"Islamist militants stormed police stations in several cities of Iraq's restive western province of Anbar on Wednesday, seizing weapon caches and freeing prisoners after security forces dismantled a Sunni protest camp on Monday. The attacks on police stations in Falluja, Ramadi and Tarmiya represent an escalation in the confrontation between Iraqi Sunni groups and the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. In Falluja, a police officer said gunmen first forced policemen to leave their posts without their weapons, then deployed snipers on a nearby building to prevent the security forces from retaking command. In Tarmiya, at least four officers were killed when gunmen attacked a police headquarters, the police reported. Mr. Maliki had said this week that the civilian police force could resume control over Anbar's security, but that decision was changed after an appeal by the province's governor." (New York Times, Jan. 1)
Pray for the restoration of peace and stability in Iraq. Over 9000 people were killed in 2013 in suicide bombings and other attacks, largely due to the ongoing conflict between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Pray for an end to the newest violence by Islamic radicals in the restive Anbar province and that the government will be able to effectively contain and overcome it.
Here are some additional key ministry concerns for the land of Iraq from some dear friends who are Christian leaders in the northern part of the country. Especially pray for the building up of a strong prayer movement within the nation, which they are seeking to do:
- Praise the Lord for the showing of Jesus Film according to the Gospel of Luke, in a cinema in Erbil starting on the 19th December and for three weeks, and in another cinema in Baghdad. Please pray for smooth showings and many Arab & Kurdish people to see the film, also, pray please for follow up.
- Praise God for prayer training "Dark Places" that will take place in Erbil on the 6-9th Feb. Please pray for God's sovereignty & grace to be upon the speakers and for the Iraqi and international participants living in Erbil. Also, for the preparatory meeting, entitled "Reconciliation" the last week of January to start a prayer movement within the church of Iraq.
- Praise God for our weekly discipleship program "Arise & Build", which is increasing in number, Please pray for it's continuation after the holidays, and for heavenly wisdom for the next schedule, for God to water the seeds planted in the souls.
- Pray for the Radio Ministry training taking place fist week of January,
Thank you for standing with us in the gap
Mahir & Sahar
The New York Times (January 3) describes "a murky, vicious conflict" in South Sudan, the world's newest nation with "a lot of very disturbing reports about targeted killings of Nuer, as well as targeted killings of Dinka", the two main ethnic groups in South Sudan. At least 1,000 people have been killed in fighting between government and rebel forces so far, with disturbing reports of ethnically motivated atrocities by both sides. This situation, the article says, raises the "specter of mass atrocities".
Let's be in prayer that Satan, the destroyer, will be bound, and that leaders on both sides of the conflict will be moved to engage in negotiations for peace and healing of their division. Pray for the United States that is frantically trying to broker peace talks between the warring factions as well as strengthening a United Nations peacekeeping force. Intercede too for South Sudan's neighboring countries Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya to effectively take a leading role in bringing peace.
It was encouraging to hear from one of the veteran workers in Afgh anistan that there is a better atmosphere with more hope for the future being expressed by expatriate and local brothers and sisters who live there. He attributes this in part to our year-long prayer focus on the nation. There has also been an encouraging growth in the prayer movement in both nations. Let's continue to pray for His transforming hand to bring down the wicked powers (both spiritual and human) that stand in opposition to God's good purposes for these lands and their peoples. Here are some fresh prayer concerns from our friends who know the situation:
1. Praise God that new believers are coming into the Kingdom, many for the first time and many in groups. Pray for strength and protection. They are being attacked. Many are coming to faith at the cost of their lives.
2. Electricity and gas for cooking and running cars are only being supplied in major cities for 6 hours a day. Rationing is taking place in many cities now.
3. Corruption is rampant. This is leading police to demand bribes to protect Christians.
4. There is a move by radical Muslims to demand the death penalty for "blaspheming Muhammad". This could be used against Christians so pray that it will not be passed by the government.
