This Easter will be unlike any other, perhaps in the history of the Church. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most church buildings will remain locked and empty on what is usually the best-attended Sunday service of the year.read more
Twenty-two countries in Africa list English as an official language, the remains of a shared colonial history. Geographically, culturally, and religiously diverse, these Anglophone African nations span the continent, from Kenya and Tanzania in the east to Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west to South Africa and Botswana in the south.
In some countries, such as Kenya and Zambia, the Church has grown at a remarkable rate over the last century, and Christians now represent a substantial majority of the total population. In countries like Nigeria, the population is more evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. In a small number of English-speaking nations, like Sierra Leone and Sudan, Islam is the dominant religion.
Over the last year, the continent has avoided the worst of COVID’s direct impact, although South Africa, along with several urban centers, has seen especially high cases. While factors across Africa’s 55 countries differ, researchers point to the continent’s younger population, large rural areas, and rapid responses by governments that have faced epidemics before as reasons for why COVID has not been as deadly as initially feared. However, the pandemic’s secondary effects on the economy and food supply remain a significant threat to most of the population and may require years of recovery.
Even as several countries in Anglophone Africa had experienced economic growth, perennial challenges related to poverty, government corruption, and political instability remain. Especially in areas where Christianity is strong, the Church has the potential for significant influence. As the Church has grown, so also have theological schools. Hundreds of schools provide pastoral training and more than a dozen Evangelical schools now offer high-quality PhD programs. In response to the pandemic, many are working hard to teach through online platforms despite weaker Internet infrastructure.
Pray for Christian leaders in Anglophone Africa as they help the Church address significant issues such as religious and ethnic violence, political corruption and instability, poverty and disease, rapid urbanization, and biblical discipleship.
Photo: “View of Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park, Kenya” by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash.
My doctoral research focuses on social justice, particularly for immigrants. This interest comes from my own experiences working with Karen refugees, displaced by communal violence, at the Thai-Myanmar border and in Australia. In my own context, the influx of Muslim Bangladeshis into Nagaland has led to serious issues. To the natives, immigrants are outsiders who are invading our land, exhausting our resources, and threatening the identities of our indigenous peoples.read more
Like almost everyone, ScholarLeaders has felt COVID-19’s impact. This week, please join us in prayer for a situation that has reached over 180 countries. First, we pray for those infected by the virus and those who have lost loved ones. We pray that the most vulnerable among us would be protected. We pray too for those facing quarantines, travel and employment restrictions, financial pressures in shrinking economies, new caregiving and homeschooling responsibilities, and limited supplies.read more
Eighty percent of the rural pastors in India, especially non-denominational or non-affiliated church planters and pastors, have very little knowledge of the Word of God because they enter ministry with no theological training or in-depth bible knowledge. They seldom have a spiritual mentor. With great passion, faith, and hard work, they successfully plant churches, but are not able to nourish new believers in the Word, since they cannot offer what they do not possess.read more
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.read more
Please pray for God’s wisdom in my leadership at Bandung Theological Seminary (BTS). It is a great opportunity to be able to lead in this God-given moment to develop theological education with a holistic vision, to bring the whole gospel to impact the whole society with the whole church.read more
I am currently in my fifth year of PhD studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) in the United Kingdom. My research examines the extent to which the practice of the Assemblies of God of Malaysia has changed, with respect to its espoused Pentecostal Theology, since its inception in 1957 to the present day.read more
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.read more
I am originally from Hong Kong but worked at a Bible school in Phnom Penh before furthering my studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. My husband, Kakda Chan, was also a teacher at that Bible school. Cambodia has a strong need of trained pastors and church leaders. Higher educational levels of younger generations call for higher levels of theological training. We therefore decided to further our studies in the United States in hopes of joining our colleagues later in order to open a theology school that offers graduate-level programs.read more
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.read more
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.read more
Pray that the Church would learn how to love and pastor the younger generation, many of whom have become disillusioned with both society and the Church. Some of them, because of their participation in the protests, have been arrested or have broken relationships with their families.read more