Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (John 15:20). Homes, graveyards and shipping containers are the meeting places of the Eritrean Church. Almost 100 believers were arrested in Eritrea during June 2017. Fifteen years ago, the Evangelical Church in Eritrea was growing, but the government became paranoid and accused the Evangelical Christianity of destabilizing the country, and the Church of an alleged American agenda, causing all sorts of problems.
The government are arresting Evangelical Christians who meet in their homes. Thousands of Christians are being held in shipping containers and military prisons all over the country. Christians, and even non-believers, are leaving the country due to the oppressiveness of government. Even in the midst of the persecution and the shutting down of the visible Evangelical Church, the Church is still growing, however, and people are still coming to know the Lord.
- For Eritrean Christians to persevere.
- For international influence to help stem the tide of persecution.
- For ways for Christians to escape the wave of persecution.
- For other nations where they will be able to find safety, and where they can start to live meaningful lives and be witnesses of the grace of God.
And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. (Acts 13:49). An entirely local church was born in recent years among the Berber people. Its extraordinary growth in the last few decades is thought to be the fastest in the Arab-speaking world – several thousand new believers are being baptised each year!
However, there are also challenges. Within this ‘First-Generation Church’, there is a great need for discipleship, strong biblical teaching and encouragement for believers. SAT-7 is responding to this need by broadcasting a variety of programs to encourage and disciple Algerian believers. They broadcast every week from a large, Kabyle-speaking Church in northern Algeria. Recent research of SAT-7’s audience has shown the spiritual hunger of this young church in Algeria, with around 1 million viewers.
- For an increase in the number of viewers of the SAT-7 programs, and the powerful working of the Holy Spirit through these programs.
- For the establishing of a strong church in Algeria.
Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:5-6). Lebanon is hosting more than one million Syrian refugees, and many classrooms have more Syrian than Lebanese children. Segregation and separation is a big problem.
By separating the classes based on ethnicity, schools create rifts between the children and add to the tension the nation is already feeling. This separation contributes to the belief many Lebanese citizens hold that there is no need to associate with refugees because they are ‘temporary guests’. In separate schools, each group refuses to associate with the other because ‘they’re dirty’. The rifts are even spreading to parents and other family members. The issue of war-traumatized Syrian children also needs to be addressed.
- For funding for schools, and for material to help take care of the educational needs of refugee children.
- For Christian NGOs to help with teachers.
- For Christians with the necessary skills to help the tens of thousands traumatized refugee children.