5. Continue to pray for the local believers to overcome any fear of taking on spiritual strongholds in the authority of Christ and for the prayer movement to become united, involving Christians of all the different denominations, even those that have been at odds with one another in the past.
1. President Karzai has still not signed the agreement that would keep a small coalition military force in the country for the coming years to serve as a bulwark to the Afghan army and against attempts by the Taliban to overrun the nation.
2. Pray for good, moderate people who really care for their nation to gain the support of the people for the national elections in April, especially for the position of president.
3. Pray for the training and strengthening of the local believers and the building up of the prayer movement in the country.
4. Pray for more teams of prayer leaders and intercessors to visit both nations to provide support and encouragement to the locals and for great favor with the authorities for visas to be granted.
Some wicked Taliban leaders responsible for the killing of thousands of people that need to be brought to justice:
Mullah Muhammad Omar (Mullah - religious leader & teacher like Rev. or Pastor. Muhammad - descriptive title - Muslim follower of Muhammad)
Pakistan Taliban (North West-Pakistan)
Mullah Fazllullah is the new leader who has taken over Hakimullah Mehsud's place who was killed. Pray for confusion and dissension. Fazllullah is the first outsider to ever take leadership for the Mehsud tribe. Many from within the tribe are not happy. He is a far more aggressive and fierce leader.
Punjab Taliban (supply much of the finances and suicide bombers for the war.)
Malik Ishaq is the main leader and organizer, connected to the Taliban and Al-Qaida. Creating trouble in Afghanistan, Punjab and a strong effort to take over the city of Karachi. Hafiz Saeed, one of Malik's main people. Used in the Afghanistan war. But with their belief that the war will be over in 2014, he is once again heading up war initiatives against India.
Pray for these wicked men to be brought down and removed from influence in both nations.
I would like to ask if prayer could be mobilised for Armenia through the Intercessors of IPC. I have just returned from Armenia where we saw the nation potentially on the cusp of transformation. We had pastors joining in unity and forgiving the Turks for the atrocities they committed through the Genocide in 1915 when over 1 million Armenians were killed and also for the Azeris who are still at war with Armenia over Nagorno Kharabagh Republic.
This was the email I put out as a result of our 10 day mission:
"So much happened in Armenia whilst we were there and here are a few snippets of God's awesome work. It is difficult to tell the stories because God's power was so GREAT but we believe He had a huge impact on individual lives and most importantly on the nation. Indeed, it was not much about His power but His presence. Then the Lord said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you love among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you." Exodus 34:10
Pray for the pastors to have wisdom and discernment on how to move forward in this nation. Pray for us in Flame International to know how to move forward with the Armenians to facilitate a "new thing" in that nation."
WITHIN 2 WEEKS OF RETURNING WE THEN RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING FROM A PASTOR IN ARMENIA:
"Dear friends, It is with much anguish of heart that I write to you to bring to your awareness the situation we are facing in Armenia as a nation at this time. As you may have heard in the news, on September 3, 2013, our president signed an agreement with Russia which has left the nation in shock ever since... However, this agreement literally puts Armenia under obligation to Russia and to follow its dictates on its every move. In other words, our government believes that we as a nation cannot survive on our own and cannot be independent and that we are to be ruled by Russia. Some say this is the end of our 22 years attempt at sovereignty and that we are going back to a Soviet Union type of scenario rather than going forward.
If you follow the news, you are aware that Russia's Putin is putting pressure on former Soviet Union countries to sign this Customs Union agreement...Political analysts suggest that Armenia has completely lost its place in the international scene and can no longer defend its rights and its interests in the resolution of the Kharabagh conflict with Azerbaijan and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government.
We add to all this the psychological state of the people of Armenia. Most have given up and want to leave the country in any avenue possible. The statistics show that each year more than 100,000 people are leaving the country for good. The government keeps changing and playing with laws to further its interests and ignoring the protests of the people and putting political activists in jail with false accusations. There are added taxes almost every other day and the people are barely surviving while the government oligarchs are expanding their businesses and taking over small and medium businesses.
