Pray for Our World: Madagascar

Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique.  Much of the population lives in poverty after their land was destroyed through over-use of farming and forestry.  Though there is freedom of religion, the old Malagasy folk religion remains pervasive.  The four mainline churches have great influence but the government and traditional churches are suspicious of the emergence of younger, more charismatic groups.

The Protestant Churches of the past have had a great history of faith despite persecution and harassment by the French colonial authorities.  The church grew from 5,000 in 1861 to one million in 1900 – in just 40 years!  There have been several other significant revivals in 1895, 1941, 1948 and during the 1980’s.  Pray that this movement will continue, that there will be unity among the Christian churches, and that more Christian resources will be made available for the youth.

Pray for Our World: Macedonia

Macedonia is a landlocked state surrounded by Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania.  It is one of the poorest of the former Yugoslavia state.  There is high unemployment and low standard of living, which has spurred an exodus of young people.  The ethnic composition is made up of Albanians, Romani and Turkish communities.

In New Testament times, Paul visited Macedonia several times on his missionary journeys.  The first European convert was from Macedonia after Paul had a vision about a man from Macedonia.  Today, the evangelical population is small and has a stigma of being a cult, but they are growing.  The people of Macedonia are responsive to the gospel, and their needs are great.  Pray for the people of Macedonia, that they will embrace the good news that Paul brought to them many years ago.  While our circumstances may have changed since then, the truth and message of the Good News of Jesus Christ has not changed over time.   

Pray for Our World: Luxembourg

Luxembourg is situated between France, Belgium and Germany.  They have 100% literacy rate and are a highly industrialized and highly educated multilingual workforce, with an excellent infrastructure.  Banking and finance are the dominant economy in a country known for its low taxes.  It has the 2nd highest GDP per capita in the world.

They are a melting pot of religions too.  There is a strong Catholic heritage, but many other faiths have recently increased, including Islam, Orthodoxy, Jehovah’s Witness, and Eastern mysticism.  Evangelicals are a small minority and have a negative bias from the government and society with the stigma of being a cult.  Foreign missions and resources are difficult for this reason.  Pray that the local churches will be able to reach out to their communities with faith.

Pray for Our World: Lithuania

One of three Baltic states, Lithuania is a country of many forests and lakes.  Over their long history, they have been ruled by Poland, Russia and Ukraine, but have swiftly oriented to the West in modern times.  They were the last European nation to be Christianized, and have a strong affiliation with Catholicism due to Polish influence, and therefore still have some opposition to non-traditional evangelical groups.  This puts them in a difficult situation today.  Traditional Catholicism is what held them through the Soviet era and so they still cling to it in name, but just like many other countries are now facing, traditional forms such as Catholicism are on the decline and not as influential with today’s youth.  Pray they will find a balance between the traditional and the evangelical so they may find a real, practicing faith.

Pray for Our World: Liberia

Liberia is well watered and has an abundance of natural resources including iron, diamonds, and timber.  In 1847 Liberia became Black Africa’s first independent state, created as a colony for freed American slaves.  But decades of corruption, civil war and chaos has caused major poverty and joblessness rates as high as 75%.  Most survive on less than $1 per day.

They need help rebuilding their country, repairing of churches and Christian ministries, and ministering to young people and children.  There are 15,000 former child soldiers who survived that will have little chance of a normal life with the memories of the atrocities they witnessed, endured and committed.  Over 30% have already attempted suicide.  Please pray for these young people, and help where you can.  God grieves to see young children treated like this.