The president said the implications of the economic collapse in Sri Lanka includes loss of employment, increased cost of living, poorer health care and education. The nation has been negotiating a plan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a debt restructuring program with nations such as Japan, China and India. The president says improvements will begin to be seen during 2023 and sets up the nation towards recovery in 2024. Pray for the long road to recovery to be protected. Praise God that the Heavenly Father invites all people in Sri Lanka who believe in His name to become children of God. Pray that many will do so this year (The Bible, John 1:12-13).
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.
Islamic State jihadists in August 2014 massacred over 1,200 Yazidis, members of a Kurdish-speaking community in northwest Iraq that follows an ancient religion rooted in Zoroastrianism. Germany’s lower house of parliament recognized the 2014 massacre of Yazidis by Islamic State group jihadists in Iraq as a genocide following the legal evaluations of investigators from the United Nations and called for measures to assist the besieged minority. It also calls for Germany to establish a documentation center for crimes against Yazidis to ensure a historical record and to press Baghdad to protect the minority group’s rights. Pray for theYazidi community who went through indescribable atrocities and tyrannical injustice to recover. Pray for the Yazidi minority persecuted by the jihadist group to get healing form the loving hand God (The Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:19).
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.