The ALL INDIA UNITED CHRISTIAN VOICE (AIUCV) has a list of prayer points that are prayed for each month by hundreds of Indians. Each week, on ChristianMetro.com, we feature a portion of the prayer points and hope you fill spend time praying for them as the Lord guides you.
17th November - 16th December, 2017 PRAY FOR PERSECUTED CHURCHES AND CHRISTIANS AROUND THE WORLD
“Remember the Prisoners as though you were in the prison with them and the mistreated as though you yourself were suffering bodily”: Hebrew 13:3
A – Pray for the persecuted church and christians
A1. Christians Protest Police Inaction Following Church Desecration
(The Tribune India) - Residents in large numbers today protested outside the Salem Tabri police station, accusing the police of inaction in a theft case reported from St. Mary’s Church at Aman Nagar, Ludhiana, recently. The protesters alleged they had been doing the rounds of the police officials’ offices that just made hollow promises. “The church was broken into and desecrated. They broke the sacred vessels as well as offertory boxes. This is not an isolated case as a similar burglary was also reported at the church in Noorpur village. We suspect the same persons who murdered Pastor Sultan Masih are behind the burglary at the church,” the protesters said. Pray the Punjab police will take appropriate action to bring the culprits to justice as well as protect the rights of the minorities as envisaged in the Indian Constitution.
A2. Hindu Fundamentalist Party Claims India is for Hindus First, Others Later
. (Scroll.in) - The Shiv Sena recently observed that India is a country of Hindus first and others later. In its party mouthpiece Saamana, it said Muslims, Christians and Buddhists all had other countries to live in, but Hindus do not have any other nation.
The party made the statement in response to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks that India was a country of Hindus, but belonged to others as well.
“The RSS chief says like Hindus, India belongs to others as well,” the Saamana editorial said. “The Shiv Sena chief says India belongs to Hindus first and others later because there are more than 50 countries for Muslims.”
In the first six months of 2017 alone, Christians and their places of worship had been attacked over 400 times. Pray that responsible leaders at the Centre will censure these observations that can endanger the harmony and unity of the country in the long term.
A3.Court Releases Christian Children to Parents after False Forced Conversion Claims
ICC Note: The Madhya Pradesh High Court released seven Christian children back to their parents recently after they and their chaperones were ordered to deboard a train at the railway station in Indore. On October 23, Hindu radicals falsely accused the two Christian chaperones of kidnapping the children and attempting to forcefully convert them to Christianity.
The chaperones were arrested by police and the children were taken to child services. Parents of the children had to testify before the court to prove they had given their consent for the children to travel with the chaperones and provided baptism certificates to prove they were Christians. False accusations of forced conversions are common with Hindu radicals using these accusations to harass Christian leaders. Pray for courage and wisdom from the Lord for the Christians of Madhya Pradesh to operate under the prevailing hostile environment.
A4.Tribals in Jharkhand Rally against New Anti-Conversion Law
ICC Note: Members of the tribal community in India's Jharkhand state rallied against the states newly enacted anti-conversion law, calling the law a "cruel joke". The anti-conversion law, officially known as the Freedom of Religion Act 2017, allows the state to regulate religious conversions and punish what it deemed to be forced conversions. Unfortunately, these laws are widely abused by Hindu radicals to persecute religious minorities, especially Christians. Pray for the reversal of this new law.
A5.Christians Hospitalized Following Mob Attack on Church
(Christian Post) - At least two Christians have been hospitalized and are in critical condition after a Hindu mob attacked and desecrated a church worship service in Chhattisgarh recently. Witnesses told ICC that the mob beat the men, women and children of the congregation and dragged them out of the building. The extremists allegedly demanded that the worshipers renounce their faith in Christ. But when the Christians refused to do so they were beaten with sticks.
The mob set fire to the church's furniture and also stripped some of the Christian women. A total of nine worshipers were seriously injured. Pray the police authorities will take appropriate measures to prevent such unwarranted attacks.
A6. Sudanese Pastors Continually Harassed by Government after Release
ICC Note: The five Sudanese pastors who were arrested and released on October 22 in Sudan, were required to go to court on October 26. Once they arrived, they were told that their case had been postponed until October 31. This seems to be one of the tactics that the regime in Khartoum uses to abuse Christians and disrupt their lives.
