Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

USA: cheers filled city streets

From Minnesota to New York to Florida, Americans triumphantly flooded streets to celebrate and mark the moment when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (a white man) was convicted of the murder of George Floyd (a black man). After Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill in May 2020, he was seen on video being pinned to the ground by Chauvin’s knee for more than nine minutes. After the verdict, in New York a dozen police officers closely followed a group who at one point stopped in the middle of an intersection and knelt down. ‘One conviction is not enough,’ a man said over a loudspeaker as horns honked. Protesters held up signs reading, ‘Justice for George Floyd is no more cop terror’, and ‘This isn’t justice, but it’s a start.’

Praise: God for this conviction. May it be the beginning of a sea change. (John 7:24)

Persistent picketing works

On 16 April Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights, published the following: ‘His wife’s picket at the Chinese consulate in Almaty got so much attention that the CCP decided to give up, and set her husband free after 17 years of detention. Those who insist that picketing and protesting outside Chinese embassies and consulates is a waste of time were proved wrong in Kazakhstan.’ An amazing Kazakh woman from Xinjiang who had picketed the Chinese consulate in Almaty achieved the return of her husband Rakhizhan Zeinolla. He had been arrested without evidence when he went to Xinjiang from Kazakhstan, and kept in jail for 13 years. Then he was put into a camp, and later was under house arrest.

Praise: God for Rakhizhan’s being reunited with his family, and for the loyal persistence of his wife. (Luke 11:8-9)

Abused wife leading Muslims to Christ

Annahita Parsan has led over 1,500 Muslims to Christ. She leads two churches and trains other churches how to reach out to Muslims and disciple Muslim background believers. She believes Jeremiah foretold these days when he said God would restore the fortunes of Elam. Elam is Persia. It’s happening now. No one would guess an Iranian woman trying to stay alive in an abusive marriage would one day lead churches, bring over a thousand former Muslims to Christ, and be invited to speak before the Queen of Sweden. As a young woman in a Muslim culture, her journey to Christ led her across two continents and included several brushes with death. Her story could be the plot of a Hollywood movie.

Pray: God for the plan he has for Anahita and the many other Muslims who will hear His call on their lives. (Jeremiah 49:39)

Praise Reports

Anti-racism taskforce report

The Archbishops’ anti-racism taskforce report calls for urgent changes. Failure to act could be the ‘last straw’ for many from the UK minority ethnic (UKME) backgrounds. Setting out 47 action areas across participation, governance, training, education and young people, the report states that racism is a sin. The church has been discussing the issue for 44 years. The nine-strong taskforce was set up in autumn 2020 to review previous reports of racial justice, discover whether their recommendations had been implemented, and prepare the ground for the establishment of a longer-term Commission on Racial Justice. One of the report’s main recommendations is the recruitment of more bishops and senior members of the church from UKME backgrounds, with suggested quotas. It highlights the fact that the new Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, is the only UKME bishop in the Church of England.

Pray: for this report to bring real and lasting change and introduce the gifts that UKME bring for the service of the Church. (Romans 2:11)

Action re unfair students’ fees

On 16 April university students had a day of action to demand fee refunds because Covid-19 has affected their education. When they signed up for university they were promised sufficient access to facilities, course equipment, and social contact to help them achieve their degrees. But they were limited to internet zoom lectures of variable standard and still expected to pay the full price. The Write Off, Right Now (WORN) group is applying pressure on the government to refund fees because they did not receive value for money. WORN asked students nationwide to ‘take over’ social media to spread the message of the unfair demand for full fees. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson instructed the Office for Students ‘to take swift action where quality and academic standards have dropped’. An online petition, calling for tuition fees to be cut had received over 580,000 signatures in three days.

Pray: for the Government to recognise that students have not been provided with the education they were promised, and step up to help students financially if universities do not have the funds. (Proverbs 16:11)

Scotland: election

1 Cor 3:11 tells us, ‘No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ’. Years ago, Scotland was the ‘Land of The Book’. A Bible would be open on many kitchen tables, but today the word of God lies mainly forgotten and unused on shelves (as in the rest of the UK). When Holyrood opened, everyone believed MSPs would act and pass laws according to the words on the ceremonial mace: ‘Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, Integrity’. However, departing from God’s word has resulted in declining personal and national morals, with lawlessness increased, as predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2. The media regularly expose lack of righteousness in many areas of society today, including politicians. A recent newspaper article stated, ‘We deserve the politicians we get’. We can ask God to lead Scotland to select MSPs who hold dear to Christian values and place serving others above their own interests.

Pray: for God to help Scotland to build on the rock – Christ Jesus, a sure foundation. (Psalm 40:2)

Northern Ireland: bomb under car

A bomb was planted beneath the car of a serving part-time female police officer in County Derry, leading to condemnation from first minister Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly who criticised it as a ‘reprehensible’ attack. The device, which was found before it did any damage to her or her young child, was defused by British army explosives experts. Legislative assembly member Cara Hunter said that no one should live in fear of going to work: ‘Our officers protect our communities every day and keep them safe. My thoughts are with them and their families.’ The attack comes amid mounting sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, which have spilled over into violence several times in recent weeks.

