Posts Tagged ‘August

22
Sep
09

Orissa Prayer Campaign

One year ago on August 23, 2008, a leading Hindu activist was murdered. A Maoist guerilla group claimed responsibility, but the assassination was exploited by Hindu extremist forces and violence soon erupted against Christians. According to reports, more than 50,000 Christians were rendered homeless, 315 villages were completely destroyed, 120 were murdered and hundreds more injured. By government estimates, 250 churches were destroyed. The violence continued unabated for more than two-and-a half months. There is only one way to describe what has happened in Orissa; it is not ethnic cleansing but religious cleansing.
Today, on the one year anniversary, more than 4,000 people are still living in relief camps and thousands have been unable to return to the villages for fear of death or of forcible conversion to Hinduism. Churches are being replaced by the building of new Hindu temples, and on the gutted remains of churches it is written “India is for Hindus.” But the Christians of Orissa will not renounce their faith.

Federal soldiers are maintaining a fragile peace. Unable to till their fields, unable to regain their houses and restart life, cut off from schooling and the markets, living in constant fear, the victims of the Orissa violence are caught in a trap and are dependent on the little help they receive. As the months pass, and the tents begin to rot in the 100 heat and the monsoon rain, it’s important that we do not forget them.
Our brothers and sisters in Orissa face challenges and persecution on a daily basis that we cannot even begin to imagine. On this one-year anniversary please join in prayer for an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in the state of Orissa. Pray each day for seven days…then again…and again, blanketing them with an outpouring of our love letting them know that they are not suffering alone. The following prayer requests have come directly from the field.

Day One – Church
Pray that the Lord will keep the Church steadfast and strong in faith during these testing times. Pray for the bishops and leadership of the various churches and Christian organizations that they will continue to experience the presence of God and His vitality so that they can continue to lead His people.

Day Two – Holy Spirit
Pray against the spirit of fear that threatens to dominate the minds of the Christians in Orissa and in India in general. Pray that the God-given spirit of love, power may keep them from growing fearful.

Day Three – Justice/Healing
Pray for the Christians who have been falsely accused or are held without trial. Pray for justice and for the truth to prevail. Pray also for the sick and injured due to the violence; may they experience the healing hand of the Lord and the loving touch of His people. Pray for the families who have lost their loved ones, in some cases, their breadwinners. Pray for sustenance for them and for the peace of the Lord to guard their hearts and their minds in Christ Jesus.

Day Four – Rebuilding/Relief Organizations
Pray for the various organizations and churches that reach out and provide aid in Orissa. Pray that the Lord would bless the rebuilding efforts and that the lives of the people may be impacted for good. Pray that the victims may sense the Lord’s love for them through these efforts. Please also pray for the efforts of Open Doors in all of this.

Day Five – Peace in the Region/Forgiveness
Pray for peace and harmony in the area which is still very tense. Years of anti-Christian propaganda carried out by Hindu extremists has brought hatred against Christians to the area. Pray that the government, other agencies and especially the church may be successful in fostering peace and reconciliation. Pray that Christians will forgive their oppressors and that this would lead to a witness of Jesus and His love.

Day Six – Government
Pray for the authorities in the state of Orissa, especially the newly elected government. Pray that the government will not forget the plight of the people but will do all it can to alleviate their pain and suffering. Please pray for the various commissions that have been set up to investigate the violence, that they may provide impartial reports so that proper action can be taken. Pray for the Panigrahi and Mohapatra commissions of enquiry.

Day Seven – Evangelism
Please pray for an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in the state of Orissa. Pray that many, who do not yet know the Lord, will come to knowledge of His saving grace. Pray that the suffering of His people may result in a greater harvest of souls for the Lord’s kingdom.

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To EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN and ENCOURAGE. To be a voice to those who have none, a voice that is LOUDER than their persecution, oppression and pain. A righteous voice that is LOUDER than the enemy.

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