Pray for Our World: Kenya

Kenya has only been independent from Britain since 1963.  Like many countries who have gained their independence in the last 50 years, they struggle with corruption, political instability, and crime.  The population is majority Christian Protestant, and it remains a regional hub for Christian missions and education.  The crisis is with their youth.  The majority of the population are children with over 100,000 street children living in slums, while around 500 adults still pass away every day due to AIDS.

There are many support ministries and resources there.  Pray the churches and missionaries can continue to minister to the people, while keeping away evil outside influences that are trying to infiltrate the region.

Pray for Our World: Jordan

Jordan is a desert region that borders the Dead Sea, and home to the famous archaeological site Petra, which dates to around 300 BC and home to many temples and tombs.  Jordan is a moderate Arab Islam state but there is free exercise of religious belief, and the Christian church does have a public presence there.

After the two Gulf Wars, around one million Iraqis fled to Jordan, and nearly half have stayed.  There has been a good response to the Christian missionaries helping them there.  Pray that the churches will continue to be able to help the refugees and other marginalized people.  Many Christian resources have been translated into Arabic and the Christian bookstores in Jordan are a central place where much of this material is sent to Iraq and other Arab nations.

Pray for Our World: Italy

Italy is a mountainous peninsula that dominates the Mediterranean Sea and includes two large islands, Sardinia and Sicily.  Italy has contributed much to the world – legal systems of Roman law, Latin language, Renaissance culture of art and music, and many fashion innovations.  Christianity flourished here but soon became a formalized state religion of cultural Catholicism.  They were virtually untouched by the Protestant Reformation and have never had Biblical revival.  The Roman Catholic Church is now in crisis.  Though the church is active in Italian identity, very few people faithfully practice Catholicism, even as low as 3%.

Organized crime is high and infiltrates every level of society, with influence in local and federal governments.  The income from organized crime is largely from drugs and extortion.  Young people are very susceptible to the secularism and drugs that is prevalent in the country.  Italy is a beautiful and historical country and has a lot to offer the world.  Pray that the churches will turn to the Bible for truth and return to their faith as a way of life for their country.

Pray for Our World: Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran (formerly Persia from the Bible) is a desert region that strategically surrounds the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Iraq, Caspian Sea, and Persian Gulf.  A wealthy country in oil and natural gas, 80% is export earnings and only 20% is private sector.  28% of the young people are unemployed.  The theocratic Islamic Republic was declared in 1979 after the Shah was deposed in the Shi’ite Muslim Revolution.  It is a religious dictatorship.  The courts can impose a death sentence to male apostates, and life in prison for female apostates.

The most amazing thing that has come out of the dictator revolution is that the forced Muslim regime has left many Iranians disillusioned about the religion and more open to the Gospel than ever before.  Massive numbers of Muslims have recently been coming to Jesus.  Never since the 7th century has the Church in Persia grown so fast as post-1979, and even more amazing for a country that imposes the death sentence for doing this.  There have been numerous stories of dreams and visions, signs and wonders, happening in the underground church.  I have heard some of them myself directly from Iranians who have escaped to the U.S.  These people risk everything in search of hope and meaning in life.  One man I spoke with had literally been chased from his home with only the clothes on his back, to escape to Turkey where he could be baptized.  “I never knew that God could be my Father!  My Father!”, he exclaimed with tears of joy and relief in his eyes as he told his story.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to move in this country, to shed a light to the darkness.  Pray for the underground churches and the new Christians.  May the people know the true joy and hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.  It would be a shame to keep such knowledge from them, when we know and have the truth with us every day.  Do not take it for granted!  Do not keep it hidden.

Pray for Our World: Indonesia

Indonesia has over 6,000 inhabited islands, vast coral reefs, and is the world’s fourth most populous nation.  The service industry is their largest employer, and they make about 5% of the USA’s income per person.  They were under colonial rule by the Portuguese in the 1500’s, then Dutch, British, and finally Japanese from 1942-1945.  They gained their independence after WWII.  Indonesia has many challenges still to overcome – previous political threats, militant Islamist groups, poor human rights record, overpopulation, and several natural disasters of earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding which have killed over 200,000 people since 2001.

There is also a spiritual war in Indonesia that seeks to eliminate Christianity from the country.  Ancient and strong occult powers oppose the influence of the gospel, and modern Muslims have an Islamist vision of an Indonesia without Christians, which results in pressure and persecution of Christians, violence and destruction, and elimination of religious freedom.  Pray that the Good News of Jesus Christ will reach the people through the means of Bible translations, Christian literature, missionaries, the Jesus film, and Christian radio.