January 2023

January 1:  CSW believes in the power of prayer to bring change. Thank you Lord, for hearing each prayer lifted to You. Remind us to keep committing everything to You in prayer as we rely on Your strength and guidance in 2023.

January 2:  Please pray for Christians who are unjustly imprisoned because of their beliefs to be freed, and for all unjust laws to be overturned. Pray 2023 would truly be a new dawn for religious freedom around the world.

January 3:  Pray for CSW’s work in 2023, and for God's strength upon each staff member in their different roles. Pray God equips them with every gift and skill they need to accomplish His purposes.

January 4:  Dear God of Justice and Truth, we pray for Your blessing on CSW's work, fighting for Your children facing injustice because of their faith in You. We pray for Your divine wisdom as CSW stands against injustice.

January 5:  Dear God, give CSW wisdom and the necessary resources to make the most of all opportunities presented to us in 2023.  We pray for Your favor upon CSW's work, to accomplish Your will and promote religious freedom.

January 6:  Please pray for CSW's Strategic Leadership Team, making decisions on strategy and operations. Pray God gives wisdom to lead them through all the challenges and opportunities in 2023.

January 7:  Looking back at 2022, we are humbled to see God's power displayed in many answered prayers! Pray for CSW to have clear guidance and wisdom in 2023 to bring worldwide religious freedom.

January 8:  Lord, we lift the nation of China to You in prayer. Protect vulnerable religious communities who are at risk of being targeted in the ongoing crackdown on freedom of religion or belief.

January 9:  Pray for all those in China who are facing severe restrictions to their rights and fundamental freedoms. In March 2022, China introduced new "Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services", which prohibit the sharing of religious content online without a permit, including through text messages, images, audio and video.

January 10:  The new measures introduced in China have provided the authorities with yet another tool to restrict religious activity, as the situation for human rights in the country continues to deteriorate. Pray for safety of those intimidated into silence.

January 11:  As part of a wider crackdown, the Chinese authorities are trying to eliminate influences from Western missionaries in Nujiang, Yunnan Province, which has been home to a Christian community since the early 20th century. Pray for the unconditional release of five Christians, detained since August in this area. They were reported for holding Christian gatherings and giving free guitar and hymn lessons to young people.

January 12:  Please pray for Chinese Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who disappeared without a trace in 2017. As a prominent human rights lawyer who has defended vulnerable groups for decades, he has long been a prime target for the Chinese Communist Party.

January 13:  Pray for Gao Zhisheng’s wife Geng He, their daughter Grace and son Peter. For Ms. Geng, Grace and Peter, asking for strength and comfort as they mark another year without answers, and the accumulating emotional distress.

January 14:  "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19). Pray that God would do a new, miraculous thing in China today.

January 15:  Dear God, we pray for peace and justice in Vietnam. Watch over brave human rights defenders and help them persevere. Release those imprisoned for their work so they can continue fighting for justice in Vietnam.

January 16:  In January 2018, Vietnam introduced the Law on Belief and Religion, which imposes several restrictive requirements upon religious groups, including mandatory registration with the authorities.  Please pray for religious freedom in Vietnam.

January 17:  In June 2022, Vietnamese authorities published two draft decrees on religion, expanding on the 2018 Law on Belief and Religion, which are likely to tighten government control over religious affairs, including online meetings. Pray the government would not proceed with approving these laws.

January 18:  Violations against vulnerable communities in Vietnam from every major religion or belief group in the country continue to be regularly reported. Individuals in remote areas who are both ethnic and religious minorities often suffer the most severe abuses. Pray for protection against harassment, arrest, imprisonment and physical violence.

January 19:  "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today." (Exodus 14:13) Pray that God would deliver all those facing injustice because of their beliefs in Vietnam. 

January 20:  Pray for justice in Vietnam, as religious groups are assaulted, arrested and detained by police. Pray for protection of human rights defenders in Vietnam, targeted for promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief.