They arrest Christians and their leaders and then make them check in at police stations and courts on a daily basis for weeks, months or even years. This makes it hard for the Christians to hold jobs, support themselves and continue to fight the legal system. Pray that this kind of harassment would end immediately.
A7. Worshipers Harassed in Egypt, Pelted With Rocks
Egypt (Reuters) - Coptic Christians in the south of Egypt renewed calls on local authorities for an end to discrimination, after a number of churches have been closed down in recent weeks. Two churches in two separate villages in the southern province of Minya have been shut down by the authorities, a statement by the Minya diocese said. It said worshippers were harassed at both churches and pelted with rocks at one of them.
A third church was closed following rumours of a pending attack, but the diocese said no attack has taken place since and the church remains closed. Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population of nearly 95 million, say they have been persecuted for years. Many feel the state does not take their plight seriously enough. Pray for the protection of the Coptic Christians and the suppression that is taking place will end soon.
A8.US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal of Ruling Declaring Ten Commandments Monument Unconstitutional
United States (Christian News Network) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a ruling out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that declared a New Mexico Ten Commandments monument unconstitutional. Two Wiccan women who took offense at the display had filed suit against the Decalogue placement in 2012, stating that it made them feel “alienated.”
The nation’s highest court gave no reason for its decision to not to take the case.
“This is a victory for the religious liberty of people everywhere,” Peter Simonson, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, remarked in a press release. “The Supreme Court’s decision to let the rulings against the monument stand sends a strong message that the government should not be in the business of picking and choosing which sets of religious beliefs enjoy special favour in the community.”
The monument has been on display at Bloomfield City Hall since 2011.
“Presented to the people of San Juan County by private citizens recognizing the significance of these laws on our nation’s history,” the Decalogue read, which was unveiled during a special ceremony. Pray that the lawmakers in the U.S. may act righteously and fearlessly on matters regarding the Christian Faith.
B. PRAY FOR CHURCHES AND THEIR LEADERS
B1. Pray for the Church leaders, Archbishops, Bishops, Presbyters, Pastors, Gospel Workers and all those who work in the Lord's Vineyard so that they sincerely practice what they preach and their teachings and preaching are always in consonance with the teachings of the Bible. Pray that they never stray from the straight and narrow path. Particularly pray for the Catholic Archbishop of Bangalore, Most Rev. Bernard Moraes, the Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India, Rt. Rev. Prasanna Kumar Samuel the Bishop of the CSI Central Karnataka Diocese, Bishop N L Karkare, the Methodist Bishop of Bangalore and the Chairman of the Full Gospel Assemblies of God. Pray that the Churches under their charge give such a testimony that the rest of the world finds reasons to praise God because of them.
B2. Pray for all the churches in India particularly the Catholic Church, the CSI, CNI, Marthoma Church, the Evangelical church of India, Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, Jacobite Syrian Church, Full Gospel Assembly of God Churches, Evangelical churches, Brethren Assemblies, the Seventh day Adventist Churches, the Mennonite Churches, Pentecostal Churches, the Believer’s Church and many other Independent Churches in India.
Pray that these churches remain true to the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ as revealed through the word of God. Pray that the Churches are more conscious of the values they practice in the lives of its members rather than in the number of their adherents so that each member of the Church becomes the Gospel read by those who see them. Pray that the Church becomes instrumental in reforming the society in which they live instead of getting polluted by the filth they find all around them.
B3. Pray For Revival in the Churches in India
Pray for a spiritual revival in all our Churches irrespective of the denomination. Pray that the Holy Spirit pours Himself on the Churches in India in such a mighty manner as in the day of the First Pentecost. Let each Church and each individual member of the Churches experience the Power of the Spirit. Let the fruits of the Spirit dwell richly in every individual who calls himself a believer. Let the gifts of the Spirit be manifested in such a way that the rest of the world will wonder at what is happening to Christians in the world.
Pray that such a revival starts with each one of us individually and spreads to every Church in Bangalore first and widely to all parts of the country. Let not the persecutions that occur in the country hold us back. Cry out to the Lord for such a mighty revival in India.
C. PRAY FOR CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS, PUBLICATIONS, LITERATURE SOCIETIES AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA PROPAGATING THE GOSPEL
C1. Pray for the many Christian Organizations that work in our country such as ,Prison Ministry of India, India Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth with a Mission, National Missionary Society, Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly, Union of the Evangelical students of India, Gospel for Asia, Karnataka Evangelical Association, Sunday school club of India, Ambassadors for Christ, Blessings Youth Mission, India for Christ Ministries, Emerging Youth Leaders, India Missions Association, Friends Missionary Prayer Band, Maharashtra Village Ministries, Indian Evangelical Mission, Missions India, Thiruvalla, GEMS ,MUT, Sunday School Union,, Scripture Union, Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission , RZIM and all other missionary organizations in the country.
