Day 19

DECEMBER | 2022

Taiwan

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

Many in Taiwan are hoping that the way Ukraine, with international support, has pushed back against Russia, will dissuade China from invading Taiwan. Polls of the general public reveal that most people don’t believe China will invade. However, since the Chinese president was elected for a third term, there has been a growing sense amongst the government that Taiwan must take China’s threats very seriously and prepare in earnest. Pray for wisdom and grace. Pray that the Lord’s sovereign plans and purposes will prevail. As we celebrate the joy of Christmas, pray that the Taiwanese Church will be encouraged (The Bible, Colossians 1:16-17).

Source: How Taiwan Is Assessing and Responding to Growing Threats From China (Counsel of Foreign Relations)

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

Although Taiwan has enjoyed relative independence for more than 60 years, China has rapidly increased its intimidation of the tiny island nation in recent years. China’s overall strategy continues to use both persuasion and coercion to hinder the development of attitudes favoring independence in the “rebel” Taiwan. China’s focus on building military strength is seen as a threat by Taiwan as it continues to maintain its autonomy. Taiwan has continued to foster connections with sympathetic international allies. With a strong economy, Taiwan is a leader in computer technology. Unlike China, Taiwan seems more committed to freedom of religion though Christians only make up six percent of the population. Most are committed to the traditional ethnic religion. China’s intervention in Hong Kong has caused many in Taiwan to be fearful of what their future holds.

CHIEF OF STATE
President Tsai Ing-wen
HEAD OF GOV.
Premier Mao Chi-kuo
POPULATION
23,415,000
CHRISTIANS
4.2%
EVANGLICAL CHRISTIANS
1.5%
DOMINANT RELIGION
Ethnic Religions
PERSECUTION RANKING
Not Ranked
REFUGEES
Unknown
LIFE EXPECTANCY
78.97 yrs
LITERACY RATE
98.29%
POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
1.5%

Day 19

DECEMBER | 2022

Bahrain

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

Pope Francis dedicated his weekly General Audience in the Vatican to his recently-concluded Apostolic Journey to the Middle Eastern Gulf nation of Bahrain. To the crowds in St. Peter’s Square and those following from afar, the Pope expressed gratitude for the visit’s peace-producing fruits, especially in this world torn apart by conflict and war, especially the war in Ukraine. The Pope remembered that his travel there was for The Bahrain Forum for Dialogue, which brought together religious leaders in the service of peace. Why the Pope wanted to visit this small country with such a large Islamic majority? the Pope responded through three words: dialogue, encounter and journey. Pray that the dialogue will result in a spiritual breakthrough in Bahrain. Pray that God visits His people with favor and that they accept their Savior (The Bible, Isaiah 12:2).

Source:

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-11/pope-francis-general-audience-apostolic-journey-bahrain.html

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

Bahrain is not ranked in the World Watch list because it is relatively religiously tolerant compared to its neighbors in the Persian Gulf. It is a majority Islamic country mainly with Shia Muslims, but the ruling family is Sunni Muslim. Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa is King of Bahrain since 14 February 2002. The Kingdom of Bahrain is the most open island country in the Gulf region and has opened its doors to some Christian influence. The constitution of Bahrain officially grants freedom of religion, but a provision also states that this freedom cannot violate established customs, policies or morals, all of which are influenced by Islam. Only a few expatriate Christians in the country experience relative freedom to worship but are under close surveillance by the government and security forces. Converts from Islam experience the most severe persecution, as family members and local communities pressure them to recant their Christian faith.

CHIEF OF STATE
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
HEAD OF GOV.
PM Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
POPULATION
1,347,000
CHRISTIANS
8.2%
EVANGLICAL CHRISTIANS
2.3%
DOMINANT RELIGION
Shia Islam
PERSECUTION RANKING
Not Ranked
REFUGEES
353
LIFE EXPECTANCY
78.73 yrs
LITERACY RATE
94.6%
POPULATION BELOW POVERTY LINE
Unknown