CHRISTIANS AMONG THOUSANDS KILLED IN ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN FIGHTING Christians are among thousands of people tragically killed in six weeks’ fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Many Christians in Azerbaijan from Muslim backgrounds have been killed. In Armenia, Orthodox and Protestant Christians have been killed, as have believers from Yezidi backgrounds. Several churches in the two countries have been bombed and seriously damaged. There is also concern that 1,600 historic Armenian Christian monuments, chapels and artefacts in areas now held by Azeri soldiers and Syrian Islamic militants will be destroyed. Read more about the recent fighting – which has now stopped after a ceasefire was agreed – and how you can pray into the situation. PLEASE PRAY:
That grieving and hurting believers will truly know the ‘God of all comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3) at this tremendously difficult time
For permanent peace between the two nations, and that Christians will be models of grace, forgiveness and joy who powerfully impact their communities
For the preservation of the rich Christian heritage in the disputed region.
BHUTHANI BELIEVERS STANDING STRONG DESPITE PRESSURES All Bhutanese citizens are expected to be Buddhists. When people from a Buddhist background become Christians, their families and communities usually join with local religious leaders to put pressure on them to recant their new faith. No churches have official recognition by the state. This means that Christians – who comprise 3.6% of the country’s 826,000 population – are technically worshipping illegally. Local authorities often refuse to issue Christians with the documents needed for things such as job and loan applications. Churches have been seized and closed down, or threatened by the authorities. “Yet, the faith of the Christians is still strong,” one believer shares. “In our village, my church got dismantled, but the members have been practising faith in their homes and now the church is growing.” Find out more about what it’s like to be a Christian in Bhutan. A prayer for Bhutan Heavenly Father, thank You for the work You are doing in and through the lives of courageous believers in Bhutan. Continue to build bold faith and hasten the growth of the Bhutanese church. Grant pressured believers strength to stand firm and persevere, and use their transformation to touch the lives of loved ones who don’t know You. Provide times and places for believers to safely meet. Amen. With many thanks for your prayers.