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Join us in praying for the nations of Asia using the regularly updated prayer points below!

AFGHANISTAN

Disastrous Drug Discovery

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15th December 2020

The recent discovery that a mountain shrub called ephedra could be used to make methamphetamine has caused a boom in the Afghan crystal meth industry. This new source is a game–changer for drug traffickers, making meth cheaper, easier to produce and thus more profitable.

In a country already termed the heroin capital of the world, this revelation could see the meth industry become equally widespread and destructive. While the drug may be exported worldwide, Kabul’s streets are feeling the impacts first and foremost. With 30% unemployment, the stress of the ongoing war and few mental health services, many are seeking a means of escape. 

 

  • Pray that the Afghan government will be strong and effective in the fight against drug trafficking
  • For those currently struggling with the effects of meth addiction, pray that the church would be loving and proactive in caring for these people and showing them a new way to live

 

Sources: Undark, Al Jazeera

BANGLADESH

Floods leave millions in need

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12th November 2020

The nation recently suffered its heaviest rains in almost a decade, leaving around 1.5 milion people displaced. Thousands of paddy fields have been washed away, leaving millions in need of food aid. Meanwhile, economic lockdowns have hit the textile industry hard, leaving many without a source of income.
 

  • Pray for those who have been displaced, that the Lord would provide safe shelter for them
  • Pray that those who have lost livelihoods would be able to rebuild when the floods die down
  • Ask the Lord to protect this nation from disease, particularly in the midst of the pandemic
  • Pray that God’s people here would be a shining light to the 99% of people who remain unreached by the gospel
     

Source: The Guardian

 

BHUTAN

When freedom of religion means nothing

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13th January 2021

Bhutan is proud of its freedom of religion laws guaranteed by the Constitution. However, evangelism is illegal. For Christians and seekers, this is clearly a challenge. Conversions are frowned upon, with reconversions back to original religions celebrated in the local news. We support pastors seeking to share their faith and grow the church despite these barriers. In different parts of the kingdom, the pastors run house churches, Sunday school classes, youth seminars and other activities. Lockdown moved some of these activities online but the churches continue to grow.

 

  • Pray that laws prohibiting evangelism would change
  • Pray for boldness and safety for these pastors as they reach out despite the risk
  • Pray in particular for an ex monk who is seeking to know more about Christ – that through meeting with one of our partners he may find life

 

MORE PRAYER FOR BHUTAN

BRUNEI

Christmas Banned

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15th December 2020

Although Christmas Day is a national holiday, celebrating it in any way has been banned in Brunei since 2015. Anyone found singing carols, decorating a tree or wearing a Santa hat could face up to 5 years in prison or a huge fine. These restrictions are “intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the beliefs of the Muslim community.” Non–Muslims can privately celebrate in their homes if they alert the authorities first, but the message is clear: the government is watching.
 

  • Pray that believers in Brunei will have great joy this Christmas, remembering Jesus’ birth despite the lack of external decorations or public celebration
  • Pray that these private gatherings will be kept safe from police raids or local opposition
  • Since many tune in to international TV programs, pray that many would see Christmas–themed media and be curious to know the true meaning behind it

 
Sources: Investvine, Independent

CAMBODIA

Internet censorship proposed

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12th November 2020

The government is planning to route all internet traffic through a ‘national internet gateway’ akin to that operated by China. The stated goals are to enhance national revenue collection, protect national security and assure social order. Human rights advocates fear that any content critical of the authoritarian government will be blocked. Cambodians have been increasingly harassed and jailed as a result of publishing their opinions online in recent years.
 

  • Pray that free speech would be upheld and increased, rather than inhibited
  • Ask the Lord to prevent these measures form being introduced, as He did with a similar proposal in Thailand in 2015
  • Pray that believers would be able to share the gospel freely, both in person and online, in the years to come
     

Source: Nikkei Asia

CHINA

Persecution continues

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12th November 2020

Brother Dongfeng (age 58) was imprisoned twice for his role as a house church leader and had unknown drugs and liquids forced down his throat by the authorities. As a result, he now suffers serious stomach problems and continues to require medicine. He is grateful for the support of God’s people around the world through our Action Fund.
 

