Day 15

AUGUST | 2023

Sri Lanka

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

James warns us that with the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Heavenly Father, we lift up to You the Christian Believers in Sri Lanka. We ask that You guard their hearts and their tongues. In a nation that is divided along ethnic and religious lines, and the current financial crisis makes life very hard, we pray that Christian Believers will not turn against or speak evil of people of other faiths. Instead, may their patience and grace be evident, and may the words of their mouths be pleasing to God and to man. May they be peacemakers and bridge builders (The Bible, James 3:9).

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%

Day 15

AUGUST | 2023

Iraq

PRAYER FOR THIS COUNTRY

Lord, we pray that the rulers and the Iraqis will know that life and death is in the tongue. The tongue is so small yet it has such great power. As the bit and the rudder have such an effect, so the small tongue can do great things. Lord, in Iraq words have moved crowds to do bad things, and the crisis has changed the future of the nation. Lord, admonish the rulers who boast with big talks but it has caused much damage. We pray for the Christian Believers to have control of the tongue, and the wise use of words. A little flame can destroy a great forest. What people say can be as dangerous as that fire. Make them use their tongue to bless people (The Bible, James 3:5).

MORE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY

Iraq is listed in 18th position in the World Watch Report 2023 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%
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