Each country has sent its best athletes to compete in the Games—but, let’s not forget their Christian citizens who live in fear of intimidation, arrest and threat of violence, solely because of their faith. The greatest athletes in the world descended upon Beijing to participate in the Olympics, but controversy continues to surrounded the games like a dense fog. Observers note the ever-present, watchful eye of the Chinese government, the lack of free speech and the lack of human rights and religious freedom. But as the focus remains on China, there are other countries who were participating in the games where following Jesus could lead to suffering and persecution (to read more, check out the 2022 World Watch List). Each country had sent its best athletes to compete in the Games—but, let’s not forget their Christian citizens who live in fear of intimidation, arrest and threat of violence, solely because of their faith. Please join us in praying earnestly for believers and governments in these countries; let’s lift our family in Christ in prayer and petition. Here are 10 countries on the World Watch List who are competing in the 2022 Olympics—and here are 30 ways to pray for the believers who live there: China China’s government has a history of using force and pressure to achieve its agenda and goals. That means squelching anything outside of what it interprets to be in the best interest of the nation, including religions like Christianity. Pray that, despite intense surveillance, faith will flourish in China and even more people will discover God’s love. Pray that local Open Doors partners will be able to reach vulnerable Christians with vital Christian literature, training and fellowship. Pray for the authorities in China to recognize the importance of religious freedom, and allow the church to gather and worship without restriction. Pakistan Christians are considered second-class citizens in Pakistan and are discriminated against in every aspect of life. Church leaders can be arrested if they don’t abide by the authorities’ wishes, and Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws continue to be leveraged to accuse non-Muslims (or minority Muslim sects) of insulting the Prophet Muhammad or the Quran; even a false accusation can lead to mob violence and worse. Pray for any believers who are falsely accused of blasphemy. Pray for the entire Christian community in Pakistan, that they would be encouraged and kept from exhaustion and despair. Pray for an end to the unjust blasphemy laws; pray that freedom of religion will be tolerated throughout the country.
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