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Outreach in Nepal

Our friend and partner Bishnu has been in touch with an update from Nepal.

Last month Bishnu travelled to Barekot in the far north of the country. Bishnu and his team were heading into the mountains to run a medical outreach in coordination with local authorities. The trip had been a long time in the making - over a year of prayer and planning before the team were able to travel.

Barekot is a very remote part of Nepal. The last time Bishnu travelled here it took 27 hours to drive from his home in Kathmandu into the mountains, then a further 13 hours of hiking after the road ran out!

After the trip, Bishnu reported,

We had wonderful medical camps in 3 different villages. More than 1000 people were reached personally by many local volunteers. The highlight of the trip was two witch doctors who received Christ themselves! I gave them one new Bible as a gift and the first Word they read was John 3:36!

Praise God for saving these witch doctors and for the safety of Bishnu and his team during this trip!

Remembering Iraqi believers

A leading Iraqi church leader has revealed that the Christian community in Iraq is disappearing.

Bashar Warda claimed that Christians were facing “extinction” after 1,400 years of persecution. While this may be stating the current situation too strongly, since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 Iraq’s Christian community has dwindled by 83%, from around 1.5 million to just 250,000.

More recently, Christians who were driven away from their homes by the onslaught of IS in the region have lost everything. Warda shared the following in an address to UK church leaders:

In Iraq, there is no redress for those who have lost properties, homes and businesses. Tens of thousands of Christians have nothing to show for their life's work, for generations of work, in places where their families have lived, maybe, for thousands of years.

Pray for Iraqi Christians and those who lead them. May the Lord bless them and restore His church in this difficult part of the world.

Source: BBC News

Praying for Brunei

Brunei is a tiny country in South-East Asia which suffers from severe Islamic oppression.

Christians experience persecution in many areas of life. It is estimated that Brunei has more mosques per square kilometre than any other country in the world. The country is one of the few absolute monarchies remaining today. The sultan has complete executive power, unconstrained by politicians or parliament.

The dominant people group in this land are the Brunei Malay, with a population of 184,000. Sadly, there are only a handful of believers among them. All Brunei Malays are classified as Muslims at birth. Conversion is considered illegal, and believers from Muslim backgrounds come under intense pressure to return to their original faith.

How to pray:

  • Pray that the Lord would protect those who work among the Brunei Malay for the sake of the Gospel.
  • The Brunei Malay are generally very wealthy, with many having luxurious homes and a number of cars. Pray that worldly wealth would not leave them complacent in seeking spiritual truth.
  • Pray for the establishment of more evangelical churches in Brunei.

Indian election results

In last month’s eBriefing, we highlighted the need for prayer for India as the nation awaited the results of their national election.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist group, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won by a landslide – guaranteeing five more years of power.

When the BJP came to power in 2014, they won 282 seats - this year, they claimed 303 seats.

The victory is cause for celebration for many in India - but is troubling for believers. One Christian commentator notes, “We have seen the escalation of persecution… during the last five years that this current party has led the government. Christians across the country are bracing themselves for another five years of the same, and many are expecting it to get worse.” 

Indeed, in 2014, India was ranked 28th on the Open Doors world watch-list for persecution against Christians. After 5 years under BJP rule, the nation is now ranked 10th.

There is a growing movement among Hindu nationalists to make India a “Hindu Rashtra” - a Hindu nation - which many fear would result in increased persecution and discrimination against Christians and other minorities. 

Do pray with us that believers would keep sharing God’s truth and trust Him to control the future. Ask the Lord to have mercy upon India and pray for the Holy Spirit to move the hearts of people who don’t yet know Christ!

Source: Mission Network News

Life underground

One AsiaLink partner has recently had the opportunity to visit a very sensitive Islamic country.

In this country, Christians are few and far between - any who convert from Islam do so at great risk. The report we received from our partner offers a glimpse into the difficulty of being a believer in this part of the world. 

I arrived in the capital at night, so I visited a believer from an Islamic background at around 11pm. He was very happy to see me because of how lonely he is - he wanted to pour out his heart to me. However, because his daughter and her family were in the next room (his son-in-law is a policeman), he was too scared to talk - he had already served three and a half years in prison for his faith. So, we had to go to a local park. 

He was very concerned about the salvation of his daughter and frustrated that he cannot share his faith with her. I encouraged him to pray for her and reminded him that God is able to reveal himself to her. I visited him several times during my stay in the capital.

Although we can’t reveal the name of this country for security reasons, we ask that you pray for this Gospel-starved land and our partner who works there. Pray also for believers like this lonely man who live in hiding, unable to reach their families with the Gospel for fear of severe punishment.

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