Praying for Mauritania

During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.

Today we are Praying for Mauritania

A poor country in North West Africa consisting largely of desert Mauritania is one of the most difficult and dangerous places to be a Christian. Islam has been well-established for a thousand years and is the ‘religion of the people and of the state’. Mauritania is one of the world’s neediest countries. One-third of children face chronic malnourishment, and many families struggle to afford basic necessities. Widespread divorce also causes social difficulties. Desertification threatens the remaining arable land, which amounts to perhaps only 1% of the total land area. The discovery of oil and new mineral reserves could either bring wealth to the country or increase corruption and the divide between rich and poor.

Challenge for Prayer

Many are the barriers to change – laws hindering proclamation of the gospel, powerful social resistance to change, an historic reluctance to engage with the outside world, geographical isolation, low literacy and minimal exposure to Christians and Christian media. Pray for greater spiritual openness and hunger for God. World Vision, Caritas, the Lutherans and others are working in development as well as with issues such as AIDS, human rights and environmental protection.

Citizens are Muslims by default. The government restricts the evangelisation of Muslims and the distribution of non-Islamic religious materials. Conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Extremist group al-Qaeda in the Maghreb is gaining support and is also monitoring Christians in the country. In 2020 a young woman was beaten and burned to death by her family when her Christian faith was discovered. Over 20 Christians – some with children – received dead threats and most had to flee their homes to escape a similar fate.

Please Pray

  • Pray for the protection of Mauritanian Christians
  • Pray for those with spiritual hunger, that the Lord would reveal Himself to them despite their lack of opportunity to hear the Gospel.
  • Pray for political stability and wisdom for the government to enable revenues from Mauritania’s natural resources to benefit the poor.


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Praying for the Maldives

During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.

Today we are Praying for the Maldives

The fragile ecosystem of the Maldives is threatened by rising sea levels that could flood and destroy. Coral mining and rises in sea temperatures have killed much of the coral that is the foundation of these islands. The 2004 tsunami and the 2008-2009 economic downturn demonstrated how fleeting life on these islands could be; pray that this would cause many to seek eternal assurance obtainable only through Christ.

The pleasant paradise of the Maldives is not so pleasant for non-Muslim residents. While foreigners are free to worship in the privacy of their own homes, meeting for prayer is illegal and Christians who number less than 0.2% of the population are discriminated against and carefully watched. Legislation forbids the practice of any religion except Islam; churches are forbidden; and the import of Christian literature is prohibited. New regulations governing religious practice were unveiled by the government in 2010, and stricter policies were also imposed on tourists after some were caught bringing in Bibles.

The Challenge for Prayer

Behind the facade of island paradise lies a darker reality. Freedom of expression and belief is strongly curtailed by powerful societal and regulatory forces. One of the highest divorce rates in the world, rising crime and gang activity, abuse of children and endemic drug use among teens (possibly up to 70%) indicate that all is not well. Beyond Islamic beliefs lies a widespread adherence to pre-Islamic occult practices called fanditha.

Please Pray

  • Pray for the light of the gospel to shine into the lives of Maldivians.
  • Pray against strongholds of pride, fear, duplicity and sensuality.
  • Pray for courage for the few Maldivian Christians and migrant workers, that they will hold strongly to Christ
  • Pray for the President to lead the country towards greater tolerance for non- Muslims

Praying for Libya

During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.

Today we are praying for Libya

Libya adheres to Islamic law and all citizens are Sunni Muslims ‘by definition’. Converting from Islam brings social pressure and ostracism. Most Libyan Christians are forced to believe in secret and are afraid to meet with other believers. Small Christian communities do exist, mostly consisting of sub-Saharan migrants and Western expatriate workers. However, the large network of secret police makes it difficult to organise church activities. The government criminalises evangelism and forbids missionary activity. Many expat churches have seen their permits withdrawn.

There has been a dedicated group praying for Libya for a number of years, in this time of crisis they have issued the following pointers for prayer:

During these intense days of turmoil, please consider the following points of prayer:

  • ‘[Pray] for .. all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives’ 1 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)
  • Pray for a lasting peace for the country.
  • For many to seek God in their time of distress.
  • For the bereaved families to be comforted.
  • For the few Libyan believers to have their faith strengthened.
  • For the many African refugees living in Libya who were struggling to survive financially even before the troubles began.
  • For international communications to remain open.
  • For the foreign nationals seeking to leave, as they face uncertainty over their future. And their friends and family who are concerned for them.
  • For those traumatised by what they have seen and heard, may there be healing.
  • Above all please pray for God to bring light to a dark situation.

More details can be found here.

Praying for Laos

During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.

Today we are Praying for Laos

The government’s attitude towards Christians is very negative. The church cannot operate freely and Christians are restricted in their roles in their families and communities. Many believers experience extreme physical and emotional pressure to renounce their faith. In 2010, 29 Christians were killed and at least 20 were arrested and held without trial. A number of churches were destroyed. In January 2010, 11 Christian families were forced out of their villages into the forest when they refused to recant their faith. Despite high levels of persecution, the church is growing.