  • Please pray that Brother Dongfeng would have all the medial assistance he requires
  • Ask that despite his reduced capacity, he would be a blessing to those around him, encouraging the faithful and witnessing to the lost
  • Pray for all those suffering at the hands of authoritarian governments today, that they would be held fast in the mighty hands of the Lord

INDIA

Thousands of Farmers Flock to Delhi Protests

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15th December 2020

Thousands of farmers have flocked to Delhi to protest new laws announced by the Indian government. The relatively wealthy farmers from other northern states have been receiving guaranteed prices for their crops, but the new laws will allow the government to buy for unregulated prices. The farmers fear this will leave them at the mercy of private buyers. In addition to the tension and disruption, two police officers have tested positive for COVID and a report claimed 2–3 farmers per day have flu–like symptoms. With Delhi already being one of the most affected areas in the country, with little to no social distancing or sanitising, there are fears this will be a ‘super–spreader’ event.

 
  • Pray that the protests will remain peaceful
  • Pray for wisdom for both the farmers and government, that the decision will be for the good of all people especially the poor
  • Pray for the safety of the protesters and police against the virus 

 

Source: Hindustan Times

 

MORE PRAYER FOR INDIA

INDONESIA

Social media influencers get vaccine priority

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15th January 2021

While countries rush to inoculate vulnerable individuals from coronavirus, Indonesia has put a surprising group at the front of the queue – social media influencers. Vaccinating the young, healthy and wealthy as a priority may raise eyebrows, but this has come as a response to vaccine scepticism. Instead of vaccinating elderly people first, Indonesia will target younger working people aged 18 to 59 after frontline workers. One government adviser explained, “We are targeting those that are likely to spread the virus.” 

 
  • Pray for all those suffering from the virus in Indonesia
  • Lift up the government and health agencies in the country, and pray that the vaccine would be provided in a fair and wise way
  • Pray that Indonesia would soon be able to welcome tourists again, enabling millions to regain employment and support their families

     

Source: BBC

IRAN

One death every four minutes

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12th November 2020

In late October, it was claimed that one Iranian was dying of coronavirus every four minutes, with the capital city, Tehran, being worst hit. The government appears to have prioritised the national economy over public health, with the capital not being subjected to the same restrictions as the provinces. The way the situation has been handled will have done nothing to appease longstanding anger at the way the country is being run, particularly among the younger generation.
 

  • Pray that the death rate in Iran would drop sharply in the coming days and weeks
  • Ask the Lord to change the hearts of the government, that they might take wise steps to protect the people of Tehran
  • Pray that current dissatisfaction would cause peaceful change rather than erupting into violence
  • Lift up those feeling disillusioned by their leaders and the Islamic faith at this time – ask that they might hear the good news of Christ and be saved

IRAQ

Healing for broken refugees

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13th January 2021

In summer 2014, ISIS singled out the Yazidi people for especially brutal treatment. Roughly 9,900 Yazidis were either killed or kidnapped within a few days. Over 3,000 of those abducted were women and girls, viewed to the fighters as ‘spoils of war’. They were raped, forced into marriage and/or sold into trafficking. Many are still unaccounted for. Those who did escape continue to face enormous challenges with trauma and health issues.

Our partners in the refugee camps where these women and girls now live are sharing the hope and healing offered by Jesus. They rescue, rehabilitate and vocationally train the women, as well as mentoring and discipling them. The team are rejoicing at significant healing in all forms among the young women they support.

 

  • Pray for the young women still in sex slavery to terrorist groups today, that they would be protected and freed
  • Ask for mental, physical and spiritual healing of these women and girls now living with the trauma of their pasts
  • Pray that our partners would continue to meet the spiritual and practical needs of the refugees they seek to serve with the love and compassion of Christ

 

Sources: Human Rights Watch, N–IUSSP
 

MORE PRAYER FOR IRAQ

JAPAN

Reaching lonely children

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12th November 2020

Whilst Japan has not enforced lockdowns like those seen in many European countries, measures to control the virus have left many feeling isolated. This is especially true for school children, who are separated in class and unable to communicate and play as they usually would. At home, the situation may be no better with parents working long hours. Suicide levels in school children in August were double that of the same month in 2019.

An initiative to encourage children to read manga–style booklets of Bible stories has been launched to amuse, inspire and connect these children. It is hoped that many will discover the truth of Jesus as they read of His life and ministry.
 

  • Please pray for all those children in Japan who are lonely in school and at home
  • Ask the Lord to provide opportunities for children to connect on a meaningful level which meets their emotional needs
  • Pray for this Bible story project to attract many children to Jesus, leading them to read more of the Bible and find salvation in Him
  • Pray for all those seeking to share the gospel in Japan to persevere, even when there seems to be little fruit
     

Source: Bloomberg

KAZAKHSTAN

Divided opinions over film sequel

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12th November 2020

The release of the second ‘Borat’ film has been met with a mixed response. Some see the film as offensive to the nation – over 100,000 people signed a petition to cancel the film. However, the main character’s catchphrase ‘Very nice!’ has now been used by Kazakh Tourism in an attempt to attract people to the country in 2021. An advert shows tourists hiking, sampling local drinks, meeting locals and admiring the nation’s architecture.
 

  • The Kazakh people are largely Muslim and often very insular – please pray that many would meet Christian tourists and be intrigued by their character and lifestyle
  • Pray that Western tourists would not serve as a bad example of so–called Christianity, but warm Kazakh hearts to outside influences
  • Pray that the attitudes of Westerners towards Kazakhstan would not be harmed by the films
     

 Sources: The Guardian; Al Jazeera

KYRGYZSTAN

From prison cell to president

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12th November 2020

In October, Sadyr Japarov went from being part way through a ten–year prison sentence to becoming the prime minister and acting president in a matter of days. This came as a result of his country’s third revolution in 15 years. It was reported that allies of the previous president bought votes in a parliamentary election, leading to peaceful protests which evolved rapidly into a power grab. Many see Japarov as a hero, whilst others find his promise to rid the nation of organised crime far–fetched given allegations connecting him to money–laundering, kidnap and electoral fraud himself.
 

  • Please pray that the nation referred to as Central Asia’s only democracy would soon experience free, democratic elections in their truest sense
  • Pray for the future of the country, that it would be led with integrity and for the good of its people
  • Pray for the many unreached people in this nation – less than 1% are evangelical Christians and most of those belong to expatriate groups
  • Ask that the Lord would establish a lively church among the Kyrgyz people soon
     

Source: The Economist

LAOS

Chased into the woods

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13th November 2020

In October, local authorities in the province of Salavan chased seven Christians from their homes because they refused to renounce their faith. The two families have been forced to live in makeshift huts in the woods and although relatives have sought to provide assistance, their efforts have been stopped by village heads.
 

  • Please pray for the protection of these believers and for the Lord to provide all they need
  • Ask that this ordeal would strengthen their faith and be a bold witness to their neighbours of their trust in the Lord
  • Pray that the authorities in this region would soften their stance towards believers
  • Ask that God would move the national government to grant believers greater freedom soon
     

Source: Christian Post

 

MORE PRAYER FOR LAOS

MALAYSIA

Pondering an early election

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13th November 2020

The leader of the opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, announced in September that he has a “strong, formidable, convincing majority” of Members of Parliament to form a government. The next general election is not due to be held until 2023, but there have been calls for a snap vote. However, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned of the dangers of an election during a pandemic, stating that “this problem causes the cost of holding the general election to be high and also exposes the people to the spread of the disease”.
 

  • Pray for wise leadership of the nation during this time, so that people’s health and lives would not be unnecessarily put at risk
  • Pray for wisdom for the government and the opposition in determining when an election could and should take place
  • Pray for believers in the nation to speak wisely about politics and the pandemic with their neighbours, speaking of the sovereign God who makes each of us in His image
     

Source: CNA

MALDIVES

Improving human rights

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13th November 2020

Having been threatened with suspension from the Commonwealth over its human rights record and a lack of progress on democratic reform, the Maldives chose to leave the Commonwealth in 2016. Since then, a new President has been elected. President Solih has done much work to strengthen democracy and human rights, whilst also clamping down on corruption and implementing judicial reform. The nation applied for readmission to the Commonwealth and was reinstated to membership earlier this year.
 

  • Pray that the positive steps made so far would continue, leading to a safer, fairer society
  • Pray that the government’s current strong hold on power would not lead to an authoritarian approach to leadership
  • Lift up the few believers in this nation, who often live in secrecy – that they would be granted freedoms of worship and speech leading to the spread of the gospel across the islands

 

MONGOLIA

Mothers and Babies Saved

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15th December 2020

According to the most recent records, Mongolia has the 12th highest abortion rate in the world, higher than both the UK and the USA. A group we work with set up the first ever pro–life centre in the country, and now runs five facilities. They offer counselling, share the gospel and provide the opportunity for babies to be adopted rather than aborted. Hundreds of women have decided to keep their babies as a result, and many have also become Christians. In November in just one of their centres, 68 women visited, 27 of whom chose to keep their babies. 25 professed faith in Christ, and 15–20 women now attend weekly Bible studies. 
 

  • Praise God that these centres are changing the lives of hundreds of women and children
  • Pray that more Mongolian women would be drawn to these centres rather than abortion clinics
  • Pray that the women attending the Bible studies would come to know and love God more and be lights in their neighbourhoods drawing others to Him
     

Source: World Population Review

 

MORE PRAYER FOR MONGOLIA

MYANMAR

Army unleashes dogs on minorities

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13th November 2020

In the Kay Kee Tu area of Myanmar, the Burmese Army deployed a new weapon on villagers from the Karen people group. They injected dogs with a poison which made them violent before releasing them on the villagers. Many were injured and some lost their lives.
 

  • Pray for the Karen people and other minority groups who live in constant fear of the Burmese army and often have to flee attacks
  • Ask that the army’s grip on the nation would weaken for the good of the minority groups
  • Lift up all those who are displaced within Myanmar and beyond its borders as a result of the violence – pray for their safety and protection
  • Pray for those who are dealing with injury or loss as a result of these attacks, and ask the Lord to comfort them

 

MORE PRAYER FOR MYANMAR

NEPAL

Mission in the mountains

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13th January 2021

“Greetings from the unreached mountains!” began a recent report from our partner in the Himalayan nation. His team has just spent 12 days driving and hiking over 1600km around the country, preaching to the unreached and encouraging believers.

They met with pastors in six locations, gave out over 1500 pieces of Christian literature, reasoned with Hindus and Muslims, taught youngsters in a village, preached in a church, conducted house to house evangelism and were invited into many homes for meals. They gave out reading glasses, a new bike and lifts in their car, deepening friendships and making new ones. The Lord provided places to sleep, food to eat and people to speak to. 

 

  • Praise God for such willing servants and the many open hearts they encountered!
  • There are concerns that untrained leaders do not fully understand the doctrine of salvation by grace, so our partner is writing a small booklet to help. Pray that God would help him write clearly and accurately, and that this would help strengthen the church
  • More trips like this are planned for this year – please pray that national lockdown restrictions would not prohibit them
  • Pray that we might be inspired by the example of these men, boldly sharing life and the gospel with those around us

 

MORE PRAYER FOR NEPAL

NORTH KOREA

Celebrating the birth of the wrong ruler

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15th December 2020

People are joyfully gathering together, drinking in celebration of the birth of a ruler this Christmas time. Except, this isn’t the Christmas birth we all know and love. Christmas Eve is the birthday of Kim Jong–Suk, the deceased grandmother of King Jong–Un; Jesus’ birthday the following day passes by unnoticed here. Since being a Christian is a crime punishable by death, it is not surprising that celebrating Christmas is banned in North Korea. Believers meet in complete secrecy, maybe only sitting on a park bench with one other and saying a quick prayer, or whispering praises together in a wood. As our nation publicly celebrates this day together, let us remember in our prayers those for whom that is not possible.
 

  • Pray for the believers, that their secret gatherings will remain hidden
  • Pray that God would use this time to further his growing kingdom in this challenging land
  • With a Christmas tree structure visible to some from South Korea, pray that God would place a curiosity in the hearts of those who see this tree, a shining arrow pointing up to the God who made them.
     

Source: Open Doors USA

 

MORE PRAYER FOR NORTH KOREA

PAKISTAN

Schools for slaves

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13th January 2021

What starts as a small loan ends with generations trapped in slavery. This is the reality for millions in Pakistan, especially in Punjab, a hotspot for brick–making bonded labour. Often needed for medical care, small loans subsequently spiral out of reach as minimal wages fail to catch up with the rising interest. The work is hard, long and dangerous, and is not just for the men. Whole families get drawn in to help reach exploitative production targets. Children can begin and end their lives making bricks.

But there is hope. Masters have been allowing children to attend a school which gives the next generation a better future, aiming to one day end the cycle. Many of the children attending are from non–Christian families, giving the team the opportunities to share the gospel with their families in both word and deed.
 

  • Pray that masters would continue to allow children to attend the school
  • Plead with the Lord for an end to this systematic exploitation
  • Lift up the teachers at the school, that they may be bold in sharing Jesus with families
  • Ask that the future of these children would be bright, ending the cycle of slavery for these families
  • Pray for more Christians schools like this in Pakistan 

PHILIPPINES

Food shortages affect 7.6 million families

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13th November 2020

An estimated 31% of Filipinos (or 7.6 million families) went hungry over the summer. Months of quarantine have left many without work, causing a spike in huger. The news comes right after the revelation that around £157 million has remained undistributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, despite the funds being earmarked for social enhancement.
 

  • Ask the Lord to intervene so that funds are used for the good of the nation’s people
  • Pray that wise decisions would be made about the reopening of businesses, to allow livelihoods to be restored as soon as is practical
  • Pray that the many Filipinos going hungry at this time would trust in Christ in this situation, and that God would faithfully provide for their physical and spiritual needs
     

Source: Straits Times

 

Sri Lanka

A new venture

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13th November 2020

A Christian organisation on the island is seeking to set up the nation’s first online Christian bookstore. An existing physical bookstore has been somewhat mismanaged and neglected, so the team are working to overhaul the stock and prepare for online trading, particularly in light of restrictions on business, travel and gatherings during the pandemic.
 

  • Give thanks for the vision given to this team to serve and bless their brothers and sisters in the nation
  • Pray for the team as they work through the practicalities of overhauling the physical store and getting set up online
  • Ask that many faithful books and resources would be distributed and read, strengthening the church and opening up the gospel to non–believers

 

SYRIA

The deadliest place for aid workers

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13th November 2020

Syria has been declared the world’s deadliest place for aid workers, after 254 incidents affecting aid workers were recorded in one year. The Syrian regime is largely to blame, after several violations to the laws of war including the bombing of medical facilities and the deliberate targeting of attacks on search–and–rescue workers after an incident.
 

