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PRAY

AUGUST 2015

August 1: Dear God, protect and embolden Your Church in Vietnam. There are alarming reports of police storming church services and attacking congregations, then refusing to allow the injured to be taken to the hospital.

August 2: The Communist authorities in Vietnam are extremely hostile to Christians, whom they perceive as a threat to national security. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ facing severe isolation and intense pressure to renounce their faith.

August 3: Pray for Vietnamese Christians and churches that are fighting pressure from the government as they try to spread the gospel. Pray for those forced to flee their homes because of violent threats by police in connection with their faith; and those who have been separated from their families.

August 4: The UN Special Reporter on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, recently presented his report to the Human Rights Council on his visit to Vietnam in 2014. Thank God he was able to visit Vietnam to highlight the many serious problems concerning religious freedom and the treatment of religious groups in Vietnam.

August 5: Ask God to protect religious leaders in Vietnam who met with the UN Special Reporter. Thank God for Professor Heiner Bielefeldt’s visit, which has given advocates the opportunity to draw attention to violations of religious freedom in Vietnam.

August 6: Please pray the Vietnamese government will respond to the UN Special Reporter’s statement following his visit, with concrete changes reflecting a genuine commitment to freedom of religion or belief.

August 7: Thank God for the courage of Christian pastors and priests in Vietnam who continue to speak out for justice, despite the risks. Pray for wisdom for CSW to really make a difference for Christians in Vietnam.

August 8: Pray for safety of Vietnamese human rights lawyer and activist, Nguyen Van Dai, who reported his home in Hanoi was attacked in March. Dai has provided legal advice and represented Christians suffering violations of their right to freedom of religion or belief.

August 9: Thank God for the 24 Vietnamese civil society organizations that co-signed a recent report drawing attention to human rights abuses in Vietnam. The report aims to alert the international community to the blatant, illegal and systematic crackdowns on human rights defenders and dissidents in Vietnam.

August 10: Pray for religious and civil society organizations to continue to advocate for religious freedom in Vietnam. Pray the Vietnamese government immediately releases prisoners of conscience and protects the right to freedom of religion or belief.

August 11: Vietnam was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in November 2013 but the government has yet to address grave human rights concerns, including violations against Christian communities. Please pray for religious freedom in Vietnam.

August 12: O Lord, we pray for Your Holy Spirit to comfort and protect those working for religious freedom in Vietnam. Ask God to protect CSW’s partners and contacts within Vietnam, whose work often puts them at great risk.

August 13: Please pray for new Christians in Vietnam who are pressured by authorities, family and friends. Dear Lord, give them perseverance and encouragement to stand strong in their faith.

August 14: Pray for Christians in Vietnam who are enduring discrimination and violence. Some are arrested when they go to church and there are reports of children unable to go to school simply because of their faith.

August 15: Praise God for the tremendous growth in the Church in Cuba, which is having an impact by reaching out to the marginalized. Pray for Cuban Christians to have wisdom and courage to be a vessel of hope.

August 16: The Cuban government claims it’s respecting religious freedom, but violations of harassment, violent attacks and demolition of churches continues, and many religious leaders have been imprisoned. Pray God softens the hearts of Cuban authorities and that church services can take place in peace.

August 17: More religious freedom violations are being reported each year in Cuba. Churches are confiscated by the government, pastors arrested and released multiple times, and pastors and lay leaders beaten by police. Pray churches in Cuba unite even as the government tries to divide them.

August 18: Pray the Cuban government would take concrete steps to improve religious freedom, including removing the Communist Party’s authority over religious activities.

August 19: Praise God for the courage of church leaders in Cuba who refuse to allow the government to dictate who may or may not come to their church. Christian human rights activists are regularly arrested on their way to church and released only when the service is over.

August 20: Ask God to protect the Ladies in White, a group of non-violent Christian protestors in Cuba who are violently assaulted and arrested each Sunday to stop them from attending church.

August 21: Please pray for church leaders and pastors in Cuba to have wisdom to know how to respond when they are subjected to fines, threats and demolition of their buildings.

August 22: Pray for strength and protection for church leaders and pastors in Cuba who are under constant government surveillance and whose families are threatened and harassed.

August 23: Pray for Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso and his wife Yoaxis who continue to publicly denounce religious freedom violations in Cuba, despite the very real dangers they face.

August 24: Dear God, we pray the Cuban government would stop harassing human rights activists as they attempt to attend church. Pray for church leaders who are being pressured by the government.

August 25: Please pray for the youth of Cuba, many have little hope for their future and are turning to alcohol and drugs. Pray for the children of persecuted Christians who are often targeted as a way of pressuring their parents.

August 26: Thank God for the bravery of many Christian leaders, priests and pastors in Cuba, who stand up for the religious freedoms of all Cubans to practice their faith.

August 27: Pray the Cuban government would have a change of heart in their approach to religious freedom and allow greater expression of faith within Cuban society.

August 28: Pray the Cuban government would stop imprisoning Christians linked to human rights and democracy groups. They are arrested on Sundays to stop them from attending church.

August 29:As part of political crackdowns on freedom of religion in Cuba, there are brutal, public methods of persecution being used against Christians. Pray for strength and protection upon the Church in Cuba.

August 30: Ask God to help each church in Cuba to stay strong under increasing pressure from the government. Pray for church leaders who are facing the highest levels of intimidation in 20 years. Dear God, please give wisdom and protection to Your Church in Cuba.

August 31: Almighty God, we lift up to You the nation of Cuba. We pray You would move through the Cuban government so it would rule with mercy and justice. We pray for Your Church in Cuba to be able to worship freely without fear or intimidation.