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Archive for May, 2016

As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

We pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

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An estimated one million refugees are now living in Germany. Taking in so many refugees has posed some serious challenges for the country. One problem which had been ignored until recently is the increase in aggression and violence towards Christians in the refugee hostels. For this reason, Open Doors carried out a survey of Christian refugees in temporary accommodations in Germany who had experienced persecution on the grounds of faith. These were put into a report entitled Religiously motivated attacks on Christian refugees in Germany, consisting of 231 interviews carried out among refugees in a variety of locations in Germany over the last two months.

Thomas Muller, an Open Doors persecution analyst, said, “Christian refugees from many different countries are trying and failing to find safety in Europe, and it is likely that the report only shows the tip of the iceberg. It is clear that many Christian refugees – especially those who are converts to the Christian faith – live in fear of persecution from Muslim refugees who make up the majority of residents in the refugee hostels set up throughout Europe. It is sobering to hear persecuted Christians telling a Western country that they recognize the very same persecution patterns in operation as in their home countries.”

Harassment and Persecution

The Christian refugees involved in the survey indicated that they had suffered from persecution both at the hands of fellow refugees and through hostel security staff. Some 75% stated that this had happened repeatedly. Persecution was suffered in the following ways (with the number of people affected in brackets):

Insults (96)
Bodily harm (86)
Death threats – also towards family (73)
Very loud religious music or prayer (62)

In addition there were physical attacks in the form of punches, spitting, pushing and sexual abuse.

The Tip of the Iceberg

These figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Many Christian refugees are frightened of facing more difficulties if they report incidents. For instance, there is genuine fear that the information could get into the wrong hands and cause danger for relatives still living in their home countries. Others have given up all hope of receiving help. The research was also limited by the time available to local partners working with refugees. It is therefore clear that the actual number of incidents is far higher than recorded in this report.

Only one in five of those surveyed had been to the police or hostel authorities to report an incident. In most cases nothing was done to offer the victims protection. Very often the Christians were not taken seriously or faced complaints against their own conduct, which made their situation worse. The language barrier also proved to be a great problem, particularly where unsympathetic translators were used and translators relayed false information.

What Persecuted Christians Need

Some 80% of the refugees surveyed saw a need for separate accommodation for Christians and Muslims. Others suggested that seminars be held for all refugees to educate them on German law, rights and the freedom of religion. Further suggestions included the need for special training for security staff at the asylum centers and hostels to be able to cope with conflicts caused by religious differences.

In order to ensure the protection of Christian refugees in German refugee housing, Open Doors Germany is campaigning to make politicians and other responsible parties aware of these needs.

Who Was Surveyed?

Open Doors Germany published its first results based on 231 questionnaires filled out earlier this year. Some 82% of those questioned were male and over half of those questioned were younger than 30 years old. Most of those questioned came from Iran (approx. 69%), 13% from Afghanistan and 5% from Syria. 86% of those participating in the survey were Christians with a Muslim background. Of these, the majority had already converted to the Christian faith in their home countries.

Please Pray:

  • For protection for Christian refugees in Germany and other parts of Europe
  • For wisdom for German and European politicians and leaders
  • For support for refugees traumatized by what they have seen and suffered.

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“Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”

Isaiah 55:5 – 7

Dear Heavenly Father – Forgive me for my wrongful ways. Even though I’ve departed from You, You have never left me. Your loving care and mercy are calling me back to You. So, help me to repent and to turn away from my sins as I return to You – seeking Your perfect will for my life. Amen.

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Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

Mother’s Day Background

Mother’s Day started by Anne Jarvis is a day historically set aside to honor moms everywhere for all of the things they do for families. When Anne Jarvis first began the tradition, she had her whole church congregation wear white carnations during the service in honor of her mother. Traditionally, mothers are recognized by the church, and they use symbols like the carnation to honor living and dead mothers. Services are dedicated to mothers, and prayers said in their behalf and about them. Because religion was such as central part of the original Mother’s Day, it is a natural part of today’s celebrations and honoring of mothers.

Prayer

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

We thank You for our mothers to whom You have entrusted the care of every precious human life from its very beginning in the womb.

You have given to woman the capacity of participating with You in the creation of new life.

Grant that every woman may come to understand the full meaning of that blessing, which gives her an unlimited capacity for selfless love for every child she may be privileged to bear, and for all Your children.

Watch over every mother who is with child, strengthen her faith in Your fatherly care and love for her and for her unborn baby. Give her courage in times of fear or pain, understanding in times of uncertainty and doubt, and hope in times of trouble. Grant her joy in the birth of her child.

To mothers You have given the great privilege and responsibility of being a child’s first teacher and spiritual guide. Grant that all mothers may worthily foster the faith of their children, following the example of Mary, Elizabeth, and other holy women who follow Christ. Help mothers to grow daily in knowledge and understanding of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant them the wisdom to impart this knowledge faithfully to their children, and to all who depend upon them.

Assist all “spiritual mothers,” those who, though they may have no children of their own, nevertheless selflessly care for the children of others — of every age and state in life. Grant that they may know the joy of fulfilling this motherly calling of women, whether in teaching, nursing, religious life, or in other work which recognizes and fosters the true dignity of every human being created in Your image and likeness.

We beseech You to send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that have died, are ill or estranged from their families, or who are in trouble or danger of any kind. Help grieving mothers to rely on Your tender mercy and fatherly love for all your children.

We ask your blessing on all those to whom You have entrusted motherhood. May Your Holy Spirit constantly inspire and strengthen them. May all mothers receive Your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in Your Presence in the life to come.

We ask this through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

AMEN.

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Dear Heavenly Father,

We come to You today as a humble people desperate for Your supernatural intervention on behalf of our beloved nation. First, we thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world. The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.

This is why our hearts are so broken over how You continue to be marginalized and dismissed by both our people and our institutions. We are also saddened by the fact that Your people have contributed greatly to the spiritual apathy that now engulfs us. Our satisfaction in remaining religious without being fully committed to living out the truths of Your Word has caused us to become co-conspirators with the forces of evil that are destroying us as a society.

It is for this reason that we personally and collectively repent of our carnality and recommit ourselves to becoming visible and verbal disciples of Jesus Christ. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to no longer be secret agent Christians but rather to publicly declare and live out Your truth in a spirit of love so that You feel welcome in our country once again.

Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayers when we call to You with hearts of repentance and obedience, which is how we are appealing to You today, Father. On behalf of Your church, we affirm afresh the priority You are to us that You would fill every dimension of our lives as we seek to bring You glory through the advancement of Your kingdom in our personal lives, our family lives, and in the lives of our churches and our government leaders. We confidently invite heaven’s intervention into all the affairs of our nation and we praise You in advance for Your answer.

In Jesus’ Name we pray.
Amen.

by Dr. Tony Evans
2016 Honorary Chairman

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