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: Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a very unique country.  It is one of the oldest known nations, and has a long written history even from the Bible.  It is Africa’s oldest independent nation and one of the first Christian nations.  The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was the state church from 1270 until the 1974 revolution.  The Orthodox church had been isolated from the rest of the Christian world for a long time, as a Christian island surrounded by Islam, so they developed a unique culture, theology and tradition over time.  In recent years, the demand for the Bible has increased, and the Orthodox Church has helped in distributing Bibles and they have started to work more closely with other Christian groups including Catholics and evangelicals.

Ethiopia is mentioned in the Bible from Genesis to Acts – from the Garden of Eden, to Noah’s sons who inhabited the land, to the Ethiopian eunuch whom the Apostle Philip explained the scriptures about Jesus.  Even today, we see the roots of Christianity in this country, which is one of very few countries in this part of the world that is predominantly Christian.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.  The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush (Ethiopia). And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:10-14

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.  Acts 8:26-40

Pray for Our World: Eritrea

Eritrea is a small country in the horn of Africa along the coast of the Red Sea.  War with neighboring Ethiopia, a Marxist government, and severe religious restrictions have kept the country very poor.  Literacy rate is 56%, and half the population lives on less than $1 per day.  All religious groups are banned from meeting and practicing their faith except for the four officially recognized religions: Sunni Islam, Eritrean Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Evangelical Lutheran.  Even then, there is much religious persecution and imprisonment.  Since 2002, almost all missionaries and foreign aid workers of all religions have been expelled.

These people need our prayers.  Pray that Christian aid and resources will be made available to the people.