The people have lost hope and have become very passive. They just want to leave. But what about the Christians? What are they doing? This is the reason why I am writing. We have seen that many Christians are talking and behaving like everyone else who have no hope. They also want to leave. Calls for prayer are made by some, but not responded to in the numbers, unity and with the perseverance that is needed to bring about transformation in our nation. The passivity of the Christians is our greatest concern and anguish. It is more disturbing than the actual circumstances we face. Instead of coming together in unity and seeking the Lord's face, we see Christians busy with "business as usual" and Christian leaders pitted against each other, building their own little kingdoms behind church walls.
We as Christians have the most powerful weapon against the enemy and we are not using it. We are called to prayer and we preach that prayer changes things in nations. But where are the praying Christians who are praying strategically into these events that are taking place right under our noses? Why are we not aware that the enemy through Putin plans to take over our land again? Why are we not standing against the spiritual forces that are behind these political figures and events and why are we not doing anything? Jesus asked the question as to whether He will find faith in the earth when He returns (Luke 18:8). This is the question that keeps coming to mind in this situation as well. Where is our faith to stand against the plans to destroy this nation and God's purposes for our people? Where is the revival we are seeking?
Please join with us to pray for our nation. You are welcome to share this with your friends who believe in prayer. Let's raise a unified voice to change the course of history toward God's purposes and will for this region."
· Please pray for the people of Armenia to stay close to the Lord.
· Pray for Armenian Apostolic Church to accept other protestant denominations and for them to be in unity.
· Pray for unity and obedience to the word of God for all Armenians
· Pray for revival so the Holy Spirit will inflame the faded fire of the faith
· For the God given mission of the Armenians, so that the Armenians will walk in faith of their ancestors by being torch bearers of Christianity in the East.
Director, Flame International
Work for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The biggest thing in the news these days is the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, and its aftermath. North Korean official news sources gave many reasons for the execution including treason, anti-revolutionary and anti-government activities as well as misusing funds under his control. There may be some truth to that as gold mining operations that came under his authority were shut down in October because the export proceeds were not getting to the government in the proper manner. We also have reports of earlier executions and even battles with forces loyal to Jang. There is an increasingly wide-spread crackdown and purging under way with hundreds of Jang's relatives being sent off to prison camp and possible execution while a number of diplomats close to him have been recalled from overseas. Analysts are coming up with numerous theories and discussing the consequences of this latest illogical, cruel and bizarre behavior by the North Korean leader, especially in relation to its affect on economics and relations with China. There are even reports that the execution got away from him, happening quicker than he intended following Jang's arrest and that Kim Jong Un underwent something of a breakdown as a result. He may have been drunk at the time as well. At the same time, it could be in keeping with his background (somewhat spoiled young man) and attempts to keep outsiders just a bit off balance. And now with Dennis Rodman off to Pyongyang for his latest trip but without seeing his friend for life, we are not sure what to make of it.
There does seem to be an upswing in defections as a result of Jang's execution but market prices appear to be stable even as people do seem to be staying away from them and trying to keep a low profile. No one is quite sure what might happen next.
With all of this going on, there is also a growing number of North Koreans who have been finding life in the South difficult. It is not easy when you have to make all the decisions for yourself after a lifetime of being told what to do, where to live and what to eat. This added to the struggle that many have had to overcome prejudice against them as North Koreans. A few have actually returned to NK and others may be trying to get there. We also know of many who have thrown away their South Korean citizenship papers and have been trying to gain refugee status in other countries. Pray for these North Koreans who are finding life so difficult in the South.
North Korea is truly a land in turmoil these days. Much prayer is needed as it becomes increasingly unclear what will happen next.
The Fourth River Project, Inc.
