are permitted for personal use. Pray for openings for kingdom workers to minister inside this nation. Pray for a move of God drawing many to repentance and salvation.
Delabayan, Philippines, became a model village due to the hard work and love of Christians dating back to the conflict between the Delabayan people and the government in 2000. Then Christians risked their lives to help this same village when their houses where flattened by the military. Local pastors, with their members, rebuilt the village one house at a time - and even their mosque - to prove that their intention is to help and not just to proselytise. After years of interaction with this village, the pastors are the most welcomed people in the village, more welcome than even other Muslims from other villages. Pray for Emmanuel International and the consortium who are now helping to build 100 houses in Delabayan for people displaced during the Marawi war.
Across China many churches have decided that rather than face very heavy fines and possible detention of leaders they will prevent anyone under 18 years old attending church. Although they could attend, their presence in the church could be interpreted as “influencing these young people with religion”, so many churches have decided to ban children and young people. Pray for these young people, that they can meet perhaps in homes and continue to grow as Christians, and learn more about Jesus. Pray also for their parents – should one attend church and the other stay at home? How can they encourage and disciple their own children? Pray for the church leaders to have wisdom and an understanding of how to best serve God at this time.
In Pakistan, our partner “Peter” is facing severe persecution and needs your prayers. Peter is a Muslim-background believer, regularly facing the scorn of his nation’s Muslim majority. On several occasions, he has had to leave cities because his life was under threat. Most recently, he was due to appear in court because of the work he does, but the case has been postponed because the second party did not attend. With the case still not concluded, a mob descended on Peter’s home, forcibly removing him and his family. For the last week or so, they have been sleeping out in the open. This is not only an uncomfortable situation but also a dangerous one in the circumstances. Pray with us that the Lord would provide graciously for his servant in this time of need.
A new medical clinic has been built in one of the Rohingya refugees camps and dedicated recently. Teams of Christian doctors, nurses and midwives from around the world will serve alongside Bangladeshi medical personnel to minister to the many needs of the Rohingya refugees. Pray for God to show mercy on all the suffering people in the camps. Pray that the teams will stay disease-free, for health, strength and stamina, and for more Rohingya translators to be found. Ask that the compassion of Christ will be clearly shown to all.
In Uzbekistan earlier this year, police raided Urgench Baptists and threatened them with criminal prosecution for meeting at Easter. In August last year there was a raid on a Protestant meeting, and the interrogations and charges against the same Protestants continue. Women in an Urgench church continue to be targeted by male officials, accompanied by flagrant violations by police, bailiffs, and a court of due legal process. As persecution continues, please pray for boldness for these believers, that the Lord will use this situation to call many Uzbeks into his kingdom.
Pakistan is the second largest Muslim nation on earth. Its population of 194 million is 96% Muslim. Today the Pakistani church is small but resolute and growing in understanding of the need to reach out to its Muslim neighbours. Few believers come from Muslim backgrounds. The church needs training in outreach, but there is also a great need for pioneers to reach the 98% of people groups (mostly Muslims) without access to the gospel. This is a time of great opportunity, as Pakistani Muslims are increasingly open and searching for truth and hope. Pray for the Pakistani church to be a bold and effective witness to its Muslim community, for labourers with a desire to go and live in this country, and for Pakistani Muslims to find the one true God they are searching for.
Basanti is a Dalit woman, the lowest caste in Nepali society. She faced terrible discrimination and thought nothing would ever get better. Motivated by the love and example of Jesus, some of INF’s Nepali staff went and lived alongside Basanti and her community. They helped the local people form a self-help group. Sharing their problems with one another, the group began to find solutions. Now Basanti is sending her children to school, and has a better understanding of hygiene and sanitation. She has started her own tailoring business and has even been elected to local government. Pray that others will be inspired by Basanti’s success, and that more low-caste people will discover that poverty is not inevitable.