Pray for Our World: Sri Lanka

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a large island 80 km southwest of India. They gained their independence from Britain in 1948, and were engaged in civil war up until 2009. Buddhism is the national religion, and is protected and promoted. Christianity is perceived as foreign, and evangelism as an unethical way of conversion. Missionaries have all but ended due to restriction of visas. Christian literature is in great demand. Literacy is high but affordable quality literature that is culturally relevant is lacking. Christian radio and the Jesus film are available. Pray that the people will receive the literature and resources they need to learn about Jesus Christ for themselves.

Pray for Our World: Spain

Spain includes the major part of the Iberian peninsula and Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, and the Canary Islands off northwest Africa, and the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast. An estimated 5.6 million immigrants live in Span including 3 million non-registered people, mainly from North Africa and Latin America.

Spain’s tumultuous past shapes its present. The Muslim Moorish occupation lasted 700 years until 1492. The next three centuries of the worldwide Spanish empire was some of the mightiest economic power, followed by instability, civil wars and dictatorships of the 19th and 20th centuries. Spain is one of the world’s heaviest users of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, with most being young people. Gambling addiction is also high, with an estimated 15% of household income spent on betting.

Catholicism was the state religion for a long time, and non-Catholics were subject to discrimination and persecution. Today, Spain is moving from a traditional Catholic society to a secular-dominated and multi-religious society. The Catholic church is in crisis, and the country has never experienced a national revival. There is still discrimination against evangelicals in radio, tv and distribution. But evangelicals are growing and there is a considerable increase in missionaries in the last 30 years. Pray that spiritual revival will come, and the necessary resources will be made available to the people of Spain.

Pray for Our World: Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands are volcanic islands near Papau New Guinea. With over 76 ethno-linguigistic peoples, the islands do not have much of a national identity, but rather ethnicity dominates their identity and government. They also have a unique gene for blonde hair among dark-skinned people. They have been independent from Britain since 1978, but had a civil war after that which led to a downward economy and displacement of up to 30,000.

The islands are predominantly Christian and have had a history of revivals over the last 100 years. The churches and Christian ministries played an important role in trying to keep the peace during the civil war and within the government. Significant progress has been made on Bible translations, but they need more. Only three languages among the 76 ethnicities have the entire Bible. The Bible in Solomons Pijim, the most widely used language, was just completed in 2008, and the New Testament recently completed in other languages. Pray that they will be able to continue translating the Bible to all 50+ languages still needed.

Pray for Our World: South Africa

South Africa is at the southernmost point of the African continent. It is the richest and most industrialized country in Africa, with some of the largest deposits of gold, platinum and chrome. There is a vast gap between rich and poor, with high unemployment (almost 30%) and one-third of the population living below $2 US per day. South Africans have fought many sensitive issues including the injustices of apartheid, corruption, high crime and AIDS.  The final laws regarding apartheid and injustice to the non-white majority were repealed in 1994. Nelson Mandela’s government worked hard to initiate healing after this, but his successors have not been as successful.

There is freedom of religion, but the emphasis on pluralism and diversity to ethnic religions, humanism and interfaith movements have been at the expense of the Christian majority. Pray for continued healing, a reduction in poverty, inequality and crime, while ministering in the name of Christ to those who need it most.

Pray for Our World: Somalia

Somalia is part of the Horn of Africa, east of Ethiopia and Kenya. The economy has been devastated by warlords and civil wars, and the narcotic leaf qat that keeps the desire for many Somali men to work. Millions are dependent on aid. The Cold War provided them with weapons, which brought them to civil war. Later, the Islamist group Union of Islamic Courts emerged as a national power, and seek to enforce order through shari’a law. Somaliland and Puntland in the north declared their independence from Somalia and set up its own government, but they are not recognized internationally.

There is an infant Somali Church that is emerging amid great tribulation. Somali Christians are despised, heavily persecuted, and martyred, but they are also growing. Islam is not a religion of peace, but of submission. There is only peace if you submit, and then it is not an everlasting peace that Jesus promises. The government admits that Somalis are no longer 100% Muslim, but they still insist that all Somalis remain Muslim. There is a Somali translation Bible but it is not allowed in the country. Pray for the Christians and the Church there, that they may be strong and persevere in their faith, and bring others to the same saving faith through grace of Jesus Christ.