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Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – Time of mourning and prayer for the Church in Pakistan: today, Monday, March 16, the Catholic faithful celebrate a “special day of prayer for the innocent lives of the martyrs“. This was announced in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by His Exc. Mgr. Sebastian Shaw OFM, Archbishop of Lahore, after the twin suicide bombing that yesterday, March 15, hit the Catholic Church of St. John and the Protestant “Church of Christ “, in Youhanabad, an entirely Christian suburb on the outskirts of Lahore, where 15 people died and over 80 were injured.
The Archbishop announced that Catholic schools and institutes are closed today to commemorate the innocent victims, and defines “martyrs” those who “gave their lives in the accident to save thousands of people”. “Their blood was not shed in vain and will bring peace to all citizens of Pakistan”.
Condemning the barbaric acts and calling for greater government commitment to the protection of Pakistani Christians, Mgr. Shaw prays “so that peace and harmony prevail in the country” and called on all citizens to “openly reject violence and terrorism”.
Even His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi and President of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan has released a statement, sent to Agenzia Fides, in which he says: “The Catholic Church strongly condemns the brutal suicide attacks on churches in Lahore. We beg the government in Punjab and the federal government of Pakistan to take adequate measures for the protection of churches and religious minorities in Pakistan.
We ask the faithful not to react with violence and to cooperate with the police in the investigation. We pray the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the injured and the families of the victims”.
“The government, political parties, religious leaders and every citizen of Pakistan – said Mgr. Coutts – are called to speak out against extremist forces, alongside their Christian brothers and sisters. Believers of all religions must promote peace and social harmony and protect each other from terrorism. The Catholic Church and other religious minorities in Pakistan are asking the government to take effective measures to guarantee freedom of religion in the country”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/03/2015)
Request people of all ages and Nationalities be united to support Libyan Christians at this critical time. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with them. Many are suffering from daily persecution because of their conversion.
I hope that each of you will serve as Ambassadors of Education and Inspiration and faith and hope beloved
Anne Frank a holocaust victim wrote in her diary “In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart”.
Let us be the ones that prove her right. and come together and pray in peace.
This event begins Sunday morning, Jan.5, 2014 and continues until the end of the day, Please join the DAY OF PRAYER to remember our Libyan brothers and sister!
(CP) reports Christians around the globe gathered on Pentecost Sunday in stadiums, auditoriums, churches, homes, and some in secret places, to pray for the healing and blessing of their nations and the world.
From the United States to India to Singapore to South Africa, Christians from various denominations met in their churches or held dedicated gatherings to pray together on the Global Day of Prayer, which coincided this year with the day of Pentecost on May 19.
Brookside Free Methodist Church in Redlands, Calif., had prepared prayer cards, each featuring a different country for all participants, focusing on countries where Christians are persecuted, according to the church’s website. They also prayerfully considered increasing the church’s involvement in missions.
In Columbia, S.C., at least seven churches hosted the GDOP.
In India, thousands of Christians gathered at the Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi “to seek the face of the Lord unitedly.”
In Singapore, Methodist, Baptist and evangelical churches held GDOP events in at least seven languages, including Filipino, Mandarin, Korean and Thai.
“As at the first Pentecost, we’ll worship God openly in Christ’s name and pray for the healing and blessing of the nations. As much as possible, we are seeking to gather in places beyond the walls of our church buildings,” said the GDOP’s global website.
The purpose of the GDOP is to ask the Lord “to forgive our sins, for the restoration of the Church, and for the healing of the nations.”
Many churches started on May 9, praying night and day throughout the 10 days leading to the Global Day of Prayer. Many formed prayer chains to build bonfires of 24-hours-a-day prayer. Others met for an hour or two of focused prayer. Some fasted.
From May 20 to Aug. 17, a “90 Days of Blessing” will follow the GDOP as an opportunity “to challenge the youth and children to go to the neglected places to pray and serve.”
GDOP provided prayer guides in different languages.
A prayer for the Pentecost Sunday read, “Transform Your Church into the image of Jesus Christ. Release Your power to bring healing to the sick, freedom to the oppressed and comfort to those who mourn. Fill us with compassion for the homeless and the hungry for orphans, widows and the elderly. Give us wisdom and insight for our world’s problems to use the resources of the earth for the well-being of all.”
“…Remove the veil of darkness that covers the peoples. Restrain the evil that promotes violence and death. Deliver us from demonic oppression. Break the hold of slavery, tyranny and disease. Help us to tear down strongholds and ideologies that resist the knowledge of God.”
The GDOP also helps raise awareness about Christian persecution around the world. Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom and a Hudson Institute Fellow in the United States, said Saturday that “religious persecution is the gravest human rights crisis of our day.”
“Christians are as a group the most persecuted, out of sheer numbers, across the world. This means they are being killed, tortured, imprisoned and eradicated …sent into exile for their beliefs,” breitbart.com quoted her as saying.
“This is happening in three types of countries,” she said. “Those with a remnant Communist country, like North Korea and China, some nationalist countries like Burma and Eritrea, and then in the Muslim world …where Islamism is on the rise.”
The GDOP began in South Africa with a Day of Repentance and Prayer in July 2000 when God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Graham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chronicles 7: 14: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
On Pentecost Sunday on May 15, 2005, Christians from 156 nations united across denominational and cultural borders for the first Global Day of Prayer.
The Ninety Days of Blessing
As in the first Pentecost, transformed Christians transformed their communities, offering themselves to God as the instrument through which their prayers are answered. Like the first Pentecost, our goal is to fill the streets with “awe and wonder.” The Global Day of
Prayer encourages the forming or furthering of local alliances among pastors, congregations, mission agencies and business leaders bring practical, transformational blessing to their communities. Check out the video titled “Introduction to Servant
Evangelism.” This 4-minute video gives you a quick understanding of servant evangelism. Find it at http://www.gdopusa.com/video.
Servant evangelism projects are designed to “show God’s love in practical ways with no strings attached.” Servant evangelism softens the hearts of persons who are not yet Christians—people who often think the church exists only for itself or that it only wants people’s time and money. By doing a “low-risk” activity that shows “high grace,” those resistant to the faith may (now or in the future) become more open to the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Essentially, servant evangelism is accomplished by any activity. All of it done under the umbrella of on-going prayer, in the name of Jesus, providing a beneficial service to people (cleaning neighborhoods, painting houses, outreach block parties, house-to-house prayer, Bible distribution, back-to-school fairs, car washes, etc.) for which no financial consideration is expected or accepted (not even donations). These are activities in which almost anyone can participate regardless of age (children and youth love to participate) or spiritual maturity. They may be done individually, in small groups or even large groups. Go out and have some fun blessing your community. To
learn more about Servant evangelism, visit http://www.servantevangelism.com/about-servantevangelism/#.USaPgK79XfU
The following are just a few of the many website that offer outreach ideas:
In Steve Sjogren’s words, “Small things done with great love will change the world.”Check out his website, Servant Evangelism, at
http://www.servantevangelism.com/ideas/#.USZpk679XfU where you can find ideas to get you started blessing your community.
Why not hold Sidewalk Sunday School? This isn’t just for Sundays. Using a concept that goes back to the middle ages, but refined on the streets of-high-density urban areas and ghettos around the world, this program works in all settings and cultures. While primarily an outdoors program, it is easily adaptable to an indoor setting http://www.metroworldchild.org/our-work
Here are a few other suggestions about how churches can come together to bless their local schools: Moms in Prayer—organize prayer for a public school http://www.momsintouch.org/about-us/purpose
See You at the Pole—help organize on-site prayer at local schools http://www.syatp.com
Syria is listed as #11 on the World Watch List. Before the civil war, although meetings were monitored, Christians were respected in society. This is rapidly changing. Muslim Background Believers (Christians from a Muslim Background) face opposition from family and friends, and now from foreign extremist fighters and mercenaries.
