Praying for Bhutan

For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your prosperity, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
Hebrews 10:34
 
Until the 1980’s, Bhutan was largely isolated from the rest of the world by its Himalayan geography, poor infrastructure and poor international relations. In 2008, the country adopted a multiparty constitutional democracy and implemented a new constitution that officially protects freedom of religion. Most Christians in Bhutan are of Nepali heritage; however, believers are focused on reaching ethnic Bhutanese people with the message of Christ. The few Bhutanese Christian leaders in the country are focusing on biblical and ministerial studies. 
 
Christians make up about 1.5 percent of the population. The king is considered to be the defender of the Buddhist faith. The government works covertly to discourage the spread of Christianity. Christians are considered followers of a Western religion. There are not church buildings in Bhutan.  Christians often lose their jobs, are passed over for jobs or are not able to find jobs because of their faith. Many Christians must practice their faith in secret – burying their dead at night or deep in the forest in hidden locations. 

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Praying for Bahrain

“I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have so that no one may seize your crown.”
– Revelation 3:11
 
This small island nation, which includes a mix of Sunni and Shiite Muslims, is connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway and is frequently referred to as the “Saudi Playground” because Saudis can leave their oppressive homeland and enjoy more freedom in Bahrain. While maintaining a distinctly Muslim identity, Bahrain has experienced significant religious, political and economic division.  This unrest, coupled with the faithful witness of Arab and immigrant Christian workers, has led to a season of openness in some response to the gospel among those indigenous to Bahrain.
 
What it means to follow Christ in Bahrain: Christian converts from Islam often lose their jobs, families and positions in society however, some still gathered to worship in secret.
 
Access to Bibles: Bahraini’s have access to scriptures through the Internet, bookstores and churches.

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Praying for Afghanistan

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  – Luke 9:23
 
The Gospel of Jesus reached Afghanistan by the second century, but today there are no physical church buildings in the country. This ancient central Asian country is full of cultural and religious opposition to the gospel that, along with the serious lack of security, continues to greatly challenge all missions efforts. Indigenous, near-culture Persian and expatriate believers are using every possible opportunity to see believers gathered, discipled and integrated into house churches. A unique unity exists among Christians laboring here. Church growth has been slow among more than 50 unique people groups. However, there has been significant Christian growth among the Hazara people.
 
Afghans who are followers of Jesus must hide their faith and cannot worship openly. Evangelism is forbidden. Waves of Christians have emigrated to neighboring countries in order to worship openly. Still, Afghan house churches continue to grow. A small number of believers are martyred every year but numbers are not published as Christian converts from Islam are often killed by family members or radicals before legal processes are utilized.

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