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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Agul People

The Aguls occupy 21 villages in four valleys, each valley being the homeland of one of four distinct Agul subgroups. Because the terrain in Dagestan is very rugged, the Aguls have had limited contact with neighboring groups. One group, however, exchanges grains and manufactured goods for the Agul’s cheese, butter, wool and woolen products. Even though most Agul people still live as herdsmen, some are involved in the production of cloth, tapestries and felt outer wear. Men usually perform all tasks associated with shepherding including shearing, milking, and preparing dairy products. In the winter months the men go seeking work in the urban centers of the lowlands. This leaves the women to tend the cattle and remain near the villages.

The Aguls were converted to Islam after the Arab conquest of the eighth century. In recent months there has been no mission agency working among them. Since there is no Agul script, neither the Bible nor any other Christian materials have been translated into their language. Presently there is only a handful of Agul believers.

Pray that God will raise up linguists to develop a written script for the Aguls so that the Bible may be translated into their dialects.

Pray that the doors of Russia will remain open for the preaching of the gospel, and that Agul hearts will be open to Jesus Christ.-MH

 

Uzbek, Southern of Afghanistan

People Name: Uzbek, Southern
Country Name: Afghanistan
Population: 1,816,000
Primary Language: Uzbek, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
% Evangelical: 0.01
Status: Unreached

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Bilala People of Chad

Chad has endured years of civil war. The Bilala people long for peace, a sentiment expressed in their music. Mounira, a wildly popular 29-year-old singer, song-writer is a voice of peace and unity for her war torn country. As Mounira’s reputation grew through performing with different artists at different venues, combining music from various regions, she soon became known as the “Mitchala from N’Djamena” which means “the gentle panther from N’Djamena.” (Her demeanor is gentle, but her music is wild like the panther.)

Since the Bilalas respond so well to her music, it may be that they will also be receptive to passionate music about the Prince of Peace in their language and culture.

There are few Bilala believers, and no Christian broadcasts or literature are in their language. They are nearly 100 percent Muslim. Men and women work very hard at farming, herding, foraging, hunting, fishing, and trading. They think they have little time to consider issues of godly living.

Pray that God will give the small number of Bilala believers boldness and creativity to share Christ with their own people. Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint Bilala believers to write and perform beautiful worship music to their Creator and Savior that will lead thousands to Jesus.-CH (Global Prayer Digest)

Tajik, Afghani of Afghanistan

People Name: Tajik, Afghani
Country Name: Afghanistan
Population: 7,392,000
Primary Language: Farsi, Eastern (Dari)
Primary Religion: Islam
% Evangelical: 0.01
Status: Unreached

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Maranao, Lanao of Philippines maranao-philippines

People Name: Maranao, Lanao
Country Name: Philippines
Population: 1,139,000
Primary Language: Maranao
Primary Religion: Islam
% Evangelical: 0.01
Status: Unreached

 

Hazara People in Iran and Afghanistan

Hazaras have no place to go! Everywhere they turn they are outcasts. Their facial features identify them as descendants of the Mongol conquerors of centuries past. Their homeland in the center of Afghanistan has seen decades of war. As Shi’ite Muslims in a Sunni country, they take an additional blow of persecution as infidels. As a result, thousands have fled to Iran, a Shi’ite country.

hazarasBut even in Iran they receive no sanctuary. Easily identified by their Mongol appearance, they again face rejection. After 20 years or more living in Iran, that government seeks to repatriate them. But those who return to Afghanistan report few jobs and scarce food. So Iran’s refugees seek to stay put.

In February, National Geographic documented some improvement in their homeland situation. Some have received education. Those who resettle in Kabul, Afghanistan have started businesses. So the Hazaras hope for improvement. Still they labor at strenuous jobs. And they hope.

In their home state of Barmian, outside agencies recently built a bridge over a river that divided the region. This eased tensions with neighboring Tajiks and improved prospects of bringing produce to market.

But the Hazaras in Iran remain in limbo, unwanted where they live and unwelcome in their ancient home. Uncertainty often opens hearts to good news.

Pray that Christian service agencies can build a bridge to the hearts and minds of Hazara leaders. Pray that Christ will reveal Himself to this people group while they are in a state of flux.-EF

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Graham Concludes ’08 Crusade in Taiwan

American evangelist Franklin Graham concluded his 2008 world crusade this past weekend in Taipei, Taiwan where nearly 10,000 people committed their lives to Jesus Christ during the event.

