Latest prayer points
The Chinese Government fear the rise of religious extremism and terrorism in their country. In an attempt to prevent this, they have detained over 1 million Uyghurs, a minority Muslim people group living there. They have been sent to internment centres where they face unhealthy living conditions, poor nutrition, violence and torture. Despite this suffering, hundreds of Uyghurs have found eternal hope in Jesus Christ. Pray that this widespread assault on Uyghur identity leads to an unprecedented questioning of ancient religious assumptions in China, openness to the answers found in the gospel and a yearning to know the Saviour of the world. Pray that the Chinese church would be moved by this injustice and strengthened with a vision to reach their Muslim neighbours. Lift up those who are detained and pray for their release.
Since February 2018, when new regulations on religion were introduced, the Chinese Government has been waging a growing and sustained campaign of repression against Christians in a number of provinces. Churches have been destroyed or have seen their crosses torn down, pastors arrested and imprisoned, and those trying to represent them in the courts detained and even tortured. Nearly 200 government-run churches in Henan province have recently been shut down, leaving only three such congregations in the area. Unregistered or ‘house’ churches (not under government control) are facing severe challenges. February’s religious ordinance is even in violation of China’s own constitution. Please pray that God would sustain the church in China at this difficult time and that the religious ordinance would be revoked so that Christians are free to practise and share their faith unhindered.
Intensifying pressure from Hindu locals recently led to the forced closure of a church in Nepal. For two months, a group of Hindus disrupted services being held in the church. Members of the church abandoned their building and resorted to meeting in their own homes. However, the group of Hindus publicly threatened any Christian found meeting anywhere. Since the persecution began, the pastor of the church reported dwindling attendance due to fear. At the beginning of November, the church disbanded entirely. Opposition to Christianity in Nepal has been growing over recent years, accelerated by the recent passing of anti-evangelism laws. Please continue to pray with us for our partner and others in Nepal as they proclaim the gospel, plant churches and bring aid to needy people across the country.
Rishu, a partially blind girl, was severely beaten with sticks, and a ten-year-old boy needed stitches after the attack on the Uttar Pradesh church in India. Pray that these children will know God’s love and healing and become powerful witnesses for Christ.
Ear diseases and hearing problems are often a hidden disability yet have an enormous effect on day-to-day life. For children it means they fall behind in school and cannot develop language skills. Left untreated, a sense of isolation continues into adulthood, where ear problems and deafness hinder not only their ability to communicate but also their ability to work. According to the World Health Organisation over 360 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss, with the greatest proportion living in southern Asia. In remote parts of Nepal simple ear infections can become complex conditions because of lack of access to appropriate health care. Please pray that the stigma associated with ear disease and hearing loss will not prevent people from seeking early help.
Elections took place in December in Bangladesh and this caused some unrest, as well as disruption to the number of foreign aid workers who were trying to get into the country to serve the needs of the Rohingya community. Pray for open borders so that medical teams can get back into the refugee camps to help this displaced community. A medical clinic in one of the camps uses teams of Christian doctors, nurses and midwives to serve alongside Bangladeshi medical personnel to minister to the many needs of the Rohingya people. We now have reports of Rohingya individuals coming to know Christ. Pray for God to show mercy on the people suffering in the camps and for a political way forward to help them return to Myanmar in peace one day.
Around 2 million children across the world are sold into the commercial sex trade each year. More than half of these children are in India. The girls lucky enough to be rescued have lived through unimaginable horrors and are left traumatised, afraid and struggle to adapt back into normal life. Pray for the restoration of the girls and that they would find strength and confidence as they transition back into a ‘normal’ life. Pray also for our partner JKPS in Kolkata as they care for these girls at their rehabilitation homes, providing a safe home, counselling, support and spiritual guidance.
Working in Olinda, in northeastern Brazil, ReVive International provides safe houses for young girls, and now boys as well, who are victims of sexual abuse, exploitation and neglect. They will soon be opening a new home, hopefully in early-mid 2019, for babies and young children up to the age of seven, both boys and girls. Even as they open this new home, pray that one day soon the ReVive homes will all be able to close as more Christians step up to foster and adopt children.
Pray for the unity of the evangelical church in Nicaragua and for an understanding that all are called to be a part of the kingdom of God and to go and make disciples of all nations. Pray for a greater sensitivity in the church towards work with the poor and marginalised, especially with prisoners, women who suffer violence, youth and adolescents at risk and indigenous people.
WEC International leadership are seeking to formally register WEC in the Republic of Ireland. We are needing to recruit individuals currently resident in the Republic, who know WEC well, and have experience of cross-cultural mission, and are passionate to see WEC more effectively recruiting Irish missionaries to reach the unreached, to serve on a new Board of Trustees who will be based in Ireland. If you have some spare time, and this could be you, please contact us.