Student Revival, Ways to Pray for Morocco & Libya +More

  1. USA: Revival Springs up at Another American University
  2. Morocco: Ways to Pray for Marrakesh
  3. Afghanistan: Taliban Detains 18 People for Promoting Christianity
  4. India: Violence in Manipur Has Reached “a Breaking Point”
  5. South Asia: A Shiva Devotee Has a Change of Heart

Read or share the email edition, or scroll down for stories.

Thousands of Auburn University students attended a worship event that ended in the unplanned baptism of hundreds in a nearby lake as students responded to the gospel. See story below.

USA: Revival Springs up at Another American University

Source: God Reports, September 14, 2023

God is moving on college campuses across the country. Revival hit campuses like Asbury University, Lee University, and Samford University earlier this year. And now Auburn University students are testifying that God moved at an event earlier this week that still has them “speechless and in awe.”

Thousand of students at Auburn packed out Neville Arena on [September 12] to worship and praise Jesus, but an impromptu baptism that started with one student wanting to be baptized grew to roughly 200 people who decided to give their lives to Christ.

“I’ve seen Auburn basketball beat Kentucky. I’ve seen Auburn football beat Alabama, but I have never seen something like I did Tuesday night,” Auburn University senior Michael Floyd told WFSA12 News.

More than 5,000 people showed up to Unite Auburn’s “Night of Worship.” The campus ministry’s outreach was created to bring the Alabama school’s Christian community together for a night of worship. It featured guest speakers New York Times Best Selling Author Jennie Allen and Pastor Jonathan Pokluda, and worship was led by Passion Music.

Allen shared on Instagram that toward the end of the night, she felt led to ask students if they wanted to be baptized.

“I finished a message at Auburn and was off stage, and a student texted the pastor beside me they wanted to be baptized tonight. So I went back on stage and asked if anyone else wanted to trust Christ and be baptized,” she explained.

“Dozens raised their hands,” Allen added.

There wasn’t a tub to baptize the students, so thousands of people headed over to a lake at Auburn’s Red Barn.

“They circled the lake, and 6-10 of us were in the water baptizing hundreds,” Allen described.

Read the full story and another from God Reports, Bigger than Asbury Revival Unfolding in This Majority Muslim Country (spoiler: It’s Guinea-Bissau). See also 100s of Students Baptized After Worship Service on Auburn University Campus (Dennison Forum).

There’s a new book about the Asbury revival. Check out Taken by Surprise by Asbury’s Mark R. Elliott.

Morocco: Ways to Pray for Marrakesh

Source: 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, September 12, 2023

In the early hours of the morning on September 8, 2023, a magnitude 6.8+ earthquake struck Morocco’s Marrakesh–Safi region. The earthquake’s epicenter was located 70 km southwest of Marrakesh, near the Oukaïmeden ski resort in the Atlas Mountains.

The earthquake caused widespread damage in the region, with more than 2,500 people killed and over 2,000 injured. Many buildings were destroyed, including homes, schools, and mosques. The earthquake also caused landslides and rockfalls, which blocked roads and made it difficult for rescue workers to reach affected areas.Updates from around the world:

The earthquake is the deadliest to hit Morocco in more than a century. It is a reminder of the country’s vulnerability, even though the last major earthquake in Morocco occurred in 1960 when a magnitude 6.7 earthquake killed more than 12,000 people.

  • Pray for comfort for families and friends of victims and for families and communities torn apart by the destruction.
  • Pray for peace and healing as the nation deals with the aftermath of the earthquake and families struggle to rebuild.
  • Pray for Moroccans to be open to the Good News and for the church to be a blessing in this time of need.

Read the full story or see more pictures (Christian Post). See how Moroccan Christians are serving others following the earthquake (Christianity Today).

We can pray in much the same way for Libya, where thousands more were killed in recent floods (International Christian Concern).