January 21:  Mandatory registration of religious organizations and activities in Vietnam hinder religious freedom. Pray for safety of Christians and human rights activists working for peace and freedom.

January 22:  In December 2021, Vietnamese activist and journalist Pham Doan Trang was sentenced to nine years in prison for "anti-State propaganda". She joined many other prisoners of conscience, including legal expert Nguyen Bac Truyen. Pray for their unconditional release, and for the protection of all human rights defenders in Vietnam.

January 23:  Pray for Pham Doan Trang, who has a long history of peacefully advocating for freedom and human rights in Vietnam. She has persevered in the face of danger working as an independent journalist and with several independent media outlets.

January 24:  Pham Doan Trang’s treatment by the Vietnamese authorities, simply for standing up for her rights and those of others, is appalling. Pray for her immediate and unconditional release, as her health is a great concern, and she needs medical treatment.

January 25:  Today is Vietnamese Lunar New Year. God, we ask for Your intervention in Vietnam as it begins a new year. May it become a country in which freedom of religion or belief is respected alongside all other human rights, and where citizens can live without fear of government harassment or intimidation.

January 26:  Individuals in Vietnam who are both ethnic and religious minorities, such as Montagnard ethnic minority Catholics and Protestants, are especially vulnerable to government violations. Ask God to strengthen and protect these groups, hiding them from those who would seek to do them harm.

January 27:  Followers of Duong Van Minh, a religious community not recognized by the government, have suffered years of harassment and abuse by Vietnamese authorities. Last May, fifteen ethnic Hmong followers from the Duong Van Minh community were handed prison sentences of up to four years, for attempting to attend the funeral of their community’s founder. Please pray for their immediate and unconditional release.

January 28:  Christians in Vietnam, from indigenous people groups, suffer a double discrimination as both religious and ethnic minorities. Pray the Vietnamese government upholds religious freedom for all.

January 29:  The Vietnamese government uses a variety of measures to control religious affairs, such as legal and administrative regulations; the propaganda apparatus; dividing to rule; and physical violence. Pray for God's peace and provision for the Church in Vietnam.

January 30:  Pray the government in Vietnam releases all those imprisoned in connection with their religion or belief, which is fully protected in line with Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a party.

January 31:  Please pray for complete healing of Christians in Vietnam who have been injured in police attacks.  Pray for God’s grace to fall upon His children so they can be witnesses of God’s love to their attackers.

Download a printable copy of the January prayer diary

February 2023

February 1:  Dear God, we lift the nation of Mexico to You. We pray for protection for the oppressed, peace for the weary and spiritual transformation in the hearts of those who perpetrate injustice. Let Your love reign supreme in Mexico.

February 2:  Pray for members of religious minorities in indigenous communities in Mexico, who often experience violations of their rights. Some have received death threats and been forcibly displaced from their villages after refusing to renounce their faith.

February 3:  "Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way." (2 Thessalonians 3:16a) Pray this verse over all members of religious minorities in Mexico, that they would know the Lord’s peace at all times and in every way.

February 4:  CSW has been encouraging the Mexican government to carry out thorough investigations into crimes against religious leaders, such as assassinations, extortion and threats. Pray the authorities would take this recommendation seriously and work to hold those responsible to account.

February 5:  Organized criminal groups in Mexico know that an effective way to destabilize a community is to target religious leaders. They do so to establish a culture of silence and terror, yet we believe God can transform their hearts. Pray for divine intervention today.

February 6:  Religious leaders in Mexico, who are involved in social work are particularly vulnerable in regions which have a strong presence of criminal groups. Ask God to bless and protect these leaders as they serve the community and reach out to those in need.

February 7:  Lord Jesus, light of the world, shine into the dark corners of Mexico where violations are rife and seemingly go unpunished. Sustain Your children who are fearful for their lives. Make Psalm 18:28 their reality: "You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light."

February 8:  Lord, we lift Myanmar/Burma to You. Lord, we pray that You will deliver the people of Myanmar from violence and destruction. May Your peace reign across this land.