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Unreached Peoples of the Day

Grangali (Nangalami) People  grangali-of-afghanistan

Omar sloshed some goat milk out of the pail as he brought it into the kitchen. “Watch it!” his mother scolded, as he slipped on the small puddle of milk on his way out. Before she could say any more, Omar dashed to the corral where his older cousin, Sandril, was chanting verses of the Koran in Arabic while bringing hay to the mules. When Sandril stopped his chanting, Omar said, “I keep wondering something. All of us boys keep memorizing parts of the Koran, and the imam tells us that we are all equal before Allah.” “That’s right,” interjected Sandril. Omar continued. “But people aren’t equal here, and we are all Muslims. The Pushtuns control our lives. Even among all the other Grangali people, some are better than others. The landowners make all the decisions, while the carpenters, weavers and blacksmiths have to do whatever they say.”

With a population of only 32,000, the Grangalis, also known as the Nangalamis, are one of the smaller people groups of Afghanistan. They have been Muslims since the 9th century, and there is not a single follower of Christ among them so far as we know.

Pray that Christ’s glory and beauty will be revealed to these Sunni Muslims in such a way that they will not let anything stop them from following Him. Pray that they will soon have access to radio broadcasts and gospel recordings in a language that they can understand.-KC

From the Global Prayer Digest  View article…

            The Akha akha-nutchi

People Name: Akha, Nutchi
Country Name: Laos
Population: 5,400
Primary Language: Akha
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
% Evangelical: 0.00
Status: Unreached

For more information see the Joshua Project

 

Operation World Country of the Day

factflag  United Arab Emirates  uae

 

1 Radical changes of the last generation have made UAE citizens more cosmopolitan and open to new ideas, yet the rise of extreme Islamism has led to increased restrictions. Many are in daily contact with Christians, but few believers have opportunity to openly share their faith because of the possible results — arrests are not unusual. Pray for courage, wisdom and an atmosphere in which the gospel can be shared freely.

 

2 Expatriate Christians have relative freedom for discreet witness and worship as the nation becomes more open and international. Several parcels of land have been granted recently for the development of Christian compounds. Pray for the many English, Arabic, Urdu, Filipino and Indian language worship groups and congregations. Many believers have a vision for evangelising their own ethnic group and beyond, but they need training. There are several TEE programmes active in UAE for training leaders — pray for this vital work. Pray also for the strategic partnerships which labour and intercede specifically for the Gulf states.

 

3 There are limited medical facilities in which expatriates are involved. These are dependent on good relationships with the authorities. Pray for the provision of godly staff willing to serve in them.

 

4 The unreached:

a) The indigenous Arab population. Both urban educated and rural illiterate have had little exposure to the gospel. There are some Gulf Arab believers. Their faith exposes them to persecution and possibly even death — pray for their encouragement and for steadfastness. Discipleship for these believers and opportunity for fellowship are great needs. Some are enrolled in Arabic language BCCs.

b) Many expatriate communities. The Iranian (Persian, Kurd, Baluch), Pakistani (Panjabi, Pushtun and Baluch), Somali and Sudanese communities here have no known groups of believers among them.

c) Women are less marginalized here than in some Arab countries, but they are nevertheless socially isolated from much potential contact with believers. Pray for fellowship and strength for those who secretly believe.

 

5 Media available for outreach. Signs indicate that there are many who are eager to learn about the gospel in private and who enthusiastically digest Christian material and programmes. Pray that many might come to accept Jesus as Saviour and grow as disciples, despite the obvious lack of church structures for these private believers.

 

a) Radio and television. FEBA Seychelles and TWR Cyprus have Arabic broadcasts which reach the UAE, and Christian television programmes, via SAT-7 satellite, are available weekly on Friday afternoons. The latter are increasingly effective. Pray for increased broadcasting and widespread awareness of the broadcast times.

b) The JESUS film had been translated into most of the languages present in the Emirates, including Arabic.

c) Video tapes are widely used but the distribution of Christian tapes is difficult.

d) Christian literature distribution is limited by the fact that it must be done discreetly.

Mission Fact of the Day

Today is a holy day in the Bahá’í Faith:  it remembers the birth of Bahá’u’lláh (11/12/08)

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Persecuted Church News

 

Algeria

There’s an interesting piece today at Christian Today discussing the persecution Christians are enduring in Algeria.  Check it out and pray for our brothers and sisters in Algeria.

India  india_map

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) deputed six separate teams to investigate attacks against Christians in Karnataka and murders and gross violation of rights in Orissa. On 11th November 2008, two teams started a week-long investigation in Karnataka, one based in Bangalore and other based in Mangalore. The Bangalore-based team spent a better part of a day meeting the representatives of the Global Council of Indian Christians, as the NHRC was alerted by GCIC about the gross violation of the code of conduct of some of the lower level police officers and field officers against civilians in Karnataka. The NHRC investigation is spread over eight days. The Orissa investigations of the 116 plus Christian martyrdoms will commence from 12th November.

