Focus: The countries of the Arabian Peninsula


Focus: The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
“Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.”
(Ps 25:6)
Intercessions for oppressed and persecuted Christians
Reminiscere (second Sunday in Lent), 16 March 2014
The countries of the
Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
Greeting from Council Chair,
Council of the Evangelical
Church in Germany
Now he is God not of the dead but of the living;
for to him all of them are alive.
(Lk 20:38)
This watchword for March 2014 is really exciting. God is a God of the living, not the dead! If we
read it with the eyes of our Christian sisters and
brothers from the Arab Peninsula, we come to
see this verse from Luke in a special light. People
find it difficult to freely practise their faith in
many countries of the region; this also applies
to the adherents of many religious minorities.
For Christians in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Yemen,
church membership has become a daily challenge. They are not allowed to practice their religion in public. Mission is prohibited. And worship is – if at all – only allowed at certain places.
Our God is a God of the living. In view of the
barriers and hindrances with which the local
churches have to struggle with, this is a wonderful promise. It is wonderful if people gather at
all in such an inhospitable environment and listen to God’s Word, pray together and praise God.
So they are a living community even in difficult
situations. And the blessing of the living becomes quite tangible.
Dubai skyline.
Year by year, during Passiontide, we hold intercessions for our oppressed and persecuted
sisters and brothers in the world. And again and
again we receive replies full of gratitude. Besides
all the political commitment and financial aid it
is above all our prayers, as an expression of spiritual solidarity, that give them strength and encourages them to bear witness to the gospel in
their countries.
So let us pray this year for Christians on the
Arabian Peninsula and bring their situation before God.
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
Traffic sign
in Abu Dhabi.
Why pray for oppressed
and persecuted
Churches, Christian communities and individual believers are oppressed or persecuted in different parts of the world. The repressions may
be systematic restrictions on certain fundamental rights, particularly religious freedom, or discrimination under the law and legal uncertainty.
They may even include real threats to life and
However, the situation in many cases varies
from region to region and is extremely complex.
While such threatening situations are often
founded in explicit hostility towards Christians,
not every conflict in which Christians are
harmed is for religious reasons. Not every case
of brutal violence against Christians is directly
caused by faith in Jesus Christ. That is why we
need to be careful in using the term “persecution of Christians”. The term “persecution” describes a clearly restricted situation of threat
under international law that does not fit all cases of violent attacks on Christians. Often the
root causes of the conflicts reported vary greatly
– they may be ethnic, political, social, cultural,
economic, criminal or geostrategic.
This differentiation should not lead us to
play down suffering and tribulation. The Apostle Paul writes: “Let us work for the good of all,
and especially for those of the family of faith”
(Gal 6:10). It is in this spirit that the Evangelical
Church in Germany shares in the suffering of
sisters and brothers in the world’s hotspots. We
mount public campaigns to advocate for oppressed and persecuted Christians and hold private political talks, thus working at different
levels to improve the human rights situation in
the countries concerned. In doing so, we are
careful not to operate with stereotypes and simplifications that, in turn, create new enemy stereotypes.
We are careful to use reliable sources. We
support not only Christians, but wish to promote mutual respect and help to build peace in
the world. Yet our solidarity is not limited to sisters and brothers in their countries of origin. We
are aware that many have fled as refugees or migrated to Germany and now live in our midst. We
therefore seek ecumenical friendship with them
in this country too.
Our advocacy for oppressed and persecuted
Christians crosses denominational and ecclesiastical borders, and we also strive to coordinate
the activities of different churches and communities. In intercessory prayer we bring our common concerns before God.
pilgrims during
the Hadsch at the
Kaaba in Mekka
(Saudi Arabia).
Tolerance on an unequal
footing: with Abraham‘s
other son
At first sight, the Arabian Peninsula looks like a
desert, but only then. On closer inspection the
region reveals itself to have great variety of landscape. This extends from Kuwait in the North to
Yemen in the South, from the Red Sea coast to
the shores of what the people on one side call
the Arabian Gulf and its neighbours on the opposite shore the Persian Gulf.