Pray: for Northern Ireland to move forward, towards reconciliation and peace and away from political disagreements, reckless actions, guns, bombs and bullets. (Ephesians 4:32)

Christians in the media

Christians in Media is a UK network and community that supports, encourages and inspires Christians who work in, and with, the media – producers, journalists, photographers, editors, content creators, social media managers, press officers, and war correspondents. Through local meet-ups and a flourishing online network, they seek to help Christians better understand how their faith and work interact, and to encourage and inspire each other to be disciples whilst meeting the demands of the industry. Pray for more Christians to apply for media jobs, and for churches to engage positively with the media. Pray for Christians working in broadcasting and culture to be more visible as they boldly stand up for Christian values when planning programmes, inviting guests for interviews, and organising reviews of the news. Pray that what we read, listen to or watch will help us to go deeper in our faith.

Pray: for Christians in the industry to flourish and become key influencers, for the life-affirming Gospel message of faith, hope and love to be reflected in the media. (Isaiah 52:7)

Action re Christian persecution

The Bishop of Truro’s independent review, published in July 2019, explained what the Foreign Office could do to improve the experience of Christians around the world who are currently tortured, discriminated against, or put in prison for their faith. Now DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson, a Christian, has asked the Government in a written question, ‘What progress has been made in implementing the Bishop of Truro’s recommendations?’ He was told that ten of the recommendations are fully delivered, good progress has been made on eight, and all 22 will be delivered by 2022.

Pray: for leaders everywhere to discuss and change practices that discriminate on the basis of religion and for the UK government to implement all recommendations quickly. (Matthew 5:10)

Covid variant causing concern

Scientists are concerned that vaccines may be less effective against the Indian variant, which could become dominant in the UK by June. The double mutation Covid-19 variant is thought to be behind a sudden surge in cases in India which has overwhelmed hospitals. A total of 182 cases have been detected in the UK, 162 in the five weeks up to 16 April, forcing Boris Johnson to postpone his trip to India and the government to add India to its travel ‘red list’. Viruses regularly mutate but most are insignificant, however, some mutations can make the virus more infectious, deadly or resistant to vaccines. The Indian virus may be one of those – especially because two mutations have come together to help infect cells and evade the immune system.

Pray: for God to give clinical epidemiologists, scientists, researchers and lab technicians wisdom and resources as they investigate variants and take all necessary steps to block transmission. (Proverbs 2:6)

Praise Reports

UK, Germany, France: grave concern over Iran enrichment

The governments of the UK, Germany and France have expressed ‘grave concern’ over Iran’s move to boost uranium enrichment to 60% in response to what Tehran says was an attack by Israel against its key nuclear facility at Natanz. The three European countries say the announcement is ‘particularly regrettable’ at a time when talks in Vienna have resumed, including the United States, to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. They also said this was showing Iran to be on the path to a nuclear weapon, adding, ‘Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level’.

Pray: for negotiators to re-establish communication around the nuclear deal between Iran, Europe, Russia, China, and America. (Proverbs 15:1)

Ukraine: call to prayer

European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) is deeply concerned about the increase in tension between Ukraine and Russia over the Donbass region. Fear of invasion, a desire for respect, territorial justice, patriotism plus military presence and diplomatic pressure have created a volatile situation. Since 2014 thousands have died and half a million have claimed asylum abroad. Those remaining in Donbass are in a kind of no-man’s land. Faith minorities, including evangelical communities, are unable to register, and no faith activities are allowed. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian National Orthodox Church are in a constant fight for superiority. Will the people’s suffering worsen with the resumption of full scale war? EEA is calling Europe to pray for comfort and healing for the victims of the conflict, and for the restoration of safety and human rights to the people of Ukraine. May wise diplomacy bring about a commitment to peace and stability. For background see

Pray: for courageous peace-makers made up of Ukrainians, separatists, Russians and others, and a united Church. (Matthew 5:9)

Praise Reports

Nigeria: under attack

Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year. In overall violence, it was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed. Nigeria also led the world in the number of kidnapped Christians last year and broke into the top ten countries for the first time, where it is most difficult to be a Christian, jumping to number 9 (from 12 last year). On 2 April you were asked to pray for the release of eight Christians who were abducted on their way to evangelise in Kaduna state. This week we can thank God that our prayers have been answered, and they were freed and taken to hospital for checkup and tests.

