Please forward this prayer bulletin widely, and encourage others to sign up to the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin blog. "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 NIV)
by Elizabeth Kendal
International Days of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church
IDOP 2016: Sundays 6 & 13 November. Resources: http://idop.org/
See also Critical Prayer Requests (CPR)
OCTOBER 2016 UPDATE -- this month we prayed concerning ...
* RUSSIA (RLPB 378), where new anti-mission measures -- which have more to do with politics than religion -- are causing grief and stirring debate.
|Orthodox 'vigilantes' (Pravmir.ru)|
A spiritual battle is under way. Please pray for Russia and its Church. (Romans 8:28 ESV).
* CHINA (RLPB 379), where new regulations targeting churches and lawyers herald dark days for the Church. For a more complete analysis, see: 'Persecution of Church to Escalate as Zhejiang Experiment Goes National', by Elizabeth Kendal, Religious Liberty Monitoring (17 Oct 2016).
UPDATE: China Aid reports that local government authorities in Lishui city in Zhejiang Province have instructed teachers at the Lishui Vocational and Technical College to instil atheism, exclude theism and eradicate religious activity on campus.
ALSO: The four-day 6th Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party's 205-member Central Committee commenced on Monday. By the end of the week President Xi will have been confirmed as the 'core' of the CCP. This will put Xi Jinping on a par with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, as a leader whose rule may not be questioned. Pray for China and its Church.
* GERMANY (RLPB 380) where the Church is in decline, Christianity is in crisis and Christian asylum seekers are persecuted with impunity. Without reformation, revival and divine intervention, Germany will be lost. Pray for Germany on Reformation Sunday, 30 October. [For prayer points see RLPB 380 (19 Oct).]
UPDATE: In addition to the report referenced in RLPB 380, Open Doors has now also released a case study which profiles a refugee centre in the central German town of Rotenburg an der Fulda. Sobering reading, the report includes an open letter and appeal for help from Iranian Christians living in the Rotenburg facility. Appendix 2 calls for an end to the 'integration experience' which is being undertaken at the expense of Christians and appeals for the swift implementation of various protective measures. Critically, the report highlights the role of the local church in supporting Christian refugees, monitoring their situation and advocating on their behalf to bring about change.
Report: 'Attacks on Christian Refugees'. Open Doors, October 2016
A case study: the refugee reception centre in Rotenburg an der Fulda, Hesse.
OCTOBER ROUND-UP -- also this month ...
* IRAQ: ELEVATED RISK DURING BATTLE FOR MOSUL
Despite having been driven from their homes in Mosul and the Nineveh Plains in June-August 2014, the now-displaced Assyrian remnant will face elevated risk during the Battle for Mosul. At present most are hunkered down in Ankawa, on the northern edge of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The ISIS counter-offensive has included attempts to open new fronts. On 21 October ISIS suicide bombers and snipers attacked the contested but Kurdish-held oil-rich city of Kirkuk. On 23 October ISIS launched a fierce three-pronged attack on Rutba in western Anbar Province.
|Church welcomes one of the 'hidden' girls.|
photo: Fr. Ammar. (source: WWM)
Pray for the Christian remnant in Iraq: 'Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings ...' (from Psalm 17:6-9).
* PRISONERS: PRAISE GOD for the release in IRAN of Behnam Irani, pastor of the 300-member Church of Iran in Karaj. During his six years in prison, he had at times been close to death. PRAISE GOD for the release in CHINA of Yang Rongli, pastor of the 50,000-member Linfen Church in Shaanxi province; she had served her full 7-year detention.
PLEASE continue to 'Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.' (Hebrews 13:3 ESV)
* UK: BELFAST COURT RULES AGAINST ASHERS BAKERY
|Daniel and Amy McArthur |
of Ashers Baking Company
The case against Ashers Baking Company was brought by the taxpayer-funded Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which is now demanding the McArthurs pay costs amounting to more than £88,000 (more than US$107,000). As the McArthurs consider their options, the tide of public opinion is turning. In an on-line opinion poll conducted by The Telegraph, 88 percent of respondents voted 'No' when asked if the court had made the right decision. Pray for the McArthurs and for awakening in the UK.
Elizabeth Kendal is the author of Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).