Thousands Call for President Xi Jinping to End China's Violent Treatment of North Korean Refugees, Humanitarians
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON D.C. (ANS) -- The North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC) has sent petitions to the Embassy of China signed by over 8,000 citizens worldwide calling upon President Xi Jinping to end China's violent repatriation policy. It's that policy which has led to the torture, imprisonment and death of thousands of North Korean citizens and humanitarian workers.
According to a news release made available to the ASSIST News Service, the NKFC also posted the latest update to THE LIST (available in English, Korean, and Spanish at www.nkfreedom.org) of those incidences when North Korean refugees were repatriated and humanitarian workers were killed for trying to help them. "It is fitting that these petitions are submitted on Human Rights Day, the day we recognize the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said NKFC Chairman Suzanne Scholte.
She added, "North Korea is the only country in the world denied every single one of these universally recognized human rights, which is why so many try to escape. This problem will only continue under the dictator ship of Kim Jung Eun." The signature of more than 8,000 petitioners who represent 28 nations were collected by Teresa Ost of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, and through an online petition at the NKFC's website.
They request President Xi to honor China's international treaty commitments by providing the refugees access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, so they will not be subjected to torture, imprisonment, and in many cases execution when forced back into North Korea.
Petitioners included citizens of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and the U.S. THE LIST complied by NKFC members cites hundreds of incidences of repatriations and deaths. "So that people fully understand whose lives China has put in grave danger, we are sharing today these six sample stories from entries of names from THE LIST," Scholte said in the release.
She added, "These tragic stories are from yesterday and today and will continue tomorrow until China ends its violent, inhuman, and illegal policy of repatriation."
Jo Sung Hye
North Korean escapee Jo Sung Hye was 26 years old and wanted a better life than the suffering and starvation she had endured in North Korea. Out of respect for China's law, NKFC said she and six others known as the MOFA seven filled out all the paper work to legally apply for asylum in China with the hope to go to South Korea.
As she and the six others went to the Chinese Foreign ministry on Aug. 26 2002 to legally apply, the Chinese police arrested them and forced them back to North Korea. The fate of the MOFA seven is unknown.
North Korean escapee Kang Sung-Il had become a South Korean citizen but wanted the world to know about the suffering in North Korean's political prison camps which North Korea even today denies even exist. He traveled to China to get footage from another escapee of North Korea's infamous Yoduk prison camp that aired on Japanese television.
He was reported as missing in Longjing City, believed to have been seized by North Korean agents in China and taken to Pyongyang and sent to a political prison camp in March 2005. NKFC said China will not allow the UNHCR to work in this region, but allows North Korean agents to arrest and kill refugees and humanitarian workers even on its own soil. Chung Soon-Ae is th mother of Gil Su, the famous young man whose drawings depicting starvation, torture and everyday life in North Korea shocked the people of South Korea when they were published in the Chosun Ilbo. His drawings made his entire family a target of the regime's wrath.
Fortunately, NKFC said, most of Gil Su's family escaped from North Korea and made it to South Korea. However, his mother was seized by Chinese police and repatriated to North Korea on March 13 2001 and sent to a political prison camp in April 2001. She was 46 years old at the time. Gil Su asked that her name be added to THE LIST because "raising her name may keep her alive." Noh Yea Ji was 15years old and part of a group of nine North Korean orphans who had successfully escaped to Laos, having been sheltered and protected in China by a South Korean missionary and his wife.
They had successfully made it to Laos to seek resettlement in South Korea. Expecting every day to be allowed to go to South Korea, on May 28 2013 they were told to gather their belongings as they were going to board a plane for South Korea.
Excitedly they departed the detention center in Laos. The NKFC said they were forced to board a Chinese commercial flight, not realizing that the Chinese government and the Lao government had conspired with the North Korean government to force all nine orphans back to North Korea. They were last seen in Pyongyang being utilized in a propaganda film for the regime.
NKFC said in the release that South Korean POW Han Man Taek was 73 years old when he escaped from North Korea on December 27 2004, having been held there against his will since 1953.
Within a month of being arrested by the Chinese authorities he was forced back to North Korea by China in January 2005. Like so many South Korean POWs - hundreds still in North Korea today - he just wanted to go home. Rev.Kim Dong Shik was an American humanitarian who had devoted his life to serving others, especially disabled individuals, as he had been permanently injured from a car accident.
Having a strong love for the people of North Korea, he and his wife hosted the North Korean Olympic team during the Atlanta Games. Aware of the suffering of those trying to escape, Kim shifted his focus, moved to China and began sheltering refugees and helping them get to South Korea.
He was abducted from China in Jan. 2000, believed to have been tortured and killed. Repeated appeals by his wife to the DPRK for information about him, including his remains, have gone unanswered. These are the people of THE LIST. NFKC said, "China's failure to honor its international treaty obligations has led to a lawless environment in China. Over 80 percent of female refugees are subjected to trafficking, and North Korean agents are allowed free reign to assassinate humanitarian workers but the UNHCR is denied access tot he refugees." For more information visit www.nkfreedom.org
Let us continue to pray for North Korea's transformation, for an end to this oppressive regime and that China will change its policy towards North Korea, its refugees, and those humanitarian workers trying to help them. Pray for His justice and deliverance for the many that suffer in this desolate, hopeless land.
In view of the serious developments subsequent to the recent raid by the Islamic authorities of the state of Selangor (JAIS) on the Bible Society of Malaysia, where sixteen boxes of Alkitab and Bup Kudus Bibles were confiscated,
PU is calling all Christians and churches to come together in concerted and vigilant prayer for the following:
1. Uphold the church leaders in prayer. Pray for unity, wisdom, courage and strength as they work towards resolving this matter with the authorities, and in their exercise of God's call to leadership in the Malaysian Church at such critical times.
2. Pray for the national leaders, the government and relevant authorities involved in dealing with the delicate race and religious issues. Pray that they will discharge their duties responsibly, with integrity, justice, and a genuine concern for the well-being of the nation.
3. Pray for the police that they would be fair and just, properly upholding law and order. Pray that the police will protect and defend the rights of minorities in this country, and not be compromised by those who are seeking to use the law improperly for their own agenda. Pray that they will always act to ensure the safety and security of church members and the sanctity of all places of worship.
4. Pray for the Church to be strong in the face of systematic pressure, intimidation and orchestrated attacks. Pray that Christians in this country will continue to be a peace-loving people who will not allow themselves to be easily provoked but actively seek to be agents of peace and reconciliation instead, committed to loving those who treat them unjustly.
5. In the words of the CFM Media Statement, pray that "all Christians will be vigilant, both in standing up for their constitutional rights and in prayer, and remain calm in the midst of these trying times. We call on Almighty God for good sense and wisdom to ultimately prevail in this beloved land of ours."
6. Finally, please uphold the Catholic Church's leave to appeal which will be heard by the Federal Court on Pray also for the Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill and the SIB Sabah cases which are also up for mention in the High Court.
Joint secretaries ~
Rev Andy Chi (NECF)
Chrisanne Chin (CCM)
1. Help many churches and intercessory prayer partners participate in Turkey Outreach 2014 (Big Island Outreach and Prayer Walk: 4/20-5/1, 2014) and may they pray for spiritual revival and the planting of churches in Turkey.
2. May the Turkish churches that had Christmas Celebrations (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Samsun, Adana etc.) keep in contact with the Muslims who visited their churches at Christmas so that there may be many new believers by the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. May Christian workers facing visa problems find resolutions to counter the Turkish government's strategic deportation.
All is not well with Mozambique. Armed conflict is occurring in different parts of the nation. The citizenry is afraid-it is like returning to civil war. There is a campaign of destabilization being brought on the land. The tension is increased by the fact that this year is election year.
Please stand in Prayer for Mozambique at this time. Pray incessantly that there will be revival in the land and not civil war. Please pass on to others in your area of influence requesting them to pray for Mozambique.
Find below some stories that show the current state of the nation.