South and Southeast Asia have been hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Factories have stopped their operations, small businesses have permanently closed, and Christians from Muslim backgrounds have been pressured to renounce their new faith in exchange for food and basic supplies. “When you see people going back to their old faith just because they do not have food, it really breaks our heart,” says Open Doors partner Sam*.
Below, Sam explains four ways we can pray for Christians in South and South East Asia during the Covid-19 crisis.
Sam says, “We want to share the realisation that we belong to one Body of Christ. Whether we are in the West or East, whether we are able to provide for ourselves, whether we are not able to provide for ourselves, we belong to one Body of Christ. So we need to care for one another, especially those who are really in need in this critical situation.”
“The second thing I would really encourage you to pray for is the complete healing of those affected by this pandemic, especially in the countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia where cases of covid-19 keep increasing day by day.”
“The third thing is we really want you to pray for is for the believers, especially those who are in the persecuted areas, to stand strong in spite of this pandemic. I know it’s not that easy when you don’t have food to eat. To really stand on your faith is not an easy thing, but please pray that God will really keep them strong in their faith and that help will reach them before they lose their faith.”
“The fourth thing we really want you to think through is support for these people. Because for most of them, the months of April and May were the months of harvest season. Most of the farmers in Southern Philippines, in Bangladesh, and Indonesia lost their crops. They could not harvest their crops. And most of their crops are destroyed. These people will definitely need support for another three months or six months, with food supplies.
“Most of them also lost their jobs, especially those who are earning their daily wage in construction or garment industries. They lost their jobs and most of the businesses have been closed down.
“We are really finding ways to help them on a long term basis instead of just providing them with food – ways that would help them start a business and empower them.”
Use the info and quotes above to guide your prayers. Spend a minute praying for each item.
*Name changed for security reasons.
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