February 9:  Pray for the nation of Myanmar/Burma, which has seen devastating levels of conflict since the February 2021 military coup. Together with this violence, religious and ethnic minorities continue to experience discrimination, harassment and persecution. Pray for God's peace to reign in this country.

February 10:  Pray for Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of Myanmar, who was ousted in the 2021 coup. She has been handed multiple prison sentences on unfounded charges. Pray that she will be released, along with other unjustly imprisoned political prisoners.

February 11:  Give thanks for the courage of religious leaders in Myanmar such as Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, who is persistently advocating for freedom of religion or belief in his country.

February 12:  Last July, the Myanmar/Burma army announced that it had executed four democracy activists who were accused of helping to carry out "terror acts". These were the first judicial executions to take place in the country since 1990.  Pray for comprehensive and coordinated action from the international community to end the human rights crisis which has arisen since the February 2021 military coup.

February 13:  Please lift up in prayer the families of the four activists in Myanmar who were executed in July: Phyo Zeya Thaw, Kyaw Min Yu, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw. Dear God, comfort them in their grief and pain.

February 14:  Thousands of innocent civilians have been arrested and detained since the coup in Myanmar two years ago, predominantly for peacefully protesting and calling for democracy. Pray that we would see captives freed and justice upheld across the country.

February 15:  Christians and other religion or belief groups have been particularly targeted in Myanmar/Burma since the coup. Pray for staff and congregants of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Mandalay, which was raided by armed soldiers in April 2022.

February 16:  As we pass the second anniversary of the coup, ask God to protect organizations like the Free Burma Rangers, who are actively responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Pray that God would strengthen the work of their hands and shield them from those who seek to do them harm.

February 17:  Almighty God, we continue to cry out for the restoration of democracy in Burma/Myanmar. Please protect those who are bravely standing up to the oppressive military regime. Move the hearts of those in the international community to act swiftly and decisively.  

February 18:  Almighty God, grant Your Church a fresh determination to keep pursuing a world where everyone has religious freedom. Use CSW to bring injustices to light, and to amplify the voices of the oppressed.

February 19:  Pray for peace in countries around the world experiencing war and conflict. Dear God, we pray that more bridges will be built across different faith communities with the aim of restoring peace and hope.

February 20:  Today is World Day of Social Justice. Dear God, we sometimes grow impatient for freedom and justice for all, and long for suffering to come to a swift end. Yet we know that meaningful, systemic changes take time.  "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal 6:9) 

February 21:  Almighty God, You hold all nations in Your hands. Please work through the international institutions of this world to bring justice and religious freedom to those suffering persecution and religious oppression.

February 22:  Sovereign Lord, righteousness and justice are the foundations of Your throne. We ask today that You would set free all who have been unjustly imprisoned for their beliefs. May the world see Your righteousness, justice and glory displayed.

February 23:  Lord God, we are grateful for the incredible opportunities You have given CSW. We pray for continued blessing and favor, to be effective advocates for justice and religious freedom around the world.

February 24:  Please pray for more opportunities for CSW to train, equip and support those who are dedicated to working for religious freedom and justice in their own country.  Almighty God, awaken a new generation of activists.

February 25:  Pray for CSW's work to bring significant changes and hope to situations that may seem hopeless.  Pray for more opportunities to discuss religious freedom issues with leaders who have power to make a difference.

February 26:  Dear God, we pray you would raise up righteous men and women to champion the cause of truth, justice and righteousness at all levels of government around the world.

February 27:  Pray for divine protection upon all individuals and organizations that CSW works with worldwide. Lord, give power to the weak and strength to the powerless. May they run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.

February 28:  Almighty God, thank you for the calling and purpose You have given to CSW, for such a time as this, to tackle injustice and advocate for religious freedom. We praise You for Your provision over so many years.

Download a printable copy of the February prayer diary

#2 Our principles

We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs