Day 20

Brunei, Southeast Asia

Brunei has boasted a small but prosperous economy. Its wealthy standard of living surely contributes to the wild popularity of its sultan who provides free health care, housing and education to his countrymen. The nation has begun exploring alternative sources of income as it foresees its oil reserves running out. This year further steps were taken in the roll-out of sharia law which Brunei’s Sunni sultan instituted in 2014. Even Christians are mandated to attend Friday prayers. This move garnered criticism from the international community and the UN and heightened concern for the nation’s Believers. The new draft criminal code that was approved in 2018 will bring the nation closer to punishments such as floggings and amputations. Propagating any other religion than Islam has become illegal.

Praise Report Praise God for the bold witness of Malaysian churches in the towns that border Brunei. Pray that more Bruneians will encounter the Gospel when they visit Malaysia (The Bible, Acts 1:8).

Prayer Requests

  • The Sultan and his Islamic Religious Council have approved a draft Criminal Code that takes another step in the implementation of Sharia Law. The law will introduce amputation of limbs as punishment for theft and the death penalty. Pray that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin (The Bible, Colossians 2:8).
  • For many people in Brunei, to be Bruneian is to be Muslim and to become a Christian is to lose your ethnic identity. Pray that God would transform this mindset and replace it with truth (The Bible, Ephesians 1:5-6).
  • Ask that the Loving Heavenly Father would draw many people with His kindness to repentance and faith in Him (The Bible, Romans 2:4).

Sources:

Sharia Law

Loss of ethnic identity

Photo: World Watch Monitor

Population: 430,000
Chief of State: Sultan and Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah
Head of Gov.: Sultan and Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah
Christians: 11.8%
Evangelical Christians: 5.2%
Dominant Religion: Sunni Islam
Persecution Ranking: 36th
Life Expectancy: 76.97 Years
Literacy Rate: 95.4%
Population Below Poverty Line: Unknown
Refugees Living in Brunei: 20,524

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Lebanon, Middle East

Lebanon's economy has suffered from the seven-year civil war in neighboring Syria. It has caused occasional spill-over of violence and has sent more than 1 million refugees across the border. Syrian refugees now make up about a quarter of Lebanon's population. The refugees' presence has been a burden on Lebanon's already crumbling infrastructure. Power outages are common, and many residents must have water brought to their homes by tanker truck. Lebanon should take steps to reform the electricity sector, where the state-owned provider operates on a $1.5 billion annual deficit. Corruption-plagued Lebanon has one of the highest debt ratios in the world and growth has been slow.

Praise Report Praise God for the asylum provided for the Syrian refugees by Lebanon, in spite of its suffering economy. Praise God for the opportunity the refugees encounter to know the love of God (The Bible, Hebrews 13:2).

Prayer Request

  • Pray for the improvement of infrastructure and facilities to hold the inflow of refugees (The Bible, Isaiah 32:2).
  • Pray for the electricity sector to take steps to reform and provide the needed power supply (The Bible, Psalm 18:28).

Call to Salvation Pray that the long devastating civil war in Lebanon will come to an end and the sufferings of the people will cease due to the prayers and services of the Christian Believers (The Bible, Isaiah 53:4).

Sources:

Lebanon to Lose Projects Due to Fragile Economy

Photo: AFP PHOTO / Joseph BARRAK

Population: 6,185,000
Chief of State: [Acting] President Tammam Salam
Head of Gov.: Prime Minister Tammam Salam
Christians: 32.3%
Evangelical Christians: 0.6%
Dominant Religion: Sunni and Shia Islam
Persecution Ranking: Not Ranked
Life Expectancy: 75.9 Years
Literacy Rate: 89.6%
Population Below Poverty Line: 28.6%
Refugees Living in Lebanon: 1,167,189

Pray for Lebanon - facebook page