Pray for the Suffering Parts of the Body of Christ
Part of our calling as Christians is to intercede for this world in prayer. We lift up those who suffer to the Almighty and ask for His help. But how do we know who to pray for?
Of course, we pray for our family, friends, and other people whose needs we know about firsthand. Many of us also pray for the victims of faraway catastrophes – wars, famines, natural disasters – that we learn about in the secular media.
Unfortunately, if our prayers are informed only by what we hear about in the news, we risk neglecting to pray for those who should be closest to us – the thousands around the world who are killed, beaten, raped, imprisoned, and discriminated against because of their identification with our Christian faith.
The Bible tells us that these victims of religious persecution are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are parts of the worldwide Body of Christ to which we belong. “When one part suffers” the Apostle Paul tells us, “all parts suffer with it”. (I Cor. 12-26)
You can make a difference – by encouraging prayer for the world’s persecuted Christians in your weekly worship services and prayer meetings.
CSI can help. Every month we publish the names and details of Christians who suffer for their faith. These cases are intended to be used in prayers of intercession. They can help direct our hearts and minds to specific individuals and many others that suffer similarly for their faith.
We will also share the good news of the liberation of Christian prisoners, slaves, bonded labor, and victims of human trafficking, so that you can life up prayers of praise and thanksgiving as well as intercession.
The monthly prayer calendar can be found on the “Prayer Initiative” page of the CSI website.
Wishing you the Almighty’s blessing,
Dr. John Eibner
Pastor Abdolreza (Matthias) Haghnejad has been imprisoned several times. On December 26, 2022 he was re-arrested when secret police stormed the house church he led during a Christmas service. Then on July 9 this year he was moved to a prison 1,600 kilometers away from his home where his family cannot visit him.
Let us pray for all converts to Christianity in Muslim-majority Iran that they can live out their faith without persecution and discrimination.
Tamara, a grandmother, fled from Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia during the Azerbaijani war of aggression in the fall of 2020. The village where she lived was razed to the ground. Despite all the suffering caused by the war, she refuses to hate. "The Azerbaijanis are people like us," she says. After nine months of blockade, the people of Nagorno Karabakh were driven out by Azerbaijan in September.
Let us pray that the 120,000 Christians from Nagorno Karabakh will not be abandoned by the international community.
Mosam grew up in poverty in the Indian state of Jharkhand. During the Covid lockdown her family struggled to survive. Then things got worse: Mosam fell victim to human traffickers who abducted her from her home and kept her as a sex slave. Fortunately, the police were able to free Mosam, but she is still traumatized by her ordeal.
Let us pray for healing for the thousands of victims of human traffickers in India and that their dignity would be restored.
Pastor Keshab Raj Acharya has witnessed to many people about his faith. Since his first arrest in 2020 the pastor and father of two children has been targeted by the authorities. On November 30, 2021 Pastor Keshab was sentenced to two years in prison for violating the anti-conversion law in Nepal, a majority Hindu country. Although a court released him on bail the following month, the same court sentenced him to one year in prison on July 13, 2022. He is still awaiting arrest.
We pray for all who are suffering under Nepal's harsh anti-conversion laws.
Gladys Orjiogbu, a mother of seven, lived for many years in the city of Maiduguri in northern Nigeria until the family was driven out by the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram. They had to leave everything behind and move to the southern state of Enugu. After a difficult start, the family is now doing well. Gladys was able to open a small business thanks to start-up funding and can now support her family with her earnings.
We pray for all those in Nigeria who have been, and continue to be, driven from their homes by Islamist extremists.
Sunny Waqas (23) and his cousin Noman Masih (22) have spent more than three years on death row, charged with blasphemy. In January 2023 Sunny was released from prison on bail. However, on May 30, Noman was sentenced to death.
Let us pray for these two Christian men and for all victims of Pakistan's unjust blasphemy laws.
Rhoda Ya'u Jatau, a 45-year-old Christian healthcare worker from Bauchi in northeastern Nigeria is accused of blasphemy against Islam's prophet. She has been imprisoned since May 2022 on charges of “inciting public disturbance; exciting contempt of religious creed; and cyber stalking”.
Let us pray for all victims of Nigeria's harsh blasphemy laws, and for all those Christians in the country who are discriminated against and persecuted.
Hkalam Samson (65) is a senior official in the Baptist church of Myanmar. In December 2022 he was arrested at Mandalay airport after the military regime took offence at sermons he had delivered. Following an interrogation he was flown to Kachin in the north of Myanmar, where he has been incarcerated ever since. On April 7, he was sentenced to six years in jail.
Let us pray for the Christian minority in Buddhist Myanmar who are persecuted on the basis of their faith.
Adhel Nhial Akot was born in Sudan as the daughter of a slave from what is now South Sudan. When her mother died, the little girl had no one to protect her against the cruelty of the slave owner and his family. Adhel, who is now 20, was overjoyed to be freed by a slave liberator and returned home to South Sudan.
Let us give thanks that this young woman received her freedom. And let us pray for the thousands of people from the south who are still held in slavery in Sudan.