The Persecuted Church

PERSECUTED CHURCH 

  • Persecuted Church – April 2020

    “Coronavirus (Covid-19).” It’s our new “new word”. Ominous rumors of panic began to leak out of China last fall, denied at first, but the neighbors sounded the alarm that something was up. The thing comes silently, like the few, random flakes that herald a blizzard.. Original sightings relentlessly increase until victims are sickening and dying in numbers sufficient to overwhelm whole healthcare systems, brake economies, and  lock down mighty nations; until peoples unaccustomed to “invasion” have begun to feel the sting of isolation, loneliness and fear.

    The persecuted church experiences isolation, loneliness and fear everyday. Coronavirus only adds another layer to their sufferings. (And at this particular time, for believers, and all residents, of East Africa and South Asia, billions of locus, in numbers greater than seen in twenty-five years, are swarming through the land, eating their weight in whatever lies in their path – everyday. Damages will be astronomical and the misery incalculable.) 

    For April we continue mostly to focus our weekly prayers for the persecuted in the troubled area of the Sahel region of Africa and to intercede for the world  during this Covid-19 pandemic.

    April 1st: – Eritrea – #6 WWL – Source of persecution: Christian denominational protectionism and massive human rights violations.

    April 5th: – Algeria – #17 WWL (up from #22 2019) – Persecution: Islamic Oppression. Rising violence and pressure, most visible expression seemingly systemic closure of Protestant churches.

    April 12th: – Guinea: – Violent clashes following referendum to revise constitution, some of which are affecting Christians. At least four churches burned down, a deacon killed by radical Muslim youth. Another believer guarding a church was killed as he tried to run away.

    April 19th – Cameroon – # 48 WWL – Persecution: Islamic oppression in northern Cameroon, an area subject to Boko Haram and where Christians are a distinct minority in this Christian country.

    April 26th – South Sudan: the newest nation in Africa, that sank into civil conflict only a couple years after its founding in 2011. Scene of atrocities such as cannibalism, gang rape, death by burning, and child abduction. May Christians can be “the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting nation…”

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER IN THE MIDST OF COVID-19*

    O God our Healer, show your compassion for the whole human family that is in turmoil and burdened with illness and with fear. Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Come to our aid as the coronavirus spreads globally, heal those who are sick, support and protect their families and friends from being infected.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Grant us your spirit of love and self-discipline so that we may come together, working to control and eliminate the coronavirus. Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Make us vigilant, attentive, and proactive in the eradication of all diseases, malaria, dengue, HIV & AIDS, and others [may be named out-loud or in silence]…that create suffering and often result in death for many people.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Heal our self-centeredness and indifference that makes us worry only when the virus threatens us, open ways beyond timidity and fear that too easily ignore our neighbor.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Strengthen and encourage those in public health services and in the medical profession: care-givers, nurses, attendants, doctors, all who commit themselves to caring for the sick and their  families.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Inspire,give insight and hope to ll researchers focused on developing a vaccine.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Sustain all worker and business owners who suffer loss of livelihood due to  shut-downs, quarantines, closed borders, and other restrictions….protect and guard all those who must travel.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Heal our world, heal our bodies, strengthen our hearts and our minds, and in the midst of turmoil, give us hope and peace.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Hold in your gentle embrace all who  have died and who will die this day.  Comfort their loves ones in their despair.  Hear our cry, O God,

    Listen to our prayer.

    Remember all your family, the entire human race, and all your creation, in your love.

    Amen!     *The Lutheran World Federation