  • Pray for a mighty work of God in Syria, to bring stable leadership and peace between rival groups
  • Pray for those who have lost homes or loved ones during the conflict to know the comforting presence of the Lord
  • Ask that those who have committed these atrocities will be brought to justice
  • Pray for those witnessing to Syrian refugees, that they might speak truth with wisdom, compassion and hope
     

Source: Syria Direct

 

THAILAND

50,000 Households affected by Floods

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22nd January 2021

Floods across four provinces have affected tens of thousands of households after heavy monsoon rains, with almost 1000 people being displaced so far. Two fatalities have been reported. Landslides were also reported in two of the four affected districts. AsiaLink partners are seeking to reach out to local people at this time, providing essentials for those worst affected.
 

  • Please pray for all those who have lost possessions, homes and loved ones
  • Pray that the authorities would respond swiftly and effectively to reduce suffering
  • Lift up our partners as they reach out in areas where the gospel is not known – that they would be full of love and compassion, and that they would have great opportunities to speak of Christ
     

Source: FloodList

TURKMENISTAN

President erects statue of dog

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13th November 2020

In a bizarre year which has seen the people of Turkmenistan hugely confused by mixed messages regarding the prevalence and risk of coronavirus in their nation, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has erected a golden statue of the nationally revered Alabai dog. The statue is 6 metres tall and its plinth features an LED display of Alabai dogs at play. The nation continues to report no cases of coronavirus despite hospital beds being full of ‘pneumonia’ patients.
 

  • Pray that the plight of the people would not be ignored or brushed over, and that truth would come to light
  • Pray that those in need of medical attention would receive it, whatever their illness
  • Pray for the tiny number of believers in the nation to stand for truth, despite their gatherings being monitored and the printing of Christian materials being illegal
  • Ask that this nation would come to be ruled justly in the near future
     

Sources: The Diplomat; Eurasianet; RFERL

 

UZBEKISTAN

Forced labour and white gold

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13th January 2021

Cotton is one of Uzbekistan’s most important yet contentious exports. Generating over $1bn annually, it is nicknamed “white gold”. However, millions are forced by the state to pick huge quantities in unsafe conditions. In recent years, boycotts and international pressure have caused the president to begin dismantling the forced labour system. Last year, the government asked for the boycott by over 300 companies to end, considering the progress made. The companies refuse to do so until there are zero cases of forced labour in the country.

Meanwhile, COVID has dramatically reduced employment, income and the well–being of Uzbeks. Due to school closures, child labour has increase in order to support suffering families.

 

  • Pray that those enforcing the boycott would be a positive force for change in the country rather than a hindrance
  • Pray that the government would be wise in balancing cotton production, safety and human rights
  • Ask that the cotton industry would transform into an ethical and economically uplifting place to work
  • Pray for the protection of those vulnerable to exploitation

 

Sources: Uzbek Forum

 

VIETNAM

Over one hundred killed in floods

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13th November 2020

Hundreds of thousands of families have been displaced by floods in Vietnam and Cambodia. Seven consecutive tropical storms contributed to the destruction and over 100 have died in Vietnam alone. Vast numbers of livestock have also been killed or swept away.
 

  • Pray that aid teams would work effectively to assist those in need
  • Pray that there would be no discrimination against particular ethnic or religious groups in the provision of support
  • Lift up all those who have lost loved ones, and ask that God would comfort them
  • Pray for those who face the daunting challenge of rebuilding livelihoods
  • Pray that in their fear and sorrow, people would cry out to the Lord and hear His reply, and pray that believers would witness with truth and compassion at this time
     

Source: ABC Australia

YEMEN

An entire generation at risk

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13th November 2020

Children in Yemen are suffering record rates of acute malnutrition, leaving them ten times more likely to die of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea or malaria, all of which are common in the nation. Devastating food price increases have left the most vulnerable unable to afford to eat. The situation has been worsened by the humanitarian response plan raising only 42% of the required support.
 

  • Pray that an end to the war in Yemen would come soon, before the situation gets any worse
  • Pray for those co–ordinating relief efforts to do so with wisdom and courage despite the lack of funding
  • Pray for those working to bring the good news of the gospel into the country through digital media – that they would do so with wisdom and skill, and that many Yemenis would access the Scriptures through this work
     

Source: UN

 

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