Pray: for release of the many other believers kidnapped, and for the safety of those living in the shadow of fear from bandits and terrorists. (Luke 1:79)

Afghanistan: troop withdrawals

The UK has been in Afghanistan since 2001, with over 450 troops dying during the conflicts with the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Defence secretary Ben Wallace said they now plan to ‘drawdown’ the number of troops from next month. Confirming the planned departure of forces, he also warned any attacks on existing troops would be ‘met with a forceful response’. The US has said it will withdraw all forces by 11 September, and NATO confirmed allies would begin withdrawing troops from 1 May. Pray that the patchwork of multiple different competing tribal leaders agree to negotiate territory boundaries and not revert to the violent clashes seen in the past. Pray that the fragile government will successfully prevent chaos in parts of Afghanistan currently strongholds for terrorists. Pray that future negotiations between the government and Taliban will lead to meaningful reductions in violence once foreign troops are out of the equation.

Pray: for the inevitable political leverage to be made by talking not terrorism. (Ephesians 4:29)

St Vincent: volcano still erupting – colossal cleanup

St Vincent appealed for international help as the nation tackles the daunting cleanup from a series of volcanic eruptions which are ongoing. The island has a population of 110,000, and 20,000 were evacuated from the dire situation where ash is a metre deep and gives the island an apocalyptic appearance. The ash has been carried as far as India, and there has been extensive damage to agriculture, homes and the island’s tourism industry. Long-term humanitarian relief will be huge; on 20 April the UN launched an appeal for $29.2 million for basic needs, clean water, food and shelter, and help to initiate recovery. Pray for the team of experts assessing clean up needs and safe disposal of ash to have wisdom from heaven. There is still uncertainty as eruptions continue. Pray for the safety of those cleaning up the ash. Hurricane season starts soon and is forecast to be very active. Pray for the islanders’ fear to be replaced with peace and hope for the future.

Pray: for the families whose roofs have collapsed under the weight of ash, those with breathing difficulties as ash dust is all around them, and farmers whose crops have been destroyed. (Matthew 5:42)

Myanmar: praying in the streets

Christians in Myanmar are praying for their country, they are in the streets, on their knees with their head bowed or laying down stretched out with arms raised. Whole neighbourhoods are involved in visible prayer. Christians in Myanmar have been persecuted for probably a hundred years in this Buddhist country; they make up about 6% of the population. The military has been continually attacking them, and they have suffered terribly. When there was a democratically elected government the Christians were doing better. But with the recent military coup, under Chinese pressure, the whole population, including Buddhists have had enough of the military and they want democracy. The Christians are lying down in the streets: not a political protest, they’re crying out to God for peace and healing. Please join those praying for an end to this deteriorating situation and relieve the population from fear of civil war.

Pray: for Christians across the nations to join their brothers and sisters and cry out for God to blanket Myanmar in his peace and the gospel. (John 14:27)

USA: people living in airports

Authorities arrested 36-year-old Aditya Singh after he had spent three months living in the secure side of Chicago’s O’Hare international airport, relying on the kindness of strangers for food, sleeping in terminals and using the bathroom facilities. He was caught by an airport employee asking for his ID. Singh is one of many individuals residing in terminals for weeks, months or years. Since 2018 there has been a rise in the number of homeless people in large airports. Officials try to provide aid and crisis intervention teams to connect homeless people to housing and other services. But most would prefer a solution where airports no longer operated as homeless shelters.

Pray: for churches and government aid agencies to be more aware of this hidden community and help them to regain a less confined lifestyle. (Ephesians 6:18)

China: a Christian survivor

Shi Minglei remembers the fear when twenty security officers arrested her husband, put a black hood over her head, and interrogated her for thirty hours. Her daughter Aliyah was unable to speak after the incident. On countless occasions she felt pain, fear loneliness and hopelessness as a wife of an imprisoned human rights activist. She received no responses to her requests for information; the authorities had dismissed his lawyer and assigned communist party lawyers to convince him to plead guilty. She was desperate and she prayed like Jesus had prayed in Gethsemane, ‘Father, take this cup from me, but not my will, Your will be done.’ Then Jesus spoke to her heart: ‘I know. I know everything about you.’ Later ChinaAid staff found her and helped her escape with her daughter from China. After living a life of fear and hopelessness she now felt secure, so she changed her name to Hope.

Pray: for God to give hope and help to the many Christians living in fear in China. (Jeremiah 29:11)

North Korea: Kim warns of hard times ahead

Speaking at a party conference, Kim Jong Un has told citizens to prepare for hard times ahead, following warnings from rights groups that the country faces dire food shortages and economic instability. North Korea has shut its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, and trade with China, its economic lifeline, has come to a standstill. This is on top of existing international economic sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. In a rare admission of looming hardship, the authoritarian leader of the single-party state called on officials to ‘wage another, more difficult Arduous March in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little’. The Arduous March is a term used by North Korean officials to refer to the country’s struggle during the 1990s famine, when the fall of the Soviet Union left the country without crucial aid. The total number who starved to death is not known, but estimates range up to three million.

Pray: that Kim’s dire warnings will prove unfounded, and that North Korea’s citizens will not suffer more than they are already. (2 Cor. 1:3,4)

Praise Reports
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