Pray for Our World: Small islands of the Caribbean

There are several small islands that make up some of the best tourist destinations in the Caribbean, and most of these are named as saints. St. Barthelemy, an overseas collective of France, is a high-end tourism and luxury duty-free economy mostly bought by wealthy American and French visitors. St. Kitts and Nevis are federal democracies independent from Britain, and used to produce most of the world’s sugar. St. Lucia, considered one of the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean, has been independent from Britain since 1974, but is still highly contested at times. St. Martin is an overseas collective of France, and shares an island with Saint Maarten which is part of the Netherlands. St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been independent from Britain as a parliamentary democracy since 1979.

There are no shortage of churches on most of these islands, but they are limited. Though considered religious countries, they are prone to the same spiritual apathy that has taken hold of many of the countries today. We are in a spiritual crisis. Churches of the past line the streets but they are empty or have closed their doors. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before, but people do not know what the Bible says. Pray for the revival and restoration of the churches on these small islands in the beautiful Caribbean.

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.

Pray for Our World: Slovenia

Slovenia, which borders on Italy, has a long history starting in 5th century BC. The Roman Empire ruled for almost 1000 years, then under Habsburg rule for hundreds of years, and finally as part of Yugoslavia until the recent breakdown of Communism, in which the country has now been independent since 1991. There is a strong Christian heritage that goes alone with much of that history, but today, its churches suffer from spiritual apathy.

Christian resources are in short supply, underfunded, and the Christians remain divided. Pray for unity and resources to help staff the churches and revitalize their Christian heritage.

Pray for Our World: Singapore

Singapore is a small island off the tip of the Malaysian peninsula. It is Asia’s cleanest and greenest area, and among the wealthiest countries per capita and highest standards of living. The economy is heavily export-dependent. There are 95 racial groups, and although there is freedom of religion, government policies strongly influence the preserving of ethnic and religious harmony which sometimes goes against freedom of speech.

Religions are just as varied as the racial and ethnic groups. 40% are Buddhist, 16% Christian, 14% Muslim, 7% Chinese, and 18% non-religious. Many of the Christians are evangelical, and the responsiveness of the gospel among the educated is a strong trend. Christianity is considered a progressive belief system with positive influence, and this brings many of the educated to the faith, including Chinese university students. Many young people are very responsive to the gospel as well, with about 35% involved in student ministry. Singapore is strategically located for missions and reaching other Asian countries, especially China. However, most mainland Chinese people who live in Singapore do not convert to Christianity. Pray for the Chinese churches in Singapore that they may be able to reach out more to those who come from mainland China.

Pray for Our World: Serbia

Serbia is a landlocked Balkan state. It has two autonomous provinces, Kosovo in the south and Vojvodina in the north. It has a long history. Since its defeat to the Turks in 1389, Serbia has rarely been in an independent nation. It was ruled by the Ottomons and then Austria-Hungry, its ethnic nationalism helped trigger WWI and provoke genocidal civil war during WWII, then 45 years of communism, and the Balkan wars of the 1990’s. There has been religious and ethnic hatred on all sides.

Pray that there will be unity among the churches – the ancient Serbian Orthodox Church and the protestants and evangelicals, that they may reach out in love and forgiveness to the people of Serbia to show them true religious freedom.