At the meeting with NHRC, GCIC unravelled the veil covering the systemic oppression against Christians in Karnataka and Orissa. Contrary to the Yeddyurappa government’s promise of prompt action against the groups involved in attack against Christians in Karnataka, and the Orissa administration’s claim that people from the relief camps in Kandhamal had started returning to their respective villages, GCIC was able to establish, with documentary evidence, 96 major attacks against Christians in Karnataka and over 80 martyrdoms of Christians for their faith in Orissa, along with grave violations of human rights.

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How to Pray for the Persecuted Church

Please pray:

The Lord will give courage to His people who are enduring persecution for His Name

The Lord will place His restraining hand on those who seek to harm His people

Churches facing government opposition will stand firm in their ministry

Christians will have opportunities to reach out with the Gospel without fear of intimidation or harassment

Servants of the Lord will be able to deliver Bibles and Christian literature to places where they are most needed

Christians who have been left without pastors and teachers may be kept strong in their faith

Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith will be released safely

The Lord will restrain the callousness and brutality of prison guards in their treatment of Christians in prison

Pray against the increasing problem of young Christian girls being kidnapped, raped and forced to marry

Those who have lost loved ones by martyrdom will be comforted and strengthened by God during their grief

Christian pastors will be kept from danger and strengthened in their faith as they care for the people of God

New converts may be protected and provided for should their family turn against them.

The current laws in many restricted nations forbidding evangelism, missionary activity and religious instruction, will be repealed

“In the death camps I knew that there were people praying for me.  It gave me the spiritual strength I needed to live as a Christian and to trust God.  It is the same for everyone in the camps and prisons today.” Underground Church pastor, Cambodia

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Missions News

Persecution in Eritrea rages on

Containers in which some imprisoned Christians are kept.

Eritrea (MNN) ― Persecution of Christians in Eritrea continues to be overlooked by many western nations despite the arrests of over 2000 believers.

The Eritrean government claims no persons have been arrested based on their religious practices and in fact denies that any amount of religious disunity exists in the country. However, there has recently been reason to believe otherwise.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, persecution has been reported from several churches throughout the country. Although the government claims to support the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea, even these churches have experienced conflict.

On October 12, Eritrean officials arrested 20 members of the Faith Missions Church, a congregation forced to worship in secret since they do not belong to any of the three recognized churches in the country. Later, another Christian died in prison after being refused treatment for his malaria. Since then, there have been reports of 65 more believers being arrested simply because of their faith.

With such copious numbers of various reports, it may be surprising that little has been said by other nations. “Because Eritrea is such a small country and because of other things going on in the world, it tends to fly below the radar,” says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs.

If anyone has taken notice of the injustice in the country, there is little financial incentive to put pressure on the government due to the very small amount of trade between Eritrea and western nations. This apathetic approach to the situation only deepens the frustration of the victims and organizations involved.

“There hasn’t been the public outcry. There haven’t been other countries calling on the Eritrean leader to let the Christians go,” says Nettleton. “That’s a frustrating thing for those of us who do know about what’s going on and do understand that 2000 of our brothers and sisters are in prison. We would like more people to speak out on their behalf.”

To do so, Nettleton suggests that people first and foremost begin to pray. He also implores people to write letters reminding the government that “Christians are not a threat. They simply want the freedom to worship God as they see fit.”

Pray that this freedom would come soon and that the Lord would strengthen the many that are hated because of Him.

Hat tip Mission Network News

 http://mnnonline.org/article/11872

Mission Verse of the Day

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Psalm 96:3

Unreached Peoples Need Our Prayers

Unreached Peoples Need Our Prayers

Unreached Peoples of the Day

Nuristani Peoples of Afghanistan

 

Until the 1890s the region was known as Kafiristan. The word Kafir means “non-believer” in the Islamic tradition. But after being forcibly converted to Islam in 1895, the region’s name was changed to Nuristani, meaning “land of the enlightened.” The Nuristani peoples in this area of northeastern Afghanistan are ethnically distinct from the dominant Pushtuns. They have European and Mediterranean physical features; some even have blonde hair. They were noted as being distinct by Alexander the Great when he entered the region in the third century B.C.

