Day 11

DECEMBER | 2022

Laos

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

Christian relief and development organization, World Vision, runs a program called iREAD in Laos. The program, funded by the Japanese government, supports children and teachers to increase literacy and comprehension rates. The program was welcomed during the COVID-19 pandemic when many schools closed, and children’s education suffered. Pray for children to grow in their confidence to read. Pray that good education will open doors for poor families and communities. Praise God that Jesus’ birth brings hope for the future (The Bible, Proverbs 23:18).

Source: World Vision Helps Children in Laos Improve Reading Skills (Missions Box)

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

Laos is one of the world’s few remaining communist states, enduring as a one-party socialist Marxist republic supported financially by China and Vietnam. Economic progress was being made with improved poverty, education, and health outcomes, but the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly set back the pace of this growth. At one point, persecution of Christian Believers was mandated by the federal government; however, their stance has changed over the last two decades.  National legislation to protect churches has been introduced, but only for the one approved protestant denomination. Persecution of the Church is localized, often driven by society and local government officials who abuse their power and position. Despite persecution, the Christian community grows in number and boldness. 32 percent of the population are under the age of 15, so children’s and youth ministry is very important.

CHIEF OF STATE
President Chuomaly Sayasone
HEAD OF GOV.
President Thongsing Thammavong
POPULATION
6,912,000
CHRISTIANS
3.2%
EVANGLICAL CHRISTIANS
2.1%
DOMINANT RELIGION
Buddhism
PERSECUTION RANKING
22
REFUGEES
7,559
LIFE EXPECTANCY
63.88 yrs
LITERACY RATE
73%
POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
22%

Day 11

DECEMBER | 2022

Western Sahara

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International announced that nineteen Sahrawi activists languish in prison years after Moroccan courts convicted them in unfair proceedings. These nineteen men have now spent twelve years in prison, with years still to serve, after trials that leaned heavily on tainted confessions. The United Nations expert body on torture condemned the violations. Pray for the Sahrawi human rights defenders arrested and detained by Moroccan security forces who were repeatedly beaten and abused. The trials were marred by a heavy reliance on confessions that the defendants repudiated as extracted through torture. Pray for justice to prevail and for the release of the activists. Pray for liberation through the Holy Spirit to be restored for the oppressed (The Bible, Matthew 12:18).

(Source:

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/11/08/western-sahara-long-term-prisoners-await-justice

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is Incumbent Brahim Ghali since 12 July 2016. Western Sahara is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. It has been a disputed territory since 1975. Morocco controls 80% of the land, while the remaining 20% is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Presently, camps run by the Cuban-backed Polisario Front exist in southern Algeria, where thousands of indigenous Sahrawi people are sequestered and treated inhumanely. Public beatings are common and young children are taken from their families and sent to Cuba for re-education. It is a country in tremendous need of the Gospel. It is estimated that there are only about 10 Christian workers in the whole country, making it so about 80% of its population has never heard the Gospel. It is a closed country, so being a “missionary” there is not officially allowed. Christian workers must be creative in why they go and how they minister there. Its Christian prospect is considered bleak, and the nation of Western Sahara remains a disputed territory.

CHIEF OF STATE
President Mohamed Abdelaziz
HEAD OF GOV.
PM Abdelkader Taleb Oumar
POPULATION
571,000
CHRISTIANS
0%
EVANGLICAL CHRISTIANS
0%
DOMINANT RELIGION
Sunni Islam
PERSECUTION RANKING
Not Ranked
REFUGEES
117,659
LIFE EXPECTANCY
62.64 yrs
LITERACY RATE
Unknown
POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
Unknown