What applies to the Arabian Peninsula can
also be applied to religion. Only at first sight is
“Arabia” simply a Muslim country. The religious
landscape is much more varied and not free
from tension.
A more careful look will make it clear that Islam is a most diverse religion in itself – and like-
wise full of tension and conflict. Sunni and Shia
traditions rub shoulders with one another. Ibadites are another form of this world religion,
found exclusively in Oman. Sunnis and Shiites
also divide into different, competing schools of
law: Hanafites and Hanbalites, Malikites and
Shafiites among the Sunnis, Zaidites and Jafari
on the Shia side. And with the conservative-dogmatic and “puritan” Wahhabism the Hanbalite
form has taken a particular direction that is
chiefly to be found in Saudi Arabia – and not
even all Sunnites in the Saudi kingdom are Wahhabites.
This intra-Islamic diversity in the shadow of
the two most holy sites of Islam – Mecca and
Medina – reflects the wealth of Islam and yet is,
time and again, a cause and result of internal
conflicts: Muslims have clashed with one other
from time to time and this still happens. The
Ibadites withdrew to Oman because they were
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
driven to other parts of the Arabian Peninsula by
other Islamic groups, while the Sunni rulers of
Saudi-Arabia and Bahrain recently put down
demonstrating Shiites during the “Arab Spring”.
In late antiquity the spread of Islam caused
Judaism and Christianity to recede from the Arabian Peninsula. With the spread of the British
Empire in the 18th century, Anglican communities were established and churches built at many
locations in the region. Very soon the Anglicans
were joined by mainly American Protestants
seeking to convert Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. They were fascinated by the culture of
the Bedouins, who reminded them of the nomadic “father” figures of the Old Testament like
Abraham and Ishmael. In 1891, finally, the Reformed Church in America (RCA) launched its
Arab Mission from Basra (Iraq), which it maintained until 1973. The missionaries brought
mainly medical care and educational services,
and achieved minor successes in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Today both Bahrain and Kuwait
have a National Evangelical Church, most of the
members being Christians from other countries.
In the second half of the 20th century, large
numbers of foreigners came to the region mainly through the leap into the age of the oil and
natural gas industry. In some of the Gulf States
they make up over 80 percent of the population.
And these immigrant workers brought their religions with them.
The states of the Arabian Peninsula deal with
this new diversity in different ways. The political and societal circumstances in Kuwait differ
from those in Yemen, in Oman from those in
Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia again they differ
from those in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which all have their own character. The
situation ranges from the strict rejection, even
the absolute prohibition of all things non-Muslim, to laws prescribing tolerance. In many of
the Gulf States there are now Christian congregations and also church buildings. Equally, there
are now Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Wherever this tolerance is practised it is,
however, directed towards people who are generally in the country as “guests” – i.e. as “guest
workers”. The vast majority of these workers
come from Asian countries and are themselves
Evangelical Church in Germany
Muslims. The non-Muslims are mainly Hindus
and Buddhists. Yet the number of Christians
easily runs into tens of thousands. It is not Europeans and North Americans who set the tone,
but Christians from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia
and the Philippines. Even the number of Christians from the Middle Eastern states like Egypt,
the Palestinian territories and Lebanon exceeds
those with their roots in the “West”. Coptic and
Orthodox churches coexist with Anglican and
Roman Catholic ones. Protestant congregations
are extremely rare, however. It is not unusual for
church buildings to be used by a large number of
congregations with many different backgrounds
and languages.
In the whole region Muslims, i.e. local Arabs
are not allowed to change their religion, with
the consequence that non-Muslims are only allowed to practise their religion – if at all – at prescribed locations. They are not allowed to attract
attention e.g. through holding public church
services or processions. Under such conditions
it is hard for the Christian faith to spread and
this is a very slow process.