Their region differs from much of Afghanistan because it is forested and it receives more rainfall than the rest of the nation. Once the people had elaborate irrigation systems for their orchards and crops. These irrigation works required constant maintenance that were not maintained during their frequent times of war and conflict. Entire orchards were cut down by their enemies, and there has been terrible deforestation. The Nuristanis were the first to rebel against the Soviet-backed Afghan regime in the 1980s, and they engaged in intense battles. Today, due to its proximity to Pakistan, Nuristan is a major crossroad for insurgents and a central base for the Taliban. The Nuristanis are extremely poor and their area is rife with violent ethnic and economic conflicts. The Nuristanis speak varying dialects of Nuristani and Daric languages that are mutually unintelligible from valley to valley.

Pray that the Prince of Peace will call believers to go to these war-torn people and demonstrate to them the ways of Christ.-JS

 

Dhanuk People of India

People Name: Dhanuk
Country Name: India
Population: 3,593,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
% Evangelical: 0.00
Status: Unreached

It's a Small World

It

Operation World Country of the Day

Ukraine

1 The aftermaths of both independence and the Chernobyl disaster still have tragic impact on Ukrainians. Poverty, rather than riches, has been the outcome of freedom for many. Strict reform measures combined with rampant corruption is only likely to intensify the problem. The vacuum left by Communism’s demise has often been filled with violent crime, breakdown in family structures and sexual immorality. In addition, radiation pollution from Chernobyl still affects huge swathes of the country. The consequent weakening of immune systems, combined with a rapidly spreading AIDS virus could do incalculable damage to an already shrinking population. Pray that amidst the darkness, many would seek the Light.

2 Ukraine is a key state, a spiritual bridge between east and west, Orthodox and Catholic. Kyiv was where Slavic Christianity was born 1,000 years ago. Most Ukrainians are of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Many others are of the Greek or Uniate Catholic Church, which follows the Orthodox liturgy and structure but accepts the leadership of the Pope. The Orthodox Church is torn by strife as factions proclaim loyalty to competing patriarchs based in Kyiv and Moscow. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church (until recently banned, and still not formally registered) condemns them both for compliance with the Communists, but is itself beset with schisms. All these groups compete for the reclamation of buildings seized by the Communists. Much superstition and superficiality exist, but there is also a spiritual minority with a love for the Scriptures. Pray that spiritual life and renewal rather than power-politics may govern structures and relationships within these large bodies.

3 Ukraine has a strong Christian heritage, but suffering under Communism was severe. Evangelical Christians have emerged stronger and more numerous from 130 years of unrelenting persecution in which millions of Christians were killed. Pray that full freedom of religion for all groups may be enshrined in the constitution, practised by the state, and fully utilised by believers. Pray that the church might adjust to a new context, and meet its challenges boldly. Among these are:

a) The need for full restoration and reconciliation. The era of Communist persecution is over but the scars of intimidation, manipulation and betrayal are not entirely healed. Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Churches all face this. Pray for firmness, fairness and forgiveness in handling all who compromised. Pray that those who did not bend might now demonstrate flexibility in church structure, and in enabling congregations to be outward looking rather than insular.

b) Lack of unity. Communist subterfuge brought division and chaos between registered and unregistered congregations of nearly all denominations. Since 1990, disputes have come into the open. These issues have been recognised by Ukrainian Christians and are being addressed. Pray for removal of prejudice, mistrust, personality clashes, and structures that prevent fellowship and promote competition – especially in tapping Western funds and aid.

c) The lack of resources for maximising the present harvest. Most evangelical denominations are growing rapidly, hampered only by an inability to erect buildings and train leaders. Due to the economic situation church buildings, discipleship materials, disciplers and basic equipment are in short supply. Pray that the kingdom of God’s growth would not be stunted by simple financial needs.

d) Religious freedom is somewhat threatened by the entrenched religious hierarchy and by government actions taken to limit the expansion of cults and sects. Registering churches or missions can be a very difficult and delicate process. Pray for wisdom and the right combination of discretion and boldness on the part of Christian workers.

4 Good, spiritual, theological training is a great need. Many have benefited from theological education since 1989, but with many more churches beginning or waiting for pastors, the need is as urgent as ever. Thousands of students have been trained in dozens of seminaries, Bible schools and institutes. Over 10,000 have taken the Life in Christ Correspondence Course. Resources are the greatest challenge to Christian educators – the lack of trained teachers is overshadowed by the lack of textbooks, facilities and funding for the students themselves. Western agencies are proving invaluable in this area, particularly SGA, but also Calvary Chapel Mission to the Ukraine, GEM and Baptist and Pentecostal groups. Pray for wise, helpful co-labouring with expatriate partners to raise up many trained Christian leaders for Ukraine and all the former USSR. Pray also for openings and support in ministry for those who graduate.

