Prayer Community

 

Each week, our prayer community of ~750 intercedes for a Christian leader from the Majority World. If you join, you will receive an email that contains an introduction to that leader’s work and home country, followed by a personal message from the leader with prayer requests.

 

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South Asia

Comprising eight nations – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – South Asia is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s population. 35 million Christians live in South Asia, but they remain a small minority in a region inhabited by 900 million Hindus and 510 million Muslims.

Through the Vital Sustainability Initiative (VSI), Scholar Leaders has collaborated with five schools in India: South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS) in Bangalore, Shalom Bible Seminary in Kohima, Oriental Theological Seminary in Dimapur, Evangelical Theological Seminary in Hosur, and the Centre for Global Leadership Development in Bangalore. The South Asia VSI cohort also included Colombo Theological Seminary (CTS) in Sri Lanka.

Through Leader Studies, Scholar Leaders has supported 56 Christian leaders, including 10 currently, from South Asia. Scholar Leaders also supports 2 women scholars from India for our pilot ThM program in partnership with Duke Divinity School. Most of the South Asian scholars in our Fellowship live and serve in Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan is the only nation established in the name of Islam. Constitutionally, all Pakistani laws must conform to the Quran. The country has a large economy and a rising middle class but also faces challenges related to illiteracy, corruption, and terrorism. Of the nation’s 241 million people, more than 96% are Muslims. Just over 1% are Christians, but the Church continues to persevere and grow despite persecution. Learn about the Church’s historical relationship with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the strongest barriers to missions, and Muslims’ most common objections to Christianity in this 2016 feature on Gloria Calib’s prophetic leadership. For a Christian response to religious extremism, read Maqsood Kamil’s 2016 Global Insights. Pray for our Pakistani sisters and brothers, as they hold fast to the word of life, serve their communities in Jesus’ name, and share Christ’s truth and love with their neighbors.

Sharing its northwestern border with Pakistan, India is home to over 1.4 billion people, 80% of whom are Hindus. After Hinduism, Islam is the second largest religion in India. With around 196 million Muslims, India has the third largest Muslim population in the world (behind Indonesia and Pakistan). Although fewer than 3% of Indians are Christians, the Church is still 30 million-strong and growing. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India has seen tremendous change over the last 30 years. Although the percentage of Indians living below the global poverty line has decreased, economic inequality has increased. Internal migration and urban growth have strained infrastructure and challenged traditions and identities. In his 2013 Global Insights, Atul Aghamkar reflects on India’s growing urban churches. In his 2022 Global Insights, Matthias Gergan considers questions of being and belonging among India’s Himalayan Christians. Since 2014, mounting Hindu nationalism across the country has increased pressure on religious minorities. Learn about Manohar James’s distinctive response to Hindu nationalist persecution and “re-conversions” of Christians back to Hinduism. Pray for India’s Christian leaders as they shepherd new believers and guide the Church’s response to the subcontinent’s unique contextual needs.

A large island just southeast of India, Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism in the world. 70% of its 22 million people practice Buddhism. The rest are Hindus (13%), Muslims (10%), and Christians (7%). The teardrop-shaped island nation has seen plenty of tears in recent years: ethnic riots, the 2004 tsunami, 26 years of civil war, and financial crisis leading to protests that toppled a president in 2022.  In his 2019 Global Insights, Lal Senanayake reflects on suffering in light of God’s character. Although nearly 85% of Sri Lankans remain in rural areas, the country has a remarkably high literacy rate of 92%. Most of Sri Lanka’s 1.5 million Christians are Roman Catholic. Although Evangelicals comprise only 2% of the population, they have continued to grow at twice the rate of the general population. Pray for the Sri Lankan Church’s witness and ministry as the country struggles to recover from economic and political crisis.