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Archive for the ‘Pray for the People of the World’ Category

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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The country of Nepal is actively working to finalize its constitution, and the people need your prayers.

An interim constitution has governed Nepal since the country’s monarchy was dispelled in 2007. After the recent earthquakes, the current Constituent Assembly of Nepal quickly began working on the constitution in an effort to speed up the reconstruction process and reassure citizens they are able to effectively respond to crises.

The government recently distributed 200,000 copies of the preliminary draft to the public, affording citizens the opportunity to suggest changes. On July 23, a report containing the public’s feedback will be sent to the Constituent Assembly.

They hope to ratify the constitution by mid-August.

My brothers and sisters, this is a critical time for prayer on behalf of the people in Nepal.

There have been riots and protests concerning the draft. Many people are demanding Nepal return to its traditional religious roots.

Right now, religious minorities in the country fear their freedom to practice and share their faith will be severely restricted if the current draft of the constitution goes unchanged.

Will you pray with me for this situation?

  • Pray that the governing authorities will be guided by wisdom as they work to finalize Nepal’s constitution.
  • Pray also that God’s people will be granted freedom to worship.

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As the sun topped the horizon of Kharkiv’s central square on the morning of March 2, a group of people huddled together on their knees, praying for their city. While the moment passed without celebration or fanfare, it marked the 365th consecutive day the group has gathered.

Let us join them in prayer:

Pray

Pray for Christian workers and believers in Ukraine as they minister to their communities.

Pray for a resolution to the crisis in Ukraine.

Pray that lives will be changed and that people will follow Jesus during this time of war.

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Open Doors has released this special prayer for use during Ramadan:

Father, we thank You for the persevering faith of these Christians in Nigeria and Sudan. We pray for those who mourn the loss of loved ones, that You would bring comfort to their grieving souls. We pray for congregations whose church buildings are no more. In this season of rain, we pray for places of shelter in which to worship. We pray for protection from violence and for wisdom for church leaders as they shepherd the people in responding in ways that honor You. Where Satan would use these circumstances to destroy Christ’s church, we pray boldly that You will not only protect Your church, but that You will even cause the church to grow and flourish in the midst of persecution. And during this month of Ramadan, as the Muslim world watches on, whether they are sympathetic neighbors or extremists, we pray that they will see You and turn their hearts from spiritual darkness to the light of the gospel of Christ. In the name of Jesus, who is gathering His church from all nations and peoples, Amen.

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The Christian community in Jordan and Lebanon has become a key source of practical, emotional, and spiritual support for thousands of Syrians who have lost everything.

Christian ministry’s like the Bible Society in Jordan and Lebanon were among the first organizations to spring into action to help, despite opposition from some radical Muslim groups.

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Your prayers are requested for our Middle-East brothers and sisters:

  • Pray that our Lord would comfort and surround the refugees from Syrian with His love and compassion, that many would be drawn to Christ as their Savior.
  • Pray for peace in Syrian, that soon these refugees that have had to flee their homeland would be able to return.
  • Pray for the safety of Christians, like the Bible Society in Jordan and Lebanon who are being used of God to help these Syrian refugees, in spite of any opposition that may come against then from radical Muslim groups, or any other persecution that may come.
  • Pray that these servants of God, like the Bible Society in Jordan and Lebanon would be given by God, hearts of endurance that they would not become weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). And, that our Lord would supply are their needs – food, water, shelter, and His blessings from above!

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A recently a video emerged from Boko Haram showing the kidnaped Nigerian girls dressed in burqas while being held captive. The girls have been held hostage for a month now, and each passing day brings more fear and uncertainty.

Open Doors is on the ground in Nigeria, and other countries, supporting women and children like these who have had their lives turned upside down by the horrific acts of extremists.

Through programs like trauma counseling, training to stand strong in the face of persecution and even rebuilding homes and churches destroyed by extremist groups, we are able to stand with these dear sisters.

In a communication, Open Doors said, “to keep these vital programs going, we need your help! As the attacks in Nigeria and other countries continue to increase, your support is desperately needed… In 2013, more than 700 Christian girls were kidnaped in Pakistan and hundreds were kidnaped in Egypt as well. Christian women and children have been increasingly targeted by extremist groups and deeply depend on your prayers and support. Thank you for standing not only with the Christian girls who have been abducted, but with the countless others being persecuted for their faith!”

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Haiyan hit the central islands of the Philippines before heading west toward Vietnam. Because communications in the Philippines were cut off by the storm, it’s still difficult to determine the full extent of casualties and damage.

“We expect the level of destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan to be extensive and devastating, and sadly we fear that many lives will be lost,” said Anna Lindenfors, Philippines director of Save the Children.

As the Lord leads, please pray:

  • For those in the Philippines who have been affected by this huge storm
  • That relief efforts will quickly reach the affected areas
  • That God will comfort those who have suffered great loss

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