Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I'm trying to consolidate all the Open Doors postings I've been doing into this group. I will be moving the discussion featuring Prayer Alerts and Stories of Persecution to this thread. With each entry, I'll provide the link to the actual page on the Open Doors site, as well as the text of the alert. Please join me in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world!
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. -- Hebrews 12:3
[Pictured above: Iranian ex-prisoner Wahid now pastors a church of 200 in Turkey.]
In Iran’s infamous prison systems, convicted Iranian Christians are jailed and treated as “prisoners of conscience.” Iranian ex-prisoners report being forced to endure intense physical and emotional torture, as they’re pressured to renounce their faith. While many ex-prisoners testify about God’s presence in jail, they also must cope with horrendous memories of prison that keep chasing them long after they’ve been released. Recognizing that, Open Doors partners with local ministry partners and churches to offer trauma care training for Christian ex-prisoners.
Earlier this year, more than 30 Iranian ex-prisoners jailed for their faith recently participated in a training in Turkey–many of whom were house church leaders in Iran and are not leading ministries in Turkey. Below, Wahid, Saman* and Mojtaba—all former house church leaders now living as refugees in Turkey—share their stories and how God has used this ex-prisoner training to impact them both personally and in their current ministries.
A former Iranian house church leader and ex-prisoner for his faith, Wahid now pastors a church of 200 in Turkey. For him, the training allowed him to be transparent with believers who understood firsthand what he has gone through.
“In the training, I met people who went through the same experience as me,” he says. “We understood each other, and we learned from each other. I cried a lot, but I was also comforted a lot.
“As a former Iranian prisoner, I have often felt alone and thought nobody cared about me. This training proved me wrong. You showed me I’m not alone. In daily life, I find it difficult to talk about my time in prison, it’s a horrible story. And, as a leader, it’s a big temptation to pretend you are stronger than you actually are. To heal from my experience is a painful process. Some wounds are healed; others not yet. But, with the experiences and teaching at the training event, I have become stronger as a leader. It was a joy for me to be part of the training.”
Former house church leader Mojtaba is now counseling fellow Persian-speaking believers in Turkey, which initially triggered difficult memories. The trauma care training helped him understand what he needed to do to stay physically and spiritually healthy and able to counsel others.
“In the training, I learned how to create a safe space for myself. The training has been a good start to my healing process. Day by day, my wounds are healed more. After my imprisonment, the stress of the memories caused me to suffer from dizziness. After a while, this disappeared, but it came back when I started counseling fellow believers here in Turkey, a task that included lots of emotions.
“In the training, I learned how to create a safe space for myself. While I am counseling people, [I sometimes get caught up in] their problems. Now, I have learned to keep a certain distance. In the long run, this will mean I can do more for them. Creating this safe space has helped me stay healthy in the last few months while I have continued counseling, and during which time there was also conflict in my church. Despite the many emotions, I stayed physically and mentally healthy. I don’t get dizzy anymore.
“Sharing about my prison time also reminded me about the lesson God taught me there: ‘Be silent, I will be close to you.’ I try to apply that lesson to my life again. I don’t want to speak up anymore just to receive recognition from other people. I don’t want others to see me as an important person because I spend time in prison for my faith. I am no more than any other Christian: I need God just as all of us do. And I need Him now too. So I try to focus on Him first.”
In Iran, Saman* was also a house church leader—before he was arrested and imprisoned. Now he is living in Turkey but dreams of one day going back to his home country to serve the Lord there.
“It’s a difficult choice,” he says. “I’m still talking with God about my future. It is in His hands. It is difficult to be a refugee here in Turkey, but I hear from friends in the West that life is so rushed there that believers hardly have time to pray and worship on a daily basis. I don’t want that for myself either. Maybe God is teaching me something here that I can use when I go back to Iran.”
The trauma care he has received has offered “long-lasting refreshment,” he says.
“I am still in contact with some of the pastors I met in the training; they help me to continue learning. My friends say I have become stronger since I attended the training. I try to apply what I learned. Every day, I learn something new.”
For Saman, knowing that the global Body of Christ is praying for him and knows his story has strengthened him.
“I was encouraged by the invitation to attend this training. And I am encouraged that you visit us, that my story is shared, and that people pray for me. You can’t imagine how much it means to me to know that I am not alone in this.”
*For security reasons, Saman’s name has been changed.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever…
(Psalm 136: 1-26)
This week as you prepare to give thanks with family and friends, we want to say thank you for partnering with Open Doors and for letting God use you to bless and strengthen the persecuted Church around the world for His glory.
At Open Doors, we continue to hear from believers who are taking the gospel to others, strengthened by knowing that they are not alone … that Christ followers like you are praying with them and equipping them to share the Jesus they have found. These believers have learned the importance of living grateful lives.
Saman from Iran, Noor from Iraq, Seojun from North Korea and Racheal from Nigeria, among many other believers, can teach us what gratitude truly looks like–and why it’s so important in our lives as we mature in Christ.
In the midst of threats on their lives and despite the memories of dark prison cells, our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ understand that God has commanded His people to be grateful for a reason. As the martyred German pastor and evangelist Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.”
Former Iranian house church leader Saman (now ministering in Turkey) recently participated in trauma counseling for ex-prisoners where he confronted dark memories and deep wounds: “I am encouraged and thank God that you visit us, that my story is shared, and that people pray for me. You can’t imagine how much it means to me to know that I am not alone in this.”
Gratitude and contentment go hand in hand. Throughout Scripture (at least 100 verses of thanksgiving), we repeatedly see that God calls us to praise and thankfulness, knowing that we are sinners. We are prone to discontent and envy. As the Canadian-American theologian Harry Ironside said, “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
Iraqi Christian Noor was among the thousands of Christians who fled Qaraqosh when ISIS invaded. Last year, Noor returned with her family and is reworking to rebuild her life and her community. She understands the power of being thankful even when life is unjust: “We are thankful for every Christian in the world for thinking about us. And we are grateful that you are helping us, also with your prayers. So, thank you.”
Rather, giving thanks is a daily practice—one of the most distinctive marks of our faith. North Korean Christian Seojun (now a pastor in South Korea) knows that well. He met Jesus in an Open Doors safe house in China. “I am so thankful … It is not easy to carry on,” he says. “But I am trying my best to work for His kingdom. I am trying to remember all your prayers and effort and I am trying to live as God’s faithful servant.”
In the 17th century, preacher and author John Bunyan (best known for The Pilgrim’s Progress) wrote, “A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.” As image bearers of God, we give Him glory, following Jesus’ call to abide in Him. Gratitude gives God His due and control over our lives. It acknowledges that He is the giver of all good gifts.
Nigerian believer Racheal John was one of 34 Christian women rescued from militants. She endured seven months captive in Nigeria’s Sambisa Forest: “I wish my eyes could see the people who sent this support to me. I don’t know what to say. One thing I will never forget about this gift is that I have brothers and sisters who care for me and who prayed for my rescue.”
This Thanksgiving as you celebrate and reflect, please also remember our persecuted family—our brothers and sisters who are living lives of gratitude in dark situations. We pray that you and your family will experience anew the Author of our thankfulness and His love that endures forever.
*representatives names and photos used for security
Open Doors partners helped him pay the fine and visited him to encourage and pray for him. In this write-up, Biswas shares with an Open Doors partner about the persecution he suffered, and how thankful he is to Open Doors’ partners for the prayers and support.
As the two Open Doors partners, Manit and Saurabh, approach his house, Biswas folds his hands to greet them and leads them inside. As everybody enters the small living room, there seems to be an uneasy silence in the house. The recent incident that happened to Biswas has instilled fear in the hearts of family members.
Biswas’ wife, her head covered with a red scarf, brings in some tea; she smiles as she enters the room. Biswas sits on one of the chairs with the guests.
“I am so grateful that Open Doors, through its partners, is helping pastors like me. I can never thank you all enough,” Biswas shares.
“I had been so desperate as no one was helping me, and then God sent you.” His eyes show the depth of his gratefulness.
Biswas says the homes of non-Christian families surround his house, and that many families live in peace with him. There are however some families who oppose his work as a pastor.
Manit asks Biswas if he has been able to continue with his ministry. “Church services are going on, but I am more careful while doing house visits. I will always serve Christ no matter what it costs. Even if everyone opposes me I will stand for him,” Biswas says.
As Biswas hands over a cup of tea to Saurabh he opens up, “That day when the incident took place, someone came to my door and said some men from the temple are calling you. I went without really thinking much about it. What happened next was a shock to me.
“When I got there I saw ten men waiting for me. I knew that all of them were Hindu extremists from my city. They pointed a revolver at my head, and then, without any warning, they started kicking and punching me. They kept shouting abuse, blaming me for tricking people and luring them to change their religion to Christianity.”
He stops here and looks down as if he is trying to recollect something painful, “I suddenly heard one of them say loudly ‘We killed your mentor one year ago, now it’s your turn.’”
He has tears in his eyes as he goes on, “This reminded me quickly at that time about one of the senior pastors in my area who had been murdered one year ago by unknown assailants; he had been the one who had also led me to Christ. They were referring to him as my mentor. I knew now that these men were the ones who had killed him, and they were acknowledging it with boldness. I was shivering with fear.”
He continues, “And then I asked God, ‘Is it my turn after all because I am sharing your Gospel, will they kill me too?’
“In my mental and physical agony, I realized I could also pray for deliverance. I then prayed in my heart, ‘God who saved Daniel in the den of the lions, save me.’”
Biswas wipes away his tears, “It was a miracle. Just after I had said the prayer in my heart, one of the attackers told the others to stop and said let’s just make him pay a huge fine. The God who saved Daniel from the lion’s den saved me from being killed that day.”
Finally, they let Biswas go in exchange for a hefty fine worth eight months’ of his salary, which he was supposed to provide them the very next day. He arranged the money from a local money lender immediately on a very high interest rate as he had no savings. This incident put him and his family into a financial crisis.
Open Doors, through its partners, were told about the difficult financial situation Biswas was going through and helped him both financially—and to manage his family expenses.
“I am so grateful. I will never forget what Open Doors has done for me through its partners. Please convey my thankfulness to all those who have supported me.”
After spending some more time with the couple, Saurabh shares from Psalm 55:22. As both of them pray for Pastor Biswas and his wife, they kneel on the floor. There are some tears of gratefulness and some tears of pain.
When both partners leave, Biswas and his wife are smiling, their eyes, however, are still moist, but they do look brighter.
“Keep praying for us,” his wife shares. “We need more strength. We know we are being monitored and our lives are constantly under threat. But we want to continue with our ministry; however, we are worried about our children.”
Since the number of new believers in the church Biswas pastors continues to rise, many extremists have come to know who he is. Church leaders like Biswas are often targeted with physical violence by Hindu extremists. These leaders need special prayers for protection and also encouragement. Open Doors’ partners in India continue to provide presence ministry along with practical aid to such Christian leaders who are serving God in challenging circumstances.
Slowly, the five friends make their way to the women’s outhouse they use each day. They look back. No one has followed them. In the stench of the room, they gather in a corner. Saying little, always in muttered whispers, they stand quietly. One woman softly sings. Another leads a short prayer.
Year after year, this is what Christmas looks like for these believers in a North Korean labor camp. Counting the cost, they risk their lives to come together to pray and sing, reflecting on the coming of their Savior—both 2,000 years ago and one future day they all hope comes very soon.
For millions of believers like these, the celebration of our Savior entering the world must be a risk-laden secret Christmas. They know that there is a war on Christmas—and what that war really looks like.
While we see Christmas trees on every corner, persecuted believers might not ever see a single Christmas decoration. If they do, it’s only in a secret celebration because in several countries, Christmas is illegal and banned outright. Any Christmas celebration carries with it the potential for fines, arrest and imprisonment.
In North Korea, Christianity is illegal—believers must celebrate Christmas in complete secrecy in the woods with a handful of Christians; in homes with candles and in whispers; or in the outhouses of prisons and labor camps.
“Incredibly, many North Korean Christians risk everything to gather on Christmas Day and remember the hope the first Nativity brought to the world,” an Open Doors spokesman says. “A meeting is usually just two people on a park bench muttering prayers and praise quietly.
“For some, it is too dangerous to even speak, so they simply gather together for a few minutes of encouragement. If a whole family comes to faith, they can organize a type of Christmas celebration. But even then, they must keep it secret from the neighbors.”
Last year, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un banned Christmas and instead told people to celebrate his grandmother, Kim Jong-suk, who was born on Christmas Eve in 1919. The first wife of the country’s founding leader Kim Il Sung is known to North Koreans as “the Sacred Mother of the Revolution.”
North Korean refugee John Choi gives us some insight into what North Korea looks like in December: “’Christmas? What is that?’” he says. “That’s what the average North Korean would say if you were able to ask them about Christmas. Everyone in North Korea knows the birthdays of the three Kims (the leaders of North Korea since its beginnings)—but they do not know who Jesus Christ is or that Christmas is Jesus Christ’s birthday.
“Christmas has long been a non-event for North Korean people—except for underground Christians. The regime works hard to ensure information about religious holidays does not enter the country, and its citizens remain unaware people are celebrating and belting out Christmas hymns across the world.”
In Saudi Arabia, churches, crosses and Christian meetings of any kind are illegal throughout the country. There are no churches and even the wearing of any kind of religious symbol is forbidden. A Christmas tree or lights outside are unthinkable. For Christian households, Christmas must be celebrated in secret.
And for any Christian converts in a Muslim family (converting is illegal and punishable by death, imprisonment or lashes), they are often forced to hide their faith, acting like a Muslim who doesn’t celebrate Christmas—celebrating Jesus only silently in their hearts.
While the country’s laws “permit” Christians to celebrate privately, gatherings are still targeted by officials. In December 2012, Arab media reported that Saudi Arabia’s police force—the Mutaween—raided a private home, arresting more than 40 guests for “plotting to celebrate” Christmas.
Three years later in December 2015, rumors of increasing secret Christmas parties prompted state media to reinforce that celebrating Christmas was forbidden, suggesting that for Muslims even to greet non-Muslims with a Christmas message was basically “endorsing their faith.”
However, insiders and experts claim there is an increasing number of secret Christians in Saudi Arabia–and that a growing number of Saudi residents celebrate Dec. 25.
“The number of Christian converts from Islam and other religions is increasing, along with their boldness in sharing their new faith,” says Open Doors CEO David Curry. “But they have to be careful. A lot of persecution can come from family or society, rather than the government.”
In Somalia, Christmas was banned in 2015—six years after the country adopted Sharia (Islamic law). Every year, there is an announcement reminding citizens that the celebration of Christmas is illegal.
In 2015, the government “warned” Somalians against the celebration of Christmas, saying it is only for Christians.
“This is a matter of faith. The Christmas holiday and its drum beatings have nothing to do with Islam,” Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow, director of Somalia’s ministry of religion, said on state radio. He added that the ministry had sent letters to the police, national security intelligence and officials in the capital city of Mogadishu, instructing them to “prevent Christmas celebrations.”
The same year, Mogadishu mayor’s told Reuters: “Christmas will not be celebrated in Somalia for two reasons; all Somalis are Muslims, and there is no Christian community here. The other reason is for security. Christmas is for Christians. Not for Muslims.”
For Somalians, the 2015 ban smacks of the turbulent time in 2011 when Islamic militants al-Shabab controlled Mogadishu. One of the extremist group’s edicts was to ban Christmas celebrations.
In Muslim-majority Tajikistan, no one publicly celebrates Christmas because it has been outlawed. A decree in 2015 by the education ministry in the former Soviet republic banned public displays of Christmas, particularly in schools and universities. That includes fireworks, festive meals and gift giving, as well as “the installation of a Christmas tree either living or artificial.”
Since 2013, Tajikistan has progressively pared down Christmas celebrations leading up to this latest law. In 2014, the country banned Russia’s version of Father Christmas. The law comes more from the restrictive government that has also limited the free exercise of Islam than Muslim society.
In Brunei, an oil-rich country on the island of Borneo in southeast Asia, anyone caught illegally celebrating Christmas could face up to five years in prison and a $20,000 fine; owning a Bible in the small Muslim-majority country will get you nine years. Even something as simple as wearing a Santa hat will put you in jail. Unlike Tajikistan, the ban on Christmas comes directly from the strict Islamic regime.
In 2015, Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs released a statement saying, “These enforcement measures are … intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community.”
The statement also said that any public celebrations could “affect” the “Islamic faith” of Muslims in Brunei.
The country’s population of 420,000 is 67 percent Muslim, 13 percent Buddhist and 10 percent Christian. Non-Muslims can privately celebrate Christmas in their homes but must first alert the authorities. Still, that caveat sends Christians a subtle message the government is watching.
“I’ve recently stripped all Christian decorations from my office walls to avoid suspicion from the authorities,” James, a church leader in Brunei, said after the decree was issued. “I’m not fearful, I’m being cautious.”
In this pro-Muslim and anti-Christian country, Bruneian Christians were not shocked by the move. They have been used to holding celebrations in the shadows.
“It (the directive) has not made much difference in our worship at the church and private celebrations at home, it is already something that has been practiced over the years,” a Bruneian Christian told The Straits Times. The major difference, he said, is the noticeable lack of commercial Christmas decorations compared to previous years.
“It does take away some of the atmosphere … but we Christians stay focused on the joy that comes from God rather than external factors.”
Despite the risks, persecuted believers continue to make the bold and defiant decision to worship their Savior and celebrate His coming into the world. As the Body of Christ, we can stand with our brothers and sisters that will have a much different celebration this month and on December 25 than our own.
Not even a week into December, the Islamic regime in Iran has already made a blatant statement to Christians preparing to celebrate Christmas.
In the last seven days, police have reportedly arrested 114 Christians— nearly 150 in the past month. The onslaught of arrests is part of the government’s attempt to “warn” Christians against sharing their faith over Christmas, Mansour Borji, advocacy director of religious freedom organization ...
Iran’s Mehr News Agency announced that a total of 142 men and women belonging to different Christian groups were arrested in 10 or 11 different cities across the country.
While Iran is known to increase arrests in advance of Christmas, this latest wave is truly “staggering,” Borji said, adding that authorities arrested so many they didn’t know what to do with them all.
As a result, most of the those arrested were allowed to go home after a few hours, or in some cases, days. Those suspected to be leaders of the groups remain detained. Everyone was forced to surrender their cell phone and each believer was told to expect a call from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence.
Borji added that Christians were asked to write down details of the history of their Christian activities and told to have no more contact with any other Christians or Christian groups.
Anonymous sources said several of those arrested were told they would be charged with propaganda against the Islamic regime.
Dr. Mike Ansari from Heart4Iran told International Christian Concern most of those arrested were coerced to divulge information about their house-church activities and those of their friends, under threat of criminal prosecution or arrest of family members.
“Therefore, the case of every arrested Iranian believer is of utmost importance,” Ansari said.
Dr. Hormoz Shariat, president and founder of Iran Alive Ministries, notes that in addition to being a deterrent, the arrests are also a response to the exponential growth of Christianity in the Muslim country.
“As Christianity grows rapidly in Iran, the Islamic government and the clergy in power are alarmed,” he said. “Their only strategy to slow down this growth is through a campaign of fear, violence and intimidation … We expect the persecution in Iran will increase as the Islamic government feels threatened by the spread of Christianity among Muslims in Iran.”
Compared to roughly 500 known Christians in 1979, there are now approximately 500,000 (some sources say up to 1 million secret believers). According to Elam Ministries, an organization founded in 1990 by Iranian church leaders, more Iranians have become Christians in the last 20 years than in t...
In 2016, the mission research organization Operation World named Iran as having the fastest-growing evangelical church in the world. The second-fastest growing church is in Afghanistan, the organization reported, and Afghans are being reached, in part, by Iranians because their languages are similar.
Fifteen days before Christmas, one of China’s largest house churches was raided by Chinese police on Dec. 10. The raid has continued over the last few days, resulting in arrests of more than 100 Christians, including church leader Wang Yi. He is one of China’s most well-known pastors.
The Early Rain Covenant Church is an unregistered house church in Chengdu, the capital city of China’s western Sichuan province. Reportedly, church members were taken from their homes and the streets. The South China Morning Post also reported that church members said they were abused while in police custody.
The church’s Facebook page is filled with detailed accounts of what happened and is happening, as well as pow...A couple entries report:
“The big arrest of the church on December 9th (main day) is still going on …they use various means to bring their brothers and sisters away, even smash doors, use searchlights, threats, etc. There are members who have been taken or lost. Some … are under control in the church, and there are many more controlled at home … There are now more than 100 brothers and sisters who have been taken away, and many children are forced to separate from their parents and take care of other members.
“After darkness is light. Lord, please open our eyes and let us see the sky open and the people sit on the right side of the father. Ask the Lord to give the angel of the angels to guard the people of the people, and let us take the heart of suffering as a weapon to greet a great revival of the Spirit.”
The prominent house church has about 500 followers, but its weekly gatherings spread across more than a dozen meeting points around Chengdu, drawing more than 800 congregants each week, according to church leaders. It also has about 100 seminary students and a primary school catering to about 40 children.
While most of China’s Protestant house churches operate underground, the Early Rain congregation openly practices their faith, posting sermons online and evangelizing on the streets.
Pastor Wang’s family received notice yesterday that he had been arrested and charged with “inciting subversion of state power.” Wang’s wife, Jiang Rong, was removed from her mother-in-law’s home on Sunday evening. As of December 12, her whereabouts were unknown.
Since the couple was taken, Wang’s 73-year-old mother, Chen Yaxue, said she had been under 24-hour surveillance, along with the Wang’s 11-year-old son.
“They follow us whenever and wherever we go,” she told the South China Morning Post. “I’m very sad and confused, not sure what to think now. I just want to take my grandson … to run away from all this madness.”
Pastor Wang, a former human rights activist and constitutional scholar, has been extremely vocal about his opinion on China’s new religious regulations implemented in February of this year. The rules restrict proselytizing and charitable work, crack down on religious education for minors, limit the collection of donations, and forbid posting some faith-based content online. They also require churches to register with the government, which empowers officials to censor sermons, choose or reject pastors, and otherwise interfere with worship. The government has also begun installing facial-recognition technology in many registered churches.
Last year Pastor Wang, wrote that “passing the Regulations is a step backward for the rule of law in the religious field” and criticized the regulations as “evil from the standpoint of religious belief, illegal from the standpoint of the constitution, and foolish from the political standpoint.”
The high-profile pastor, who met with President George Bush in the White House in 2006, has urged Christians to resist the religious regulations in a legal and nonviolent manner.
Two days after he was arrested and taken away, church members released an open letter he wrote in September–giving instructions that it be publicized if he went missing for more than 48 hours.
In the letter, Pastor Wang said he would use non-violent methods to stand by his faith and oppose the laws that he said were against the Bible and God, including those that allow crackdowns on churches.
“My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws,” Wang wrote.
According to China’s criminal code, the charges he faces could result in a sentence of up to five years, but up to 15 years in extreme cases.
The Early Rain Covenant Church is the most recent church to be raided since China began what has become a widespread government crackdown on Chinese churches.
The religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter recently reported that police stations in a city in northeast China are being evaluated based on the number of Christians they arrest.
A police officer from Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told the magazine that his station had received a notice from the National Security Bureau which, as part of a performance-assessment plan, set out how many Christians they would have to arrest. The officer said that all stations in the city had received a similar plan, assessing the station’s performance with a 100-point evaluation system.
Senior police officers risk losing their job if quotas are not met, the officer told the magazine, adding that he did not want to arrest Christians but feared the consequences if he didn’t
The officer said that stations are trading with each other, “buying” names of arrested Christians for approximately $70 from other stations that have already achieved their targets.”
Recently, one of our indigenous ministry partners who works to equip church leaders in China offered this insight: “The situation on the ground [in China] is always changing. Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions about what China needs. Pray for wisdom for the leaders. Pray with us.” She shared specific prayer needs for church leaders and churches in China: