- Pray for new Bibles for house churches whose literature has been confiscated and destroyed.
- Pray for open doors for humanitarian organizations to meet practical as well as spiritual needs.
- Pray for governing authorities to abandon the strict policies controlling religious activity.
- Pray for Christians in the country to stand firm and for Christians elsewhere to speak up against hostility.
- Pray for the work on both the NT and OT to be completed quickly.
Largest Religion: Muslim
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
The atmosphere of the country is experiencing positive change. Turkmen citizens can travel abroad and within the country much more easily. Two Protestant churches have recently been allowed to officially register and meet publicly.
- Christian radio programmes started in Turkmen in 2001. Pray for all involved in producing and airing these programmes.
- The JESUS film, video and audio tapes are available in Turkmen, and it has been occasionally shown on national TV. Pray for the lasting impact of this film.
- Mission Eurasia works in Turkmenistan and the other countries of Eurasia to train and equip young Christian leaders for effective ministry. https://missioneurasia.org/turkmenistan/
- OPEN DOORShttps://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/turkmenistan/
President: Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
Land area: 488,100 sq km
Two populated strips of irrigated land on its northern and southern borders, separated by the barren Kara-Kum Desert. Only 1% of the country is irrigated, arable land; 80% is desert.
Official language: Turkmen using Latin script as in Turkey since 1994. Languages: 9
Once made a part of the Soviet Union, Turkmen property was taken, traditions were removed, and the Turkmens’ nomadic lifestyle came to an end. Turkmenistan gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the 1990s, but change has been very slow. Communist rule was replaced by a dictatorship until 2006 (Saparmurat Niyazov).
Turkmenistan has had difficulty rising to its feet, even under the rule of a new president elected under the first multi-candidate election in 2007. Rising crime, poverty, unemployment, and drug use have made progress difficult. The administration, although claiming to be a presidential republic and secular democracy, has often operated under more authoritarian rules, sacrificing certain human rights and religious freedoms.
Although the constitution claims religious freedom, the reality is quite different. With Sunni Islam (89%) and Russian Orthodoxy (9%) considered the only two legal religions, persecution of other faiths is prevalent. Unregistered religious gatherings are forbidden, often suffering grave consequences. But persecution and restriction have only strengthened the Turkmen Church.
Prior to independence, Christianity was mostly non-existent, but today there are as many as 1,000 followers of Jesus. With all foreign missionaries expelled, several pastors exiled, beaten, or imprisoned, and the Bible not yet fully translated, the spread of the Gospel in Turkmenistan faces great challenges. Yet, the church continues to grow amid constant threat.
Praise God for the refining of the Church, made possible by the desperation of persecution, poverty, and isolation. Liberal groups have drawn closer to biblical truth, and lax believers are driven toward a more dynamic life of faith. Myanmar is a classic example of how suffering, while lamentable, serves to accomplish God’s purposes for His people.
- Pray for peace and justice to reign in an impoverished land whose ethnically diverse peoples have suffered greatly.
- Pray for effective evangelism that would penetrate the hearts of a staunchly Buddhist majority.
- Pray for those believers who face tremendous harassment and persecution for their Christian faith.
- Pray for peace and safety for the refugees. Pray God will provide for all their needs as they begin new lives.
- Pray for more Bridge of Hope centres – children.
Largest Religion: Buddhist
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
- The military regime seeks to destroy Christianity(which it calls “the C-virus”), yet faith keeps spreading. Christians are generally kept out of positions of power and influence.
- Churches are not given permission to register and are thereby considered illegal and subject to harassment.
President: Win Myint
Land area: 676,577 sq km
Basin and delta of the Irrawaddy River ringed by a horseshoe of high mountains that isolates the country from India, China and Thailand.
Major People Groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%
Official language: Burmese
Myanmar, formerly Burma, has more than 100 ethnic groups, and is the largest country in Southeast Asia. The land is mostly covered in forests with a tropical climate and is rich in natural resources such as gems, oil, and natural gas. Over 2,200 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries (built primarily between the 10th to 14th centuries) are found in the city of Bagan alone, reflecting the immense presence and influence of Buddhism in this country.
The Burmese people have suffered the horrific effects of ongoing warfare since 1942. Formerly a British colony, Myanmar gained its independence in 1948. From 1962 to 2011 it was under the control of a military junta. The military still holds great influence in the government, forcibly repressing popular democratic movements and exploiting the country’s rich natural resources.
Myanmar suffers the second highest HIV/AIDS rate in southeast Asia, with a reported 54% of adults and 78% of children receiving treatment! The creation and use of illegal drugs is a contributing factor to this epidemic. It has been reported that at least 200,000 households are involved in the production of poppies, the source of illegal opiates.
Freedom of religion is restricted, and any group the government considers a threat, including Christians, is harassed, persecuted, and often imprisoned. Buddhism, though no longer considered the state religion, is actively promoted by the military regime. Although the military has attempted to remove Christianity from the nation, the Church continues to grow.
- Pray for the healing of racial tensions through the love of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Christians to stand firm on the pure Gospel, untainted by former practices.
- Pray for more Christian radio and television in languages of the people.
- Pray for End-to-End Ministry who brings God’s Word to the Native People of Guyana.
- Pray for all believers to demonstrate the power of the gospel in their unity, in their words, and in holy living.