Pray for the Philippines


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In China, religious persecution is not just being mocked for your faith. It could even cost you your life.
After a local business wanted to take over the property that Beitou Church in Zhumadian [city] sat on, a government-backed demolition crew was sent to destroy the church. And when the pastor, Li Jiangong, and his wife, Ding Cuimei, stepped in front of a bulldozer, it didn’t stop. “Bury them alive for me,” a member of the demolition team said… The couple were shoved into a pit and covered with dirt… Li manage to free himself. But before he could dig his wife out, Ding suffocated. [1] 
"Ding's son stands next to where her body is being stored."
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Sadly, after her death, the authorities recognized their claim to the land. Zhumadian is in the Henan province, “which has one of the largest Christian populations in East Asia.” [2] It is near the Zhejiang province where the government removed hundreds of crosses from church buildings.

Without minimizing the misery of Chinese christians, we should be thankful that we are in a country where we enjoy freedom of religion. That’s why we should pray for our beloved nation. According to 1 Timothy 2:1-4, it is God’s will to do so.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (ESV, emphasis added)
The purpose why we should pray for the Philippines is so “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” I believe Chinese believers pray for their country too. So one may ask, “Does that mean God is not answering their prayers?” No, I don’t think so. There are times God allows persecution. He is more interested with our character than our comfort. In fact, despite the raging persecution, missiologists predict that, with the rapid pace the Chinese churches are growing, China will soon become a Christian nation. In the end, God will answer their prayers for their country. 

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That’s why we must also pray for our country, particularly for our leaders, both incumbent and soon to be elected. We are only one week away from the national and local elections. We must pray for an honest, orderly and peaceful election. Our country is already divided. And the chasm is widening as the election draws near. On social media, the battle for ideas are ever raging. We must pray for healing for our country, “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”


Brothers and sisters, pray for the Philippines!

[1] Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra (28 April 2016), “After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle,” Christianity Today, retrieved from http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings.

[2] Ibid.

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