5 Expatriate agencies. Some such as Light in the East, SGA and many others faithfully served the persecuted church before 1989 and continue to do so. Hundreds of others have flocked in to the country since then, but all too often with great insensitivity to the local situation, a lack of long-term commitment and unhealthy attitudes about money and “sponsorship”. Pray for more long-term workers who will learn the language and culture to better serve the Ukrainian Church in Bible teaching and in modelling a Christian life style in family and ministry. The most effective missions are often those who facilitate the growing Ukrainian mission effort through consultation and troubleshooting.

6 Indigenous agencies. There are now hundreds of Ukrainian agencies working in evangelism, literature, with prisoners, in summer camps and schools, and especially in much needed humanitarian work such as hospitals, orphanages and soup kitchens. Pentecostals and Baptists minister in many ways both in Ukraine and by sending missionaries to other former Soviet states, as do Missionary Brotherhood (LITE) and Light of the Gospel Mission. Pray for the burgeoning Ukrainian missionary movement – may the Lord prosper their work and may Western groups truly serve them selflessly.

7 Outreach challenges:

a) Students. CoMission, CCX(IFES), CCCI and others have developed campus ministries, and student groups are multiplying. CCX has groups meeting in 15 different cities, and most student missions have a healthy mix of expatriate and national workers. Summer camps (often held in former Communist Youth facilities) have proved fruitful. Pray that the right strategies and structures might help to evangelize this post-Soviet generation.

b) Crimea. This highly russified region differs from the rest of Ukraine, with continuing Communist sentiment and interest in reunification with Russia. Yet over 250,000 exiled Crimean Tatars have been welcomed back from Stalin-era exile in Central Asia. There are only a handful of Tatar Christians, and very few evangelical churches in the whole region. There are several Slavic and Western missions seeking to reach them. Openness increased after public apologies by Christians for their ill treatment and exile. The New Testament is being translated. Pray a Tatar Church into being.

c) Ukrainian Jews. Many have emigrated to Israel and the West and the population continues to drop by 10% annually. Chosen People Ministries have seen fruit in outreach to them. There are dozens of Messianic synagogues, and a Messianic Bible school.

d) The eastern part of the country has much less of an evangelical presence than the western part, and is in more need of missionaries. There are still 20,000 villages and towns without an evangelical church in Ukraine.

e) Cults, in particular Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and eastern mystical groups, are gaining many converts. Pagan revival movements such as RUNVira and the Perunists also pose a challenge. Churches must realise that they are competing with these groups for the souls of Ukrainians. There are two apologetics and research centres whose goal is to promote greater discernment among Christians and encourage outreach to cult followers.

8 Christian media ministries for prayer:

a) Bible ministries. The Ukrainian Bible Society (UBS) was restarted in 1991. Many realise the need of the Bible for restoration of moral and absolute values in society. The UBS has a unique and strategic ministry in that it is welcomed in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. There are far more opportunities than there is finance – pray for the Lord’s limitless provision to be released.

b) Literature. There is a great need for Christian literature in Ukrainian. Russian literature is much more plentiful and Ukrainian therefore ignored by publishers. EHC has distributed over 6 million pieces of literature through the Ukrainian churches.

c) Radio and television. These are open for Christian programmes. CBN have a major television network based in Kyiv. HCJB (with CMAssociates), FEBC and TWR all broadcast several hours a week in Ukrainian with good repsonse. Even more hours are broadcast in Russian. One hour a week is broadcast in Tatar on shortwave. There is also a need for Christian television programmes.

d) The JESUS film is shown in Hungarian, Romanian, Russian and Ukrainian.

Mission Fact of the Day

The global annual growth rate of Christianity in general is 1.4%, but the growth rate of Evangelicals is 4.7% (Operation World)

Persecuted Church

Persecuted Church

Persecuted Church News

Somalia

 

Somalis living in Britain are supporting a terrorist group which is responsible for the stoning of a 13-year-old girl as well as the murder of Muslim converts to Christianity. Britain has to stop the flow of money to such terrorist groups. It is unfortunate and paradoxical that Somalis who are enjoying freedom in the West are fueling violations of freedom of religion and other freedoms in their own country.

 

India

Police disrupt worship in Karnataka

On 2nd November 2008 regular worship was going on, at noon some policemen from Bagalkot TownPolice station arrived and asked the pastor to call off the prayer meeting immediately. He was warned not to conduct any meeting without the prior permission from D.C. The police officials also collected personal details of 25 persons who were attending the worship.

Basappa Adapur has been Pastor for the past 10 years of Shalom Full Gospel Association in Bagalkot district. He also manages Orphanage called Shalom Girls Boarding Home, Bagalkot.

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