The UK-based human rights foundation, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has expressed concern about Eritrea’s heavy involvement in the violence in Ethiopia and called on the international community to move swiftly to ensure that Eritrean forces leave the embattled African country. She called on the African Union and the rest of the international community to ensure the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Ethiopia. The continuing presence of troops implicated in the commission of the gravest of international crimes constitutes a clear threat both to the peace process and to the lives of Tigrayan civilians. Pray that the Eritrean government ends its military adventurism and focuses instead on respecting and fulfilling the rights and freedoms of Eritrean citizens. Pray for the leaders to repent and obey the laws of the Lord and do justice (The Bible, Matthew 10:18).
Eritrea remains in 6th position in the World Watch report 2022 by Open Doors as Christian persecution is rampant. His Excellency Isaias Afwerki is the president. Located on the Red Sea, Eritrea is governed by a totalitarian regime that seeks to control every aspect of life. Some have compared Eritrea to the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea, as it is one of the most secretive and isolated countries in the world. The government maintains tight control of approved Churches, including their messages. Years of communism, required military service, and economic depression have forced many Eritreans, including evangelical believers, to flee the country. Eritrea has outlawed Churches, arrested pastors, and continues to round up and torture Christians. Despite almost half the population identifying as Christian, believers in Eritrea continue to suffer extreme persecution, making it one of the hardest places in the world to follow Jesus.
As China finally abandons its “zero-Covid” policy, some are expressing concerns that the regions of China made up predominantly by ethnic minorities may suffer the most. In regions such as Tibet, older people were prevented from receiving the third Covid vaccination, and studies are showing that Chinese-made vaccinations are waning in their effectiveness to fight the ever-changing virus. Pray that the Lord will reveal himself to the elderly living in Tibet, that they may have an opportunity to know the Gospel and to know of Father God’s great love for them. Praise God for His grace, mercy, and peace (The Bible, 2 John 1:3).
Source: Covid deaths may exceed 220,000 in Tibet: Estimate (Morung Express)
Tibet is a Himalayan state considered a part of China. Many desire that Tibet is its own country in its own right. China massacred more than a million people in its reinvasion of Tibet many years ago, but freedom has never been restored and tensions remain high. Chinese surveillance in Tibet and of Tibetan people around the world is all-pervasive. China introduced facial recognition technology to increase its control over its ethnic minorities. Tibet’s exiled Buddhist spiritual leader is the Dalai Lama. His followers see him as a living god, but China as a separatist threat. China’s extensive crack down on the Church has meant Christian missionaries are no longer free to function in Tibet either. However, a small Church continues to grow, and Christian resources are available online for people seeking to know more about God and to grow in their Christian faith.
Jihadist rebel fighters raided several Syrian army posts in a flare-up of hit-and-run attacks in north western Syria. More than three million people live in the area, which has become a refuge for many of the displaced, including Turkish-backed rebel fighters and their families who left areas seized by the Russian-backed Syrian army. The conflict, which began with peaceful protests escalated into a civil war that drew in foreign powers and caused the largest displacement crisis since World War Two. Hayat Tahrir al Sham, a rebel group said it had increased raids and suicide attacks in the last three months against both the Syrian army and the Russian army outposts along the frontlines in north western Syria. Pray that the rebel fighters will stop fighting the Syrian Army, causing terror. Pray that war-ridden Syria will have peace by praying to God for protection from the enemy(The bible, Isaiah 49:25).
Syria dropped down to 15th position in the World Watch report 2022 by Open Doors for Christian persecution as violence against Christians decreased. The current president is Bashar al-Assad and the prime minister is Hussein Arnous since 11 June 2020. Syria has been shattered and decimated by war, violence, and terrorism. Multitudes have lost their lives. Millions have been forced from their homes, leading to a mass humanitarian crisis of historic proportions. Civil war has become a much more complex and multifaceted conflict. The many warring factions are armed opposition groups, rebels, the Islamic State, and the Kurds. Numerous war crimes, such as the use of chemical warfare, have been reported on all sides, leading to unspeakable horrors among Syrian civilians. The Islamic State has capitalized on Syria’s instability and chaos and started taking control of huge areas. The terrorized people of Syria further suffer from the IS-caused terror, and the war has caused the displacement of over six million people within Syria.
The cold winter again affects nomadic herders in Mongolia worse than most. The war in Ukraine caused the cost of food to skyrocket, in particular staple foods that herders cannot grow themselves. The cost of coal, their primary source of heating, also jumped, causing massive protests in December. Squashed between Russia and China, Mongolia is vulnerable to the whims of these nations. Praise God that He forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases. It is He who redeems our lives from the pit and crowns us with love and compassion. Pray that many Mongolians will come to know this loving Father heart of God (The Bible, Psalm 103:3-4).
Source: Squeezed between China and Russia, Mongolia’s herders feel pinch (Al Jazeera)
Squashed in between Russia and China, Mongolia is a young democracy, allows religious freedom. In recent years, the Mongolian government struggled with accusations of corruption and a people’s protest movement grew demanding greater change. Mongolia’s economy continues to improve despite harsh winters that threaten the traditional lifestyle and income of cattle farmers. A third of Mongolia’s population lives in the capital, Ulaanbataar, while nearly half of the country’s workforce is nomadic. In 1989, less than a handful of Christian Mongolians lived in the country, while now more than 100,000 Christian Believers are thought to exist. In Ulaanbataar alone, there are approximately 200 Churches. In addition, there are small gatherings of Christian Believers in every province, but few Christian workers are focused on church planting in rural and remote regions.