Let us humble our heart, bend our knees and pray for:
1. Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore
- EFOS and the National Council of Churches (NCCS) to jointly sponsor/organise a nation-wide outreach, CELEBRATION OF HOPE for May 17-19 , 2019.
- EFOS and her leaders have been prayerfully and carefully involved in giving various inputs in preparing fellow Christians and churches in view of the very strong, concerted and determined LGBT efforts, inroads and lobby.
2. AEA Relief and Development commission
- While we have are still on the drawing board, strategising for the AEA Relief and Development Commission, we heard of the recent Typhoon and Earthquake affecting Japan.
- 600,000 refugees in Mindanao as a result of the Marawi siege in Mindanao.
3. Thailand Youth Leaders Training
Organized by the WEA
4. Training in Bangladesh
For persecuted pastors / churches on practical advocacy, how to respond, and documentation, organized by the WEA.
The world’s most powerful export oriented economy despite lack of natural resources and oil, Japan’s high savings and low interest rates stimulated a massive capital investment boom based on high property values. The 1989 property crash pushed the world into recession and forced changes on Japan’s protectionist policy towards industry, the financial world and trading patterns.
Unemployment and instability have increased, but Japan still has an enormous trade surplus with the world.
Japan posses a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The 45 years of stability and economic expansion since World War II have turned Japan into an economic superpower.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all by the constitution, but the rising power of nationalistic Shintoism, partly associated with the new emperor, is tarnishing that freedom.
Over 80% of Japanese claim no personal religion, but most follow the demands of idolatrous and ancestor-venerating Buddhism, and rituals of polytheistic Shintoism. Many also follow some of the hundreds of newer religious movements that are offshoots of these.
There is a new openness after very little real church growth for over a century. This has been brought about as a result of natural disasters, failure of the ruling class, economic melt down, increasing rebelliousness of young people and also the rise of anti-social and violent cults that have all provoked soul searching and even a questioning of Japanese value systems.
A resurgence of a nationalistic Shintoism has caused much hostility to anything un-Japanese. Pray for Christians to stand firm in Jesus and not compromise their faith under pressure.
The Mongolian constitution honours Buddhism, Shamanism and Islam as Mongolia’s main religions, but grants certain religious freedoms to all people. Restrictions apply to ‘foreign’ religions in cases where they are perceived as a possible threat to national security. According to the Persecution index, Mongolia is 59th in the world. Christians constitute only 0.71% of the country’s population.
Though Mongolia was once one of the most closed countries in the world, it is now relatively open despite restrictions, with around 400 expatriate Christian workers.
As recently as 1989, there may have been only 4 Mongolian Christians. By 2000 there was an average of 4,000-5,000 gathering on any given Sunday, with a worshipping community of 8,000-10,000 in over 60 churches and about 100 other informal groups around the country.
The daunting economic situation is a major challenge for the government and deeply affects every aspect of life.
Lamaistic Buddhism has revived, monasteries have multiplied and many Buddhist sites and images have been restored.
The church in Mongolia is a reality for the first time in modern history, yet there are many challenges. Though there has been a great interest in the gospel, it has often been with misconceptions about missionaries and mixed motives.
Age-imbalanced congregations are the norm of the day. Most are comprised of youth with a few old folk, but the churches need to reach more working-age people, especially men.
Christianity is still too foreign and has not really become culturally Mongolian, yet biblically centered. Pray for a better contextualization of biblical truths to fit Mongolian culture.
Persecution of Christians occur, mainly through discrimination and bureaucratic difficulties created in registering churches and also from within families.
Rural churches have little support or teaching due to a lack of finances and their distance from the capital where most of the training and resources exist. Pray for Bible students to receive training and return back to their villages.
Spiritual unity. Out of the 1990s Mongolian Partnership has emerged the Mongolia Evangelical Fellowship, a coalition of 45 church groupings. Pray that this fellowship may truly serve to bring all the churches together, and for Christian leaders to come together for joint action and work
The expatriate Christian workforce has grown. Most are members of non-religious aid agencies which are not permitted to engage in religious activities. Joint Christian Services is one such umbrella body, coordinating the work of 16 agencies. At present, many are concentrated in the capital. Pray that more expatriate and indigenous Christians might move out to work in rural areas.
Though a country rich in agricultural potential, the last 25 years of war, genocide and the power-lust and greed of successive governments have impoverished most of the population.
Buddhism has been the national religion since the 15th century, and 82.5% of its population are Buddhists. The Khmer Rouge sought to eradicate all religions; 90% of Buddhist monks and most Christians perished. Since 1978 there have been periods of more tolerance, but only since 1990 have Christians been allowed to worship openly.
There is an open door for the gospel in the nation, despite or even because of, the awful past. The rapid growth of indigenous church planting ministries and multiplication of churches has been encouraging. In 1999 there were over 300 evangelical congregations with more than one new church starting each week.
The terrible genocide of 1975-79 in which nearly 2 million were killed has left deep physical and emotional scars. There are over 30,000 who have lost limbs to landmines, and almost the entire population needs deep healing from the trauma of their losses and suffering. Pray for justice to be done regarding those who perpetrated the crimes, the removal of mines and restoration of the country to a decent living standard, and for a government that seeks the good of all, and is worthy of the trust of the people.
The spiritual darkness of Cambodia must be lifted by prayer. That darkness is shown by the ubiquitous spirit shrines, the strong opposition of Buddhism to any ideological rival and the moral collapse.
Though the Cambodian church has survived against all odds, pray for the freedom from government manipulation and interference, and wisdom in how to relate to the authorities. For children and young people to be effectively discipled in the churches, and for many Christian families to be raised up, who can live for Christ as examples of his power to save and change.
Mature leadership for the churches is the greatest challenge. The loss of so many educated people in the Khmer Rouge slaughter and the dysfunctional society has pushed many new Christians quickly into leadership before they were ready for such responsibilities.
Please take time to pray for the people of Palu and Donggala- Central Sulawesi:
- For the security conditions can be safely controlled, the police can immediately take control of the residents and volunteers security over there.
- For logistics distribution of foods, basic needs, and fuel can be distributed to residents.
- For the revitalization process of roads, bridges, the exit and entry points of Palu and other areas in Central Sulawesi can be immediately implemented and completed.