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March 2015

March 1: Please pray for the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva which has conducted Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) for two of the countries on which CSW works: Laos and Turkey. The UPR reviews human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.

March 2: Thank God for processes like the UPR which allow CSW & others to hold countries accountable for their human rights records. Pray for CSW’s Public Affairs team as they represent our religious freedom concerns at the UN.

March 3: Pray for CSW’s work in Turkey, revealing the truth of religious freedom violations, which often go unreported. Pray for Christians in rural areas of Turkey, who are more likely to be victims of persecution.

March 4: Pray for safety and strength for Christians in remote areas of Laos, who are often pressured to leave their homes. Pray Pastors are able to safely travel to visit Christians in Savannakhet Province and other parts of Laos, where freedom of worship is often not allowed.

March 5: Pray for the country of Tanzania, where the government has been slow to respond to rising religious violence. Christian leaders regularly receive death threats and perpetrators believe they can get away with attacks.

March 6: Pray for protection of Christians in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Pray for the government to take bold action against inciters and perpetrators of violence. At least 20 churches were recently  looted, burnt or demolished by mobs.

March 7: Pray for protection and courage for church leaders in places where it’s difficult and dangerous to be a Christian. Ask God to comfort the families of the murdered church leaders in Tanzania.

March 8: Pray terror networks trying to establish themselves in Tanzania and neighboring Kenya wouldn’t succeed. Dear Lord, we pray the Uamsho separatist religious group, behind many recent attacks on Christians and churches in Zanzibar, would stop the violence.

March 9: Reported attacks against Christian leaders in Tanzania and Zanzibar have increased since 2012. Pray for the government of Tanzania to enforce the law and bring perpetrators of violent attacks against Christians to justice.

March 10: Pray for protection of Christians in Zanzibar who receive little help from the government or police force. Pray discrimination against Christians ends, so they can have equal access to housing, health care, employment & education.

March 11: Please pray for Tanzania’s upcoming presidential elections in October that all parties will support freedom of religion or belief. Pray God raises leaders with integrity to rule with justice and equity.

March 12: As a new constitution is drafted in Tanzania, pray religious freedom provisions would be maintained and respected, including the right to change religion.

March 13: Pray for the congregation of the Pentecostal Evangelism Fellowship of Africa church in Kisauni, Zanzibar. In 2014, a mob invaded a Sunday service and attacked a visiting clergyman. Christians receive threats naming church leaders as targets.

March 14: Almighty God, we pray for the nation of Iran. Pray the Iranian Church continues to grow and give God glory in the midst of persecution.

March 15: Despite positive words from the Iranian leadership in recent months, the situation for Christians remains extremely alarming. Please pray for Iran’s campaign against Persian Christians to end.

March 16:  Pray for Christians in Iran facing harassment, arrest and imprisonment for their faith, despite President Rouhani’s assurances of equality for religious minorities. Pray for Christians in Iran who are under tight surveillance and face daily risk of arrest.

March 17: Please pray for David Yeghnazar, Executive Director of Elam Ministries in Iran. Pray for protection over him, his wife Louise & their children Grace, Theo, Hope & Beata.

March 18: Pray for Pastor Behnam Irani of The Church of Iran in Karaj, in prison since 2006 for preaching to new Christians and sharing his faith with Muslims. Pray for healing, as his health has deteriorated significantly in recent years.

March 19: Pray for the wives and children of Iranian Christians who are imprisoned for their faith. These families live in precarious financial situations. Pray for the safe return of all Christians imprisoned unjustly in Iran.

March 20: Pray for Iranian Pastors Farshid Fathi, Behnam Irani, Mattias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabanni, who were found guilty on falsified political charges and are detained in harsh conditions.

March 21: Praise God for the strength of the Iranian Church despite the increasing harassment and persecution Christians face. In Iran, false political charges are used to silence Christian leaders of growing churches.

March 22: Pray for access to justice for those facing trial on religious grounds that their lawyers would be allowed access to their clients ahead of their hearings.

March 23: Pray for an end to capital charges, such as moharebeh, or ‘enmity against God’ which have been increasingly used to target Christians. Under Shariah, or Islamic law, a Muslim who converts to Christianity is likened to waging war against Islam.

March 24: Please pray for five imprisoned Christian men: Mohammad Roghangir, Surush Saraie, Eskandar Rezaie, Shahin Lahooti & Massoud Rezaie. They are members of the Church of Iran, one of the Iran’s largest house church movements.

March 25: Pray for the rapidly growing underground church network in Iran. It’s where converts from Islam to Christianity can pray. They are forbidden to attend services at formal churches.

March 26: Alongside the growing network of home churches in Iran has been the increase of violent crackdowns and raids on these communities. Pray intimidation and arrests of new Christians would end.

March 27: Pray for the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC), a new commission of the Evangelical Alliance (EA). It unites organizations working on behalf of persecuted Christians to speak with one voice. Pray the collective voice of the RLC would be heard by the media and politicians.

March 28: Pray for the members of the RLC: CSW, Open Doors, Release International and the EA. Thank God for each organization involved in the RLC and ask Him to maintain unity between them.

March 29: Pray for the leadership of the RLC member organizations that God would grant them wisdom as they raise the issue of religious persecution. Pray for God’s blessing on their work around the world.

March 30: Pray for the RLC as it seeks to make sure the issue of Christian persecution stays on the government’s agenda during the forthcoming UK elections.

March 31: Pray for the RLC as it seeks to engage UK churches and church leaders in praying for the persecuted Church around the world.