Spotlight on India and Sri Lanka
Declare Psalm 47 over the nations.
In a recent International Prayer Council prayer time Dr Lesley Keegal head of the Foursquare Church worldwide told us that due to major division in the Church of Sri Lanka (for security reasons we will not go into detail) the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are under the threat of being declared illegal. The tragedy is that the government are being encouraged in their actions by another part of the church. Some of this action is born out of fear and jealousy as people see the Church growing, despite persecution, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Join with us as we pray confusion on the enemy who wants to divide and conquer and that the Church, the Body of Christ, will increasingly see and experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit across this beautiful Island.
Pray for India (Report by Ruth Elphinston)
Recent news published in the Barnabas Aid magazine March/April 2021 highlights some of the increased dangers facing Christians in India. The magazine article draws attention to the amendment by the Indian government of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010. As a result of the amendment there will be a closer monitoring of Christian finances and operations and the change could be used to limit funding received by Indian Christian organizations from foreign Christian agencies. This could make it hard especially for small ministries who depend on foreign donations to continue their work and creates a challenge for Christians outside India wanting to financially support their Indian brothers and sisters.
Secondly, there is an increasing focus on disrupting and hindering Christian activities, for example prayer meetings and the moving about freely of pastors and evangelists. This brings into focus our need to pray for those involved in the prayer movement among the children in India. Father Anton Cruz and others have, for many years been ministering to thousands of children especially those from the Dalit caste and God has been raising up these children as a prayer army. Father Anton and his daughter Amazing Grace are part of the International Prayer Council and Ian and Pauline have prayed with them on many occasions at many events including the World Prayer Assembly and the United Nations.
The Juvenile and Justice Act (2015) has been used to close many of the Christian hostels which serve the Dalit and other impoverished Christians. Older children stay in these hostels whilst studying away from their village homes. Those Christian hostels still in existence are being closely monitored and any opportunity to close them is seized upon. Christians, young and old alike are facing “the unwritten rules of New India” which aim to “create an atmosphere of fear among the Christian community and other religious minorities” (Indian Christian leader).
Ian Cole adds: “I also want to mention a brother and friend Onassis. For obvious reasons I will not go into detail but this young man is a key leader in India especially in bringing children and young people together for prayer and mission. He helps to lead and support many thousands (no exaggeration) of children and youth prayer groups across the nation at no small risk to himself and his family. Pauline and I have met and worked with Onassis on many occasions and love this man dearly. He is under constant threat but is fearless for the Kingdom of God. He is so thankful that we are mentioning him in our prayers.”
Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre Birmingham. He is married to Pauline and they connect with prayer leaders from across the globe.