Day 15

DECEMBER | 2022

Iraq

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

The head of the Catholic Church in Iraq has called for intra-Muslim dialogue to promote religious harmony and avoid further conflict in the Arab region. Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, said that dialogue and reconciliation were necessary for regional stability and security. There are ongoing conflicts in Iraq. There is a division between the Sunnis and Shiites, especially in Islam. Why can’t there be forgiveness between the people? Why can’t there be a direct dialogue and respect between the two sides? Cardinal Sako said. There should be a process of inclusion between the two sides — this is what God would want. Pray for Iraqis to do away with hatred, provocation, and ex-communication and set aside ancient and modern conflict in all its forms. Pray for Iraqis to dedicate their lives to God who is the source of peace and love (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:19).

Source:

https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/iraq/2022/11/09/head-of-catholic-church-in-iraq-calls-for-intra-muslim-dialogue-to-end-conflict/

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

Iraq is listed in 14th position in the World Watch report 2022 by Open Doors for Christian persecution. Modern Iraq occupies what was once ancient Mesopotamia, but the world now knows Iraq less as a memorial to its vibrant history and more as a bloody battleground. The current president is Barham Salih. The incumbent Prime Minister of Iraq is Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who holds most of the executive authority and is appointed to the Council of Ministers, which acts as a cabinet and/or government. In Iraq, the presence of Islamic extremist groups and their ideology continue to influence society. Christians are pressured to conform to the Islamic way of life and are often faced with physical abuse or the threat of kidnapping. The Iraqi government discriminates against Christians in various contexts, from the workplace to traveling checkpoints across the country. Blasphemy laws can be used to punish Christians who try to spread the gospel.

CHIEF OF STATE
President Faud Masum
HEAD OF GOV.
PM Haider al-Abadi
POPULATION
37,056,000
CHRISTIANS
1.4%
EVANGLICAL CHRISTIANS
0.2%
DOMINANT RELIGION
Shia Islam
PERSECUTION RANKING
11
REFUGEES
4,026,483
LIFE EXPECTANCY
71.7 yrs
LITERACY RATE
80.2%
POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
18.7%

Day 15

DECEMBER | 2022

Sri Lanka

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

Sri Lanka continues to struggle with its national bankruptcy. Chronic fuel and food shortages continue, and medicines are running low, but there is no money to replenish stocks. UN-administered aid programs aim to provide very basic provisions for more than one million of the most vulnerable people to prevent starvation and inadequate health care. Pray for financial provision. Pray that Christian churches and ministries who are also responding to people’s felt needs will find that doors are opened for them to share the joy and good news of Jesus’ birth this Christmas season (The Bible, Luke 2:10).

Source: Sri Lanka: Cost-of-living crunch threatens to sink millions already facing hard choices (UN News)

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

Twenty-six years of civil war pitted Sri Lanka’s government forces, representing the Buddhist Sinhala majority, against Hindu Tamil separatists. The conflict resulted in upwards of 100,000 deaths. Although the conflict ended in 2009, tensions and accusations remain, and promised truth and reconciliation commissions have never been forthcoming. Sri Lanka has the longest continuous history of Buddhism of any predominately Buddhist nation. This, combined with nationalism, results in the ongoing violent persecution of all who are not Buddhist. This year the nation was plunged into bankruptcy, with major food and fuel shortages bringing people onto the street in widespread protests that forced the president to resign and flee.

CHIEF OF STATE
President Ranil Wickremesinghe
HEAD OF GOV.
PM Dinesh Gunawardena
POPULATION
22,053,000
CHRISTIANS
2%
EVANGLICAL CHRISTIANS
Unknown
DOMINANT RELIGION
Buddhism
PERSECUTION RANKING
Not Ranked
REFUGEES
33,170
LIFE EXPECTANCY
76.56 yrs
LITERACY RATE
98.1%
POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
8.9%