Afghanistan: Taliban Detains 18 People for Promoting Christianity

Source: Christian Headlines, September 18, 2023

The Taliban has detained 18 workers, including one American, in Afghanistan for allegedly preaching Christianity. The International Assistance Mission (IAM), a Swiss nonprofit group, said the Taliban stormed its office in Ghor twice and abducted 18 workers, The New York Post reports.

Three workers were taken in the first raid on September 3, and 15 were taken in the second raid on September 13.

IAM said it was “unaware of the circumstances that led to these incidents and have not been advised of the reason for the detention of our staff members.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban said in a statement that the workers were taken for “propagating and promoting Christianity” in the predominantly Muslim country.

Read the full story. Another quotes IAM saying all its staff agree to abide by the laws of the country (CBS News). Read their complete statement.

India: Violence in Manipur Has Reached “a Breaking Point”

Source: The Christian Post, September 10, 2023

UN experts have appealed to India’s government over the ongoing violence in Manipur state, which has left 187 dead, 70,000 displaced, and hundreds of churches destroyed amid ethnic and religious tensions.

Nineteen independent experts with the UN Human Rights Council have noted that Christians have been disproportionately impacted, saying the violence was incited by hateful speech against the Christian Kuki-Zo minority, particularly women, due to their ethnicity and religious beliefs.

The conflict involves Manipur’s largely Hindu Meitei and largely Christian Kuki-Zo tribes. The UN experts also expressed alarm over the misuse of counter-terrorism measures against ethnic and religious minorities, the human rights group ADF International said in a statement.

Read the full story or the ADF statement (which includes links).

South Asia: Shiva Devotee Has a Change of Heart

Source: East-West Ministries International, September 2023

Meera was a devout follower of Shiva as well as other [Hindu gods and] goddesses. Daily, she would pray to the gods and regularly provided animal sacrifices and fasted. She would even cut her fingers to offer her blood as a sacrifice.

Being a devoted Hindu was Meera’s entire identity, and she renounced other beliefs. She hated Christians and would sometimes join others to persecute them.

One day, Meera became sick and discovered she had a tumor in her stomach. She immediately turned to her Hindu gods for healing. She built a temple at her home to worship them and performed even more rituals. But her illness only became worse. She became bedridden and could no longer get up to perform her sacrifices.

When she had lost all hope to live, Meera invited a Christian neighbor named Rohan to her home. Rohan shared the gospel with Meera and prayed that Jesus would heal her. But Meera’s heart was hardened, and she refused to believe in Jesus. She stubbornly continued to worship her gods while her sickness ravaged her body.

After several months, Meera was desperate. She invited Rohan to her home again. This time, Rohan brought other Christian friends to pray for her and share the gospel again.

Eventually, Meera’s heart softened, and she began to show signs of healing. Rohan and his friends continually visited Meera to pray, and Meera’s condition improved day by day. The Christ-followers began meeting in Meera’s home to teach her the Bible.

Then, Meera was able to get out of her bed. She was completely healed.

The full story reports that Meera was baptized and has led several people in her village to Christ.

Earlier this month, East-West published What Is Ganesh Chaturthi? in reference to a festival celebrated this week. Let’s pray for more “changes of heart.”

15 Days of Prayer for the Hindu World will be November 5-19. If you’re interested, get a free copy of the booklet (Bibles for the World/Mission Network News). It’s also for sale for US$3/copy (World Prayer Guides). The focus this year is Hindus in diaspora.

Open Doors in the Amazon | Bhutan Moves to Australia

In this edition:

  1. Central America: Now More Evangelicals Than Catholics
  2. Brazil: Open Doors in the Heart of the Amazon
  3. Egypt: A Coptic Pope for the Modern Age
  4. World: Honoring Data in Missions
  5. Australia and Bhutan: Mass Exodus Brings Hope Amid Uncertainty

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for more.

Central America: Now More Evangelicals Than Catholics

Source: Evangelical Focus, August 28, 2023

In Central America, the evangelical faith has become the majority faith, a survey conducted in 2023 showed.

There, 42% now identify as Protestants (a large majority being evangelical Christians) while 39.9% identify as Roman Catholics, according to the results of a survey conducted by M&R Consultores.

The research has been conducted in the countries of Nicaragua, Guatemeala, Costa Rica, Panamá, El Salvador, and Honduras. According to Raúl Obregón, of the consultancy firm, the intention of this project is to evaluate and measure periodically and systematically how religion is evolving in Central America.

A representative case of the change in the trend is that of Nicaragua. Since 1950, the Catholic Church has lost 60% of its adherents in the country and currently only one in three people profess this religion. In 1950, 96% of the Nicaraguan population participated in Catholic activities; today it is only 34%. Non-Catholics were 4.2% over 40 years ago, but the figure has risen to 65% percent by 2023.

In Central America, more than half who no longer consider themselves Catholics say they are now Protestants.

The full story adds that evangelicals in the region are also more faithful in church attendance and giving.

More religious trends:

Read Prosperity Gospel Beliefs on the Rise Among Churchgoers (Lifeway Research). It suggests that three out of four American Christians now hold beliefs we can trace to this teaching.

See a recent report on Measuring Religion in China (Pew Research Center). Bottom line: It’s hard to get a good read on what’s happening. But take a look.

Brazil: Open Doors in the Heart of the Amazon

Source: World Team (no date)

An informal settlement of over 4,000 people sits in the northwest corner of Manaus, Brazil. The residents hail from [more than] 30 different Amazonian tribes, some [with] little to no gospel witness. This is Parque das Tribos, one of many indigenous settlements that have sprung up in and around the jungle city over the past few decades. Its existence opens a world of possibility in a region nearly impenetrable for generations.

The story of missions in the Amazon has historically been further downriver, deeper into the jungle, one life at a time. Courageous missionaries like Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and countless others gave their lives to reach individual remote tribes scattered throughout the dense, 2.6 million square mile rainforest encompassing land from eight different countries [and home to] an estimated 1 million indigenous people.

Now, with guaranteed claims to land, voting, education, and financial assistance, indigenous people have begun moving to cities to access these newly granted rights. The wave of migration created a new kind of indigenous identity: the urban indigenous. Composed of a variety of distinct languages, tribes, and customs, these migrants were still distinctly indigenous yet plunged into a modern, globalized world completely unlike the communities they had left.

What if there was a movement to mobilize the urban indigenous in Manaus to become missionaries to these closed-off regions? By focusing on the urban indigenous, we are investing in the future of Amazonian missions: raising up urban indigenous missionaries who could return to their homelands and beyond, reaching the last of the last.

Read the full story. According to a related page, approximately 50% of Brazil’s indigenous peoples have migrated to the major cities of the Amazon region.

See also Brazilian Young People Love Jesus and Are Hungry for a Deeper Faith (Christianity Today).

Egypt: A Coptic Pope for the Modern Age

Source: Haggai International, August 23, 2023

With roots dating back to the first century, the Coptic Church is a denomination of Christians following Jesus across the Middle East and North Africa—arguably one of the most difficult regions for believers to worship and live safely in during the modern age.

Born Wagih Sobhi Baki Soliman, Haggai leader Pope Tawadros II left a career in pharmaceutical manufacturing for the priesthood in the 1980s and today serves as the 118th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the Holy See of St. Mark.

In the face of radical change and persecution, Pope Tawadros II stands out as a picture of peace and perseverance. Most recently, Pope Tawadros II has made inroads in Saudi Arabia, playing a key role in efforts to protect the religious freedom of Coptic Christians in that nation. In January—when Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas—the first-ever public Christmas celebration was allowed in Saudi Arabia. This was a momentous occasion for the 3,000 Coptic Christians in Saudi Arabia, as well as for a watching world.

Pope Tawadros II’s role in guiding the future of Christianity in Egypt—the most populous country in the Arab world—is critical. His leadership is currently guiding the future of Christianity in this region of the world and beyond.

Read the full story and pray for this man and others like him when you intercede for leaders.