Proposals by Israel’s new far-right government for far-reaching changes to the administration of the occupied West Bank prompted warnings from opposition figures and Palestinian groups even before Benjamin Netanyahu officially returned as Prime Minister. But an intervention by the head of the Israel Defence Forces underscored how those anxieties have also reached the top echelon of the Jewish state’s military. Netanyahu and Kochavi agreed that any initiatives touching on military operations would be delayed until the government received a full briefing on the consequences.
Pray for Smotrich, an ardent supporter of West Bank settlement expansion, who is Israel’s new Finance Minister. Pray fo Palestinians in the West Bank to seek God’s help to really live there safely (The Bible, Jeremiah 29:13).
Mahmoud Abbas is the president and Mohammad Shtayyeh is the Prime Minister of the West bank. The West Bank lies on the west bank of the Jordan River. Since 1967 most of the West Bank has been under Israeli military occupation. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with mainland Israel. The West Bank also contains a significant coastline along the western bank of the Dead Sea. The Palestinian population of around ten or eleven million people is divided between historic Palestine and a diaspora, mainly in neighboring Arab countries. Efforts to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank of the River Jordan and Gaza on the Mediterranean coast have been frustrated by the continuing conflict with Israel and disputes over the status of diaspora Palestinians. Islamic oppression is the main source of persecution. Islamic extremist militants cause Christians to fear being attacked, and the persecution is particularly brutal for converts to Christianity.
Israel has started building a 4.6-km-long wall around the Gaza Strip to protect Israeli communities in its vicinity from fire from the coastal Palestinian enclave. The wall is being built along two highways near Gaza. Bicycle lanes will also be constructed as part of the project. Work has begun on a security corridor project adjacent to the Gaza Strip, with the aim of concealing roads to allow residents to drive around safely in times of emergency without fear of counterfire from the Gaza Strip. Pray that the project will enable the residents to live a normal life during a security escalation. Pray that attacks from militants in Gaza sending fire rockets will be stopped, and for those in the Gazans Strip to call upon the name of Jesus Christ for salvation of their souls (The Bible, Psalms 31:14-15).
The Gaza Strip is a narrow strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East, bordered by Egypt to the southwest and Israel to the north and east. On 14 June 2021, Hamas announced that Issam al-Da’alis was the new prime minister of the Hamas government in Gaza. The Gaza Strip residents are severely constrained by political rights and civil liberties. Blockades of the territory and periodic military incursions by Israel have imposed serious hardship on the civilian population. The Islamist political and militant group Hamas gained control of Gaza following its victory in the legislative elections. Israel launched a month-long air campaign against sites in Gaza in early August 2021. Israeli authorities tightened restrictions on the flow of materials, including fuel and construction materials, into Gaza. The violence of extremism is rampant and has become a dangerous part of everyday life for Palestinian Christians.
The Gambians are engaged in lively discussions about yet another alleged coup attempt in the country. The alleged coup attempt was quickly and roundly condemned by the National Human Rights Commission, and civil society organizations, with some of them calling on the government to ensure that those arrested are accorded due process. For a country that is the smallest on the African continent and one of the poorest in the world, The Gambia has had more than its fair share of upheavals from coups, failed or not. And this is sad because it need not be. Pray that efforts to arrest their co-conspirators who were on the run will be fruitful. Pray for poor Gambians to find means of improving their livelihood and get to know the riches of God’s grace (The Bible, Titus 2:11).
The Gambia is a West African country surrounded by Senegal. It’s the smallest country on the mainland of Africa with a population of just over 2 million, of which up to a tenth live abroad for work. Adama Barrow is the president of The Gambia. Despite the presence of the Gambia River, which runs through the middle of the country, only one-sixth of the land is arable. The Gambia is traditionally very tolerant of all religious creeds and beliefs and while the country is predominantly Muslim, with up to 90% of the population practicing the basic tenets of Islam, it is essentially a secular country and it prides itself on its broad-minded acceptance of all faiths. Christians, mostly Protestants, make up 5% of the population.
This month, as we remember the Father’s heart for the people of the world, we remember that we love because He first loved us. Pray for the nation of East Timor to come to know His great love for them. Pray for this predominantly nominal Catholic country, to come alive in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for miracles, signs, and wonders. Pray that Jesus followers will have many opportunities to share a testimony of His love for them, and how that inspires them to love others around them. May the Church be a great light in this nation this year (The Bible, 1 John 4:19).
The country, also known as Timor-Leste, had a bloody 24-year resistance against Indonesian occupiers, gaining independence officially in 2002. In stark contrast to this turbulent past, East Timor peacefully transferred power to a younger generation of leaders in the 2017 presidential elections. However, the nation has failed to form a secure, strong government since the 2018 parliamentary elections. The membership of the governing coalition changed again in 2020. Half of the country, with a population of only 1.3 million people, still lives in extreme poverty. High levels of youth unemployment fuel gang violence. With around 95% of its population being Roman Catholic, it is one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia. Churches face no persecution.