The Sheikh Zayed
Mosque in
Abu Dhabi is one
of the world’s
largest mosques
and belongs to
the most important buildings of
the United Arab
Emirates. It can
host up to 40.000
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
ties, which come not only from western countries but also from India, Pakistan or South
Korea. Many of these churches are members of
the World Council of Churches. Apart from
them, there are independent Protestant churches: Pentecostal churches and independent
groups that sometimes also meet in private
homes. Among them, in Kuwait for example,
there is a growing number of African Christians,
mainly from Nigeria.
From the family of Oriental and Orthodox
churches the Egyptian Copts can be found in all
Gulf States, particularly strongly in Kuwait
where they number 75,000. Indians from the
Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church are also represented, thanks to various waves of migration.
All these churches ultimately come from
outside the region. By contrast, the number of
indigenous Christians on the Arabian Peninsula
is small. There are only two churches that do not
derive their identity from a foreign church and
are indigenous – i.e. Arab - churches. They are
Protestant churches, namely the National Evangelical Church in Bahrain and the National
Evangelical Church in Kuwait. In Kuwait there
are about 300 local citizens from Christian families. One of them is Reformed pastor Ammanuel
Al Ghareeb, the first Kuwaiti to be ordained.
Pentecost close up:
Christian churches
living side by side in the
Arabian Peninsula
All day there is a lot of hustle and bustle on the
church grounds, as congregations come and go.
We cannot help thinking of the Pentecostal
event: “When the day of Pentecost had come,
they were all together in one place” (Acts 2: 1).
Yet it is no longer Parthians, Medes and Elamites
(Acts 2: 9), but Filipinos, Indians from Kerala
and Bangalore, Pakistanis and Nepalis, people
from Korea and Australia. We even recognize
some from Britain, France, Italy, Germany and
other European countries. People from Jordan,
Lebanon and Syria have gathered there. Groups
from Nigeria and Uganda are to be seen, also
North and South Americans. They hold their
services in their own languages according to
their own liturgies – often in amazing cultural
diversity: Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox and
Lutherans. Yet the big ones grant hospitality to
the smaller ones under their church roof. A
Catholic mass with 2000 present is the rule,
while at the same time a small German expatriate congregation worships in a side room with
30 people attending. They are succeeded by a
Pentecostal congregation from the Philippines.
The church has always been like that, full of variety and colour. And so it is at the Arabian Gulf,
in a Muslim context. In the United Arab Emirates, in Kuwait or in Qatar large blocks of land
are assigned to non-Muslims as places of worship. So a church may stand next to a Hindu
temple. Catholics and Anglicans are mostly the
ones to build large churches, which also accom-
modate the other denominations. And so you
can spend a whole day on a church property and
witness how Syrians, Ethiopians and Nigerians
hold their services, following a centuries-old liturgical tradition or in a completely free form.
In the Gulf region the four large world Christian families are present: the Oriental and Orthodox churches, the Roman Catholic Church,
the Anglican Church and the Protestant family.
In many Gulf States the Catholics are numerically the largest church community. Their
churches accommodate Catholic masses in
countless languages, in some places every day of
the week.
The heading “Protestant” covers the Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed church communi-
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Case study:
Saudi Arabia
Wahhabiti Islam is the state religion, which primarily leads to discrimination against Muslim
minorities such as Shiites. Since all exercise of
religion with the exception of Islam is banned,
this affects Buddhists and Hindus as well as
Christians. Crosses may not be shown or Bibles
imported, pastors are not granted visas, services
have to be held secretly, e.g. in embassies. Human Rights Watch reports repeatedly that Saudi
authorities act unlawfully towards Christians or
other religious minorities and ban the building
of places of worship. March 2012 saw much publicity for a statement by Saudi Arabian Grand
Mufti Abd al-Aziz Ibn Abdullah Al asch-Schaich
in which he confirmed that new church buildings were illegal. He also called for existing
churches to be demolished, including outside
Population: 27,136,977 inhabitants – 75% Saudi
Arabians (over 30% nomads and semi-nomads);
25% immigrants, mainly from Egypt, Jordan, Sudan,
Pakistan, India, Philippines and Indonesia
Religions: 98% Muslims, mainly Sunnites (the ruling
family is Wahhabiti), Shiites in the East; Christians and
Hindus (immigrant workers)
Political system: Absolute monarchy – State religion:
Islam – Islamic law (Sharia) – King nominally also spiritual head (guardian oft he Holy Sites) – no parliament;
Consultative Council with 150 members appointed
by the king for 4 years – right to vote from the age of 21
(only men)
Evangelical Church in Germany
Case study:
The Christian population of the country consists
of approximately 200 Anglicans, 65,000 Copts,
4000 Armenians, 3,500 Greek Orthodox and another 2000 Greek Orthodox united with Rome,
40,000 Protestants and 300,000 Roman Catholics (figures from 2010). There is an indigenous
Protestant church, the National Evangelical
Church. In Kuwait it is prohibited by law to insult Islam and this is punished by up to one
year’s imprisonment. In June 2012 Hamad alNagito was sentenced to ten years imprisonment because he is alleged to have posted a
tweet insulting the prophet. The case has gone
to appeal. Besides the right to freedom of expression, there are occasional threats to women’s rights.
Population: 3,800,000 inhabitants – approx.
40% Kuwaitis (including 150,000–180,000 Bedouins);
60% foreigners
Religions: Kuwaitis: mainly Muslims (70% Sunnis,
30% Shiites); foreigners: mainly Muslims, Christian
and Hindu minorities
Political system: constitution of 1962 – constitutional
monarchy (emirate) – State religion: Islam – Islamic
law (Sharia) – Parliament: National assembly with
65 members – right to vote from the age of 21 (except
for the military and security workers)
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
Case study:
Case study:
United Arab Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates the 2005 census revealed that nine percent of the population are
Christians, with almost half a million of them
then living in the UAE. Almost all Christians are
immigrant workers (88 percent of the population), who in some cases are doing very well economically, while others have to live and work
under inhuman conditions. This fate is shared
with people of other religions. Generally speaking, the human rights situation in the UAE continues to be difficult. According to Amnesty International, there are still arbitrary detentions
and intimidations from opposition forces and
open discrimination against women. The seven
Emirates make compounds available in which
churches may be built. Clergy receive a work
Population: 4,106,427 inhabitants: over 70% Arabs,
up to 10% nomads; Iranians, Indians, Bangladeshis,
Pakistanis and Filipinos; 75% foreigners
Religions: 96% Muslims (80% Sunnites, 16% Shiites),
3% Christians
Political system: 1971 constitution – federation (Ittihad)
of 7 autonomous emirates – state religion: Islam –
Islamic law (Sharia) – parliament: Federal National
People in Germany too have heard reports about
poor conditions on building sites for the FIFA
World Cup stadia being built in Qatar. Such
abuses exist in other states on the Arabian Peninsula as well. They are due to the Kafala system that is commonplace in the Gulf States. This
stipulates that every immigrant worker needs a
local guarantor (Arabic: kafil); this person retains the passports of workers who have no
rights. That way they cannot change employers
if they are badly treated and do not receive the
agreed wage. Despite this system many immigrant workers have no guarantor and work illegally in the country. Many immigrant women
are also employed as domestic workers within
this system. The men sometimes live in communal accommodation, which is extremely overcrowded and allows for no privacy at all. Most of
them have both health and financial problems.
Such labourers and domestic workers find it difficult to leave their workplaces to attend the
services in the church compounds. Small groups
of very committed Christians visit residents in
the communal accommodation, supplying them
with extra food and clothing, and sometimes financial assistance. This social concern is often
accompanied by evangelisation and has brought
some people to Christianity.
Population: 1,699,435 inhabitants: 45% Arabs (20%
from Qatar), 34% Indians and Pakistani, 16% Iranians,
5% diverse
Religions: Muslims (Sunnites, Wahhabiti), among
foreigners also Christians, Hindus and Buddhists
Political system: constitution of 2005 – constitutional
monarchy (emirate) – State religion: Islam – no
parliament; Consultative Council
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
Psalm 102
A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading
before the Lord.
St. May’s Catholic Church Dubai.
Words of introduction
We have gathered today for common worship.
We find that quite normal, just as some of us
wear crosses around our necks. But in many
countries on the Arabian Peninsula things are
quite different. Non-Muslim communities
there are mostly strictly prohibited from practising their religion or otherwise expressing their
faith in public. Christians are small in number,
and most of them are immigrants living and
working in the region. They are only allowed to
practice their faith under great restrictions. As
happens so often with respect to religious freedom, other human rights are violated in the
countries concerned as well.
All Protestant congregations have been invited to say special prayers on this second Sunday in Passiontide, and to bring before God the
situation of our oppressed and persecuted sisters and brothers.
Today we think particularly of the Christians
on the Arabian Peninsula.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
on the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily on the day when I call.
For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
I am too wasted to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my skin.
I am like an owl of the wilderness,
like a little owl of the waste places.
I lie awake;
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread,
and mingle tears with my drink,
because of your indignation and anger;
for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favour it;
the appointed time has come.
For your servants hold its stones dear,
and have pity on its dust.
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die;
so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
He has broken my strength in mid-course;
he has shortened my days.
‘O my God,’ I say, ‘do not take me away
at the mid-point of my life,
you whose years endure
throughout all generations.’
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
To you belong the Earth and those that live on it.
A prayer contributed by the Arab Protestant
Congregation in Stuttgart
Merciful God,
We bring before you today our concern and sadness at the repression, violence and persecution
to which Christians and other religious minorities are exposed in the Arabian Peninsula.
We pray for those who oppress others:
Widen their hearts in the spirit of respect and tolerance.
Transform their hatred into constructive energy.
Strengthen the life together of different religions and cultures.
We pray for the powerful and influential:
Give them courage to continue to stand up for religious freedom and solidarity.
Strengthen honesty and non-corruptibility.
Arouse responsibility to protect minorities.
We pray for our Christian sisters and brothers in the Arabian Peninsula:
Preserve them in firm faith in your Son Jesus Christ.
Be their refuge in times of need, their hope in tribulation, their comfort in fear and mourning.
Jesus Christ, remain their model in love and in suffering.
We pray for all those who are persecuted for their faith:
Preserve them from traumatic experiences.
Send people who open their hearts and homes to them.
Alleviate suffering, bestow freedom, save life.
We pray for ourselves:
Show us how we can live out our bonds with the Christians in the Arabian Peninsula.
Open opportunities to assist, even from afar.
Strengthen our prayers for oppressed fellow Christians all over the world.
We trust in your mercy and praise your goodness through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Triune God, our Father in Heaven,
To you belong the Earth and those that live on it.
There is no region and no people that your love
does not reach and surround. Your love took visible form in the life and death of your Son, Jesus
You have created us in your image. We live
from this dignity, a human dignity that applies
to all without any difference. It pains us that in
the countries of the Arabian Peninsula people do
not receive the same treatment and enjoy the
same rights, but instead that depends on their
nationality, gender, race, language and religion.
We pray for the people in those societies who
suffer injustice, marginalisation and discrimination. May they not be crushed under this burden. Give the decision-makers the insight to
take steps towards more freedom of conscience
and religion, and also to end the death penalty. We pray for a life with dignity for all citizens
and a just distribution of wealth. We pray that
huge resources can be used constructively, for
example for education, and not for military purposes and to gain political power and influence
in the Arab world.
We pray for the voiceless millions of refugees
and migrant workers from all over the world
who live in the Gulf region; in most cases, they
are without protection in their exposure to arbitrary treatment and unable to assert their rights
before the law. For the Christians among them
we pray for wisdom enabling them to live out
their faith in the midst of all the restrictions.
May they experience your peace and the comfort
of your presence in the midst of a dismissive
and hostile environment. Give special grace to
the 100,000 Asian Christians entrusted with
giving child care to the next generation.
Protect the Christian women whose poverty
has made them become victims of human trafficking, and also the domestic servants who are
exposed to abuse and arbitrary treatment at the
hands of their masters.
We ask your mercy on the many tourists,
business people and patients who come to Germany from the Gulf region. May they encounter
Christians who offer them the sincere and inviting love of Jesus.
We commend the congregations to you. We
give thanks for the small-scale freedoms enjoyed by migrant workers in the United Arab
Emirates. However, for Saudi Arabia we ask for
more freedom of assembly, that Christians may
hold church services without fear, without
charges of immoral behaviour only because men
and women are in the same room, and without
arbitrary arrests.
We pray for those who have got to know the
Christian faith via television, the internet or social networks and have decided to follow Christ.
Give them lucidity and wisdom.
We bring before you Maryam, who had to flee
her home country because of her decision of
faith. Be with the two men who helped her and
were detained and whipped for doing so. And we
pray for Sara, who is still fleeing in the Middle
East; give her a safe place of refuge before her
Saudi passport expires and she is deported. Be
with both of them, and with others who are in
detention, so that they may sense your nearness
in their loneliness and be comforted by it. You are the Father of all who are separated
from their families for the sake of their faith.
You are the Helper of those who are oppressed
and have to suffer injustice. Give them steadfastness and renew their joy in you.
Give us an ever new awareness of the worldwide family of your children. In the company of
all of them, we come before you today. Then you
will wipe away all tears and we will see you and
together sing your praises.
(by Rev. Dr. Hanna Josua)
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Prayer contributed by Christians
from the region
(The congregation divides into two groups.)
Outer circle:
God, bless our feet
which have journeyed for so many miles.
Will they take us down the right path to safety,
to a new place to call home?
Inner circle:
Lord, give our feet strength
to accompany our brothers and sisters
who have been uprooted from their homelands.
Outer circle:
God, bless our legs.
We have been told to wait, told to stand,
told to move as we are in the wrong line.
Come back tomorrow, they say, to wait.
Inner circle:
Lord, give our legs strength
to stand in solidarity,
to stand alongside those people
who are waiting to find a safe place to rest.
Outer circle:
God, bless our arms
as they bear the weight of our few possessions
and the small children that we must carry.
Inner circle:
Lord, give our arms strength
to reach out to the newcomer,
making each one welcome.
Outer circle:
God, bless our hands,
which are cracked and bleeding
from the endless search to find work,
to find food,
to hold onto those few strands of our
former lives.
Evangelical Church in Germany
Inner circle:
Lord, give our hands strength
to work for justice and righteousness. Outer circle:
God, bless our mouths
as we continue to ask endless questions.
Where can we go to find peace?
Where can we find our mothers,
our children?
Who can tell us where to go next?
Inner circle:
Lord, open our mouths
to speak words of kindness to the newcomer,
to demand justice for all people,
to defend those most in need.
Outer circle:
God, bless our ears
So they will be ready to hear the many instructions
in foreign languages
Inner circle:
Lord, open our ears
to hear your words
as spoken by the lonely and oppressed.
Outer circle:
God, bless our heads,
so tired from thinking what to do next,
where to go next,
how to learn yet another language,
to learn the rules of another country’s bureaucracy.
Inner circle:
Lord, help us to recognize the Christ in each
one of us.
From the Litany of Uprooted People, in
On Frequent Journeys,
edited by Rebekah Chevalier,
The United Church of Canada, 1997, 59-61.
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
Evangelical Church in Germany
Amnesty International Report 2013. The state of
the world’s human rights
World Report 2013: Events of 2012,
Human Rights Watch (ed.),
New York, 2013.
Lewis R. Scudder Jr.: Evangelical Missions a
nd Churches in the Middle East. IV: Iraq and
the Gulf. in: Middle East Council of