Answer to Prayer

Rapid church growth, despite restrictions and persecution. Almost all of the evangelism (and the churches that result) is led by indigenous Laotians. Growth is happening among several different peoples, in rural and urban areas, and throughout the country.

Challenge for Prayer

Much of Laos remains unevangelized. The remarkable growth of the church is still dwarfed by the size of the task remaining. Most peoples remain unreached, and the gospel has not easily crossed ethnic barriers. Buddhism and tribal religions are often blended together and prevail throughout; compare 5,000 temples to the 250 church buildings. Pray for the gospel light to shine throughout Laos and to draw many to Christ.

Please Pray:

  • For God’s protection and provision for the eleven families expelled from their villages, especially the young children
  • That Christians will have the courage to remain in the faith, in spite of the high price they must pay
  • That religious policies designed to promote free expression of faith would be implemented in rural areas and benefit the believers, who are mostly tribal and rural.

Praying for Jordan

During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.

Today we are praying for Jordan

Known as one of the most Western-orientated countries in the Middle East, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. However, leaving Islam is prohibited and ‘public proselytism’ of Muslims is against government policy. Muslims who become Christians generally maintain a low profile in order to avoid harassment or interrogation. Two Christians were reported to have been physically harmed or strictly limited in their freedom because of their faith in 2010.

The Challenge for Prayer

King Abdullah’s rule began with promise and hope. But war in Iraq and the resulting turmoil have placed great pressure on the nation. Over a million immigrants fleeing from the two wars in Iraq have intensified Jordan’s economic and political stresses. Half of them still remain. The tourist industry is a bright spot, but Islamist suicide bombings in 2005 demonstrated Jordan’s fragility. Rising tensions between moderate and Islamist sentiments portend further difficulties.

Pray for the peace of this land and for the king and government.

Christians are a community under pressure. Since Jordan’s independence, lower birth rates and high emigration rates have contributed to the Church’s numerical decline. Additionally, a huge influx of Muslim refugees and the rise of politicized Islam place increasing pressure on Christians, especially evangelicals. From 1980-2010, Jordan’s Christian population dropped from 6.5% to 2.2% of the population. Yet, Christians are found in all walks of life, including in Parliament, and often in positions of influence. Christianity needs to be seen as an important component of Jordanian society and history.

Pray that Christians may be salt and light in Jordanian society and find ways to witness to nominal Christians as well as non-Christians.

Please Pray:

  • For courage and strength for believers who face discrimination from government or society
  • That jurisdiction of sharia courts would not be applied to believers from a Muslim background
  • For wisdom for expatriate Christians seeking to share their faith with Jordanians.

Praying for Iraq

During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.

Today we are Praying for Iraq

In a population of almost 31 Million about 300,000 are Christians, they suffer serious hardship and persecution. Violence against Christians increased in 2010, with large numbers of believers killed and injured. There were a number of attacks on Christians in Mosul in the run-up to March’s elections, leading to an exodus of Christians to villages in the Nineveh plains. Attacks on church buildings and Christian institutions increased in the second half of the year. In October 2010, at least 58 Christians were killed and many were injured in a bomb attack on a church in Baghdad.

Answer to Prayer

The establishment of a representative government, consolidation of stability, reduction of sectarian violence and the end of a brutal dictatorship responsible for the deaths of millions are points for praise. Growing pains and strife are inevitable, but there is also hope for the emergence of a stable, self-governed Iraq. Reforms in politics, the economy, education, healthcare and welfare offer signs of progress.

Challenge for Prayer

Iraq’s future remains uncertain. Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship was removed, but a host of problems still plagues the country.

Pray for:

a) The establishment of a national government that fairly balances the conflicting expectations of the various religious and ethnic communities, and provides an environment that promotes accountability to the people, economic growth and religious freedom. Without these, the future is bleak. Anarchy, civil war, fragmentation of the country and further suffering for the people – especially Christians – could follow. Pray therefore for anointed national leaders who can act with wisdom, courage and integrity.

b) Healing after decades of suffering. Nearly every person bears some scars of traumatic experiences – from Hussein’s cruelty, from the US-led invasions or from the sectarian violence that has followed. Only the gospel can provide a full solution; pray that this may be freely proclaimed.

c) The elimination of corruption. Iraq is ranked as one of the world’s most corrupt nations. This has significantly held back the nation from repairing damage and achieving development.

d) The suffering the Iraqi people have endured. The number of lives lost as a result of invasions, insurgencies and deprivation may be as high as 600,000, with nearly two million people displaced. More than half of the population live in poverty.

e) The Christian community is less than a third of what it was in 1990. Many Christians have been forced to flee the country due to threats of violence. Pray for those who remain; that the Lord will meet their needs, protect them and give them hope for the future.