C2. Pray for the Far East Broadcasting Association, Evangelical Literature Service, ISPCK, India Bible Literature, Masihi Sahitya Sanstha, World Cassette Outreach, The Gideon’s International in India, India Every Home Crusade, TAFTEE, St. Paul’s Publication, Operation Mobilization, Gospel Literature Service, Asian Trading Corporation, Forerunner Magazine, Sunday School Association of India, Christian Legal Association of India, Quiet Corner Prayer Movement , Live School (www.liveschool.org) and other Christian Agencies. Pray that God will bless all efforts going on in this country to spread the word of God.
C3. Pray for Christian Social Service Organizations as they serve the poor and needy people in India: Missionaries of Charity, Catholic Relief Organization, EFICOR, World Vision, CASA, and Mission to the Blind, Hospitals and Ministries catering to the Blind, those suffering from leprosy and mentally challenged People.
C4. Pray For All Christian Institutions in the Country
Pray for all the Christian Institutions in the country, including Schools, Colleges Hospitals and Medical Colleges spread all over the country. Pray that these Institutions are enabled to function according to Christian principles, upholding noble values and maintaining high standards at all times. Particularly pray for the Theological Colleges and Seminaries in all parts of the country so that they are enabled to train and prepare Christ-like Christian Leaders.
D. PRAY FOR THE NATION
D1. Pray for our leaders, in the Executive, the Legislatures and the Judiciary
Pray for all those in authority in our country, the Prime Minister and his colleagues in the Central Government, the Chief Ministers and the ministers in all the States in the country , all the Legislators and all connected with our Judiciary. Although the motto of the country continues to be ‘Satyameva Jayate’, there is a trust deficit among the people about what they hear from our leaders. Conflicting versions of what goes on in the country are aired daily by those in the Government and those in the opposition. Take for example the case of the demonetisation of currency in the country to the extent of 86%, one year ago. The soft spoken former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who ruled the country for ten years just before Modi came to power, an economist of international repute and a former Governor of the RBI, minces no word in condemning it as a ‘monumental blunder, organised loot and plunder’. The Prime Minister and his Finance Minister on the other hand describe it as the best thing that has happened for the country. Those who suffered due to this sudden move will no doubt agree with Dr.Manmohan Singh, but those few who benefitted from the move by means fair or foul will surely support the Government version. There is ‘hype versus reality’ regarding everything happening in the country today. Ordinary people in the country are left in a quandary wondering what to believe. The country seems to be in a perpetual election mode where power of propaganda far outweighs truth and reality. Let us therefore pray that our Leaders pay heed to the motto of our Nation and avoid hype and falsehood in their utterances. Let us also pray that the people of the country show enough wisdom to see through the game of our politicians.
D.2. There has been, of late, an image makeover for Shri Rahul Gandhi the Vice president of the Indian National Congress. People have started to view his utterances with more seriousness. The change occurred during his recent tour of the United States when he had active inter actions with University students in Berkley and Princeton. The revelation that he is a ‘black belt’ in Japanese martial art has also helped to boost his image. Even the ruling party’s allies Shiv Sena and the Republican Party has conceded that Shri Gandhi can no longer be dismissed as a ’Pappu’ and has to be treated as a leader in his own right. For effective functioning of democracy it is essential to have a strong opposition and credible opposition leaders. Therefore we have to thank God for this apparent change. Let us pray, in the meanwhile, for the opposition leaders to sink their differences and stand unitedly against the moves of the government that are not in the interest of the people of this country. The results of the state elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh expected on 18th of December are crucial in this connection. (LV)
E. PRAY FOR NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES
E1. Christian Asylum Seekers Deported Back to Afghanistan's Dangerous Borders
ICC Note: According to Amnesty International, European countries have increased the number of deportations back to Afghanistan by 300%. Many of the deported asylum seekers are Christians who face incredible danger in Afghanistan because of their faith. Death threats, attacks, and discrimination are realities for many asylum seekers who became Christians while in Europe.
In addition, many asylum seekers have not lived in Afghanistan for years and have nothing to return to. They don’t know where to get a job, how to pay for their basic necessities, or if they’ll be attacked for their faith. Please pray the European Countries will not allow local political sentiments to cloud their humanitarian and ethical compulsions on policy matters relating to refugees.
E2. US Senators Say Pakistan Should Be Designated "Country of Particular Concern"
ICC Note: A group of influential US Senators have said that Pakistan should be designated a "country of particular concern" because of its religious freedom violations and have urged the US State Department to follow their recommendation.
Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan face widespread discrimination and instances of outright persecution. Abused blasphemy laws, forced conversions to Islam, and terrorist attacks on minority neighbourhoods and places of worship only lists a few of the issues faced by religious minorities in Pakistan. Will the US designate and sanction Pakistan as a country of particular concern? Pray that the widespread discrimination and persecution of the religious minorities in Pakistan will end soon.
E3. Six Police Officers in Pakistan Arrested for Murder of Christian Teen
ICC Note: Six police officers accused of beating a Christian teen to death earlier this month have been arrested and charged with murder. The Christian teen Arsalan Masih, was targeted by the police officers after he got into a confrontation with Muslim classmates who were trying to convert him to Islam. According to reports, one of the six police officers accused of beating Masih to death is the uncle of one of the Muslim classmates Masih fought with earlier in the day.
Discrimination against Christians in Pakistan is widespread and can, at times, lead to outright violence against their community if a Christian has a conflict with a member of the Muslim community. Please pray that Masih and his family will receive the justice they deserve in this case.
E4. Four Falsely Accused and Imprisoned Christians Released in Nepal.
Nepal (Christian News) – Four Nepali Christians sentenced last year to five years in prison for “violence and witchcraft,” after praying for a mentally ill woman, has been released after their sentences were overturned.
In a statement, the Federation of National Christian, Nepal (FNCN) thanked the court for “setting free our innocent people”, and said it would continue to support the Christians and their families following their release.
Lali Pun, Bimkali Budha, Ruplal Pariyar and his wife Ganga were found guilty in December 2016 at the District Court in western Nepal—even though the woman had testified in court that their prayer had healed her. A fifth Christian, Rupa Thapa, was found not guilty. Praise God for answered prayers. Pray for those Christians who are still in prison in Nepal.
E5. Bishop in Bangladesh Voices Concern over Discrimination Against Christians
Bangladesh (Premier) - A senior Catholic Church figure in Bangladesh has said he’s worried about Christians facing persecution in the workplace, saying they’re dealing with exploitation and violent outbursts. Archbishop Moses Costa of Chittagong told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that authorities were exploiting Christians and other minorities working in dangerous conditions dismantling old ships.
Stating that men have been killed in Chittagong’s ship breaking yards on the coast of southern Bangladesh, he said: “This work is carried out in very hazardous conditions and claims innumerable human lives.”
Highlighting the Church’s concern about the increase in violence against parishioners, he described the situation in his archdiocese as “difficult and dangerous”. Pray the Government of Bangladesh will heed the voice of the archbishop.
E6. Muslim Protests Force Cancellation of Protestant Celebration
Malaysia (UCA News) – Organizers of an open-air prayer service in Indonesia to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation were forced to cancel the event following pressure from Muslim hardliners who accused them of plotting plot to convert Muslims to Christianity. Observers said the case was another example of growing intolerance in the country.
The service was to be held on Oct. 20 at the Kridosono football stadium in Yogyakarta and to be led by Stephen Tong, head of the Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia, whose members are mainly Indonesian Chinese.
However, the event was scrapped after the Forum Ukhuwah Islamiyah (FUI), an arm of the Indonesian Ulema Council, wrote to stadium officials calling on them not to allow the gathering, saying it was an attempt to Christianize Muslims. Pray the authorities in Indonesia will not cave into the pressures exerted by the Muslim fundamentalists but uphold the rights and freedom of the religious minorities.
F1. Praise God for the wonderful support of the India Campus Crusade for Christ to AIUCV and the encouragement they provide for the furtherance of this Prayer Movement. Please pray for their Director, Mr Jose Sams and the staff and their family’s rich blessing.
F2. God willing we will have our next prayer meeting on Saturday, December 09 , at St John’s Church, Cleveland Town, Bangalore560 005. Please make it convenient to attend the same. Also, kindly invite at least one other concerned friend for the program.