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.

Maqsood Kamil in Pakistan

Maqsood Kamil in Pakistan

Maqsood is Vice Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary, which trains 80% of church leaders for all major Protestant denominations in Pakistan. He recently completed his PhD in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (UK). His research on Christian-Muslim debates in 19th-century India will provide valuable insights for interreligious dialogue in Islamic contexts.

Nok Kam from Myanmar

Nok Kam from Myanmar

I ask for your intercessory prayer for my people and my country, Myanmar, which is full of conflicts between the Burmese military and ethnic minorities. Christians and ethnic minorities have been tortured by the military for a long time. Consequently, many ethnic groups are seeking refuge in neighboring countries and in Western countries as well. Please do pray for the total dismantling of military power in the Union government.

Patrick from Hong Kong

Patrick from Hong Kong

In last seven months, the pro-democracy anti-extradition protests have completely changed Hong Kong. The protests started as peaceful marches against the extradition bill. However, violence and clashes between protestors and police erupted when the nonviolent protests failed to effect change. To date, police have arrested over 6,000 people and have fired more than 16,000 rounds of tear gas in the city.

Michelle Mingyue Kang in China

Michelle Mingyue Kang in China

As the social environment gets more complicated, believers are facing a host of issues related to the family, such as extramarital affairs, homophobia, questions related to sex education and social services, etc. Due to a lack of academically trained professors, and a dearth of Christian writers and researchers, Chinese theological education cannot build itself up and remains ill-equipped to tackle these issues.

Samuel Nwokoro from Nigeria

Samuel Nwokoro from Nigeria

As I grew older, I searched for the deeper meanings of Christmas. But what I found meaningful about Christmas at one stage of my life would not always suffice for the next. It seems to me that, as we grow and experience life in many ways, Christmas grows with us. We do not leave it behind. It shows up every year. It meets us at different points in our lives and we ponder its meaning anew.

“Raymond” from China

“Raymond” from China

It is customary for Chinese churches to reach out to local communities at Christmastime. However, as the situation worsens for many churches, and as Christians are constantly discouraged and even threatened, I am really not sure how we could sit around the table again this year to sing Christmas carols and retell the story of the Nativity. We Christians are in tears, crying as the psalmist once cried out in overwhelming desperation: “How long, O Lord, will you look on…” (Ps. 35:17).

Kei Hiramatsu from Japan

Kei Hiramatsu from Japan

In Japan, where only 1-2% of the population is Christian, people do not celebrate Christmas in the way Christians around the world do. Our culture generally associates Christmas with romance; thus, young people feel urged to find someone with whom to spend this “romantic holiday.” Alternatively, many families perceive Christmas as the day when they eat Kentucky Fried Chicken together (it is funny but true!). For many Japanese, Christmas is not the day for celebrating our Savior’s birth.

David Kasali in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Special Update

David Kasali in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Special Update

We ask for your intercession on behalf of Beni. Our town has been brutally attacked twice in six days. The armed group that has been killing civilians in the Beni territory since 2014 has made incursions into the town of Beni and into our neighboring town of Oicha, killing over 75 of the most vulnerable inhabitants over the last three weeks. On November 24, one of the members of our contractor’s construction crew, the son of one of our campus guards, was killed in his neighborhood near our main campus.