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 Saudi Arabia
There is no religious freedom in this Islamic kingdom. Public non-Muslim worship is forbidden, and conversion to Christianity – seen as apostasy – is punishable by death. Most Christians are foreign workers; although they are allowed to worship privately on their compounds, they sometimes face difficulty. Twelve Filipino Christians and a priest were arrested while attending a service in a private home in October 2010. Saudi believers fear being open about their faith, even with their family. There were reports of several Christians being physically harmed for their faith in 2010.
The Challenge for Prayer
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace and stronghold of Islam. From Mecca, Islam holds sway over billions and permeates many cultures. Pray that the Lord would shake this centre of spiritual influence and make His Lordship known. If a spiritual breakthrough glorifying Jesus Christ would happen here, it would transform Islam and those subject to it.
All Muslims must pray toward Mecca five times daily. Yearly, over two million make the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, required of all Muslims once as one of the five pillars of Islam. This is the culmination of many people’s religious life. Pray that many, as they go seeking God, might encounter the living Christ. Praise God that He is revealing Himself to increasing numbers of hajis through dreams and visions.
- For expatriate Christians – that they would have wisdom in seeking to share their faith
- For isolated believers seeking to connect with other Muslim background believers
- For Saudis living, working and studying abroad, that they would hear the Gospel