Previously, Christians were persecuted for supporting the government, or not taking sides. Now a clear religious motive has been added by the influx of these foreign radicals. Many Christians have been abducted, physically harmed and killed, churches damaged or destroyed, and tens of thousands of Christians have fled.
This weekend, Christians in Syria will gather to pray and fast for the Day of Prayer for Syria.
“Without the church, Syria has no future,” a contact said last month about the horrendous conditions facing Christians inside the country and the refugees struggling in camps along the borders.
Some areas in the cities of Homs and Aleppo are being taken over by Muslim extremists, who are implementing Shariah law.
“We need food and medicines, but what our country needs most now is prayer. We have no option than to turn to God in this desperate situation. The most important thing the world can do for us now is pray,” says an Open Doors contact in Aleppo.
As a result of the turmoil and uncertainty, most churches in Syria will unite in prayer on Saturday in many places around the war-torn nation. This will be an extraordinary show of unity of Christian denominations in Syria, where the ongoing civil war has claimed more than 70,000 lives.
Syrian Christians are asking their brothers and sisters around the world to pray and fast with them on the Day of Prayer for Syria on Saturday.
A contact in Damascus says,
“The situation in Syria is really desperate. We will all pray together in Syria, but we need every Christian in the world to pray. Please pray that the problems will come to an end and those causing the problems will stop. Pray that Syria will find Jesus.”
Another church leader explains that others joining with Syrian Christians in prayer would be a big blessing:
“It is so powerful to pray like one family. It’s not that just our prayers aren’t enough for God, but if all the Christians in the world unite with one heart, we believe it will be a blessing for Syria and the whole earth. Words can’t describe how thankful we are that you will pray with us. We pray that God will bless everyone who is praying with us.”
“Join Christians in countries around the world who will pray for Syria on May 11,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “Perhaps you can also pray in your churches the following day. Pour out your heart with pleas for the suffering Christians there. They are in need and asking for our prayers!”
Prayer requests from churches inside Syria include:
- Healing for the injured and comfort for those who have lost loved ones
- An end to the bloodshed
- The children, as their childhood has been stolen from them
- Unity and reconciliation among churches and denominations to continue
- Rootedness of Christians in their land without fear of violence
Christians of all denominations will gather in prayer to petition God to grant his mercy on Syria and to bring an end to violence,” reads a message issued by
the Syrian Christian community.
The prayer is focused on four main intentions: the return of peace, the liberation of all hostages, assistance for all children traumatized by the war, and humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees and displaced people.
In Syria, since it is too risky for people to move within the combat zones, Christians will hold local prayer gatherings in homes, churches and other meeting places, the message says. .
Given devastation and the tens of thousands of deaths the two-year civil war has wreaked, the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Syria has also been informally termed, “the prayer of a broken heart”.
“Peace in Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land is a requirement for regional and international peace,” said Patriarch Gregory III Laham of the Church of Antioch in appealing for participation in the day of prayer. Peace allows for coexistence and human freedom, he said.
“Christians in Syria continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the two-year-old civil war including killings, kidnappings, homelessness, lack of food and shelter and closing of schools; they are also seeing God’s hand is at work as all denominations are joining in passionate prayer.”-Steve Ridgway, Open Doors USA interim President/CEO
PLEAD BEFORE THE LORD FOR HIS MERCY ON SYRIA
Please pray through these specific prayer requests sent by churches throughout Syria, including:
- The Church of the Nazarene
- The Armenian Catholic Church
- The Syriac Orthodox Church
- The Baptist Church
- The Roman Catholic Church
- The Silesian Church
- Multi-Denominations Group
- The Alliance Church
- The Presbyterian Church
- The Maronite Catholic Church
- And request from multiple Christian Leaders
To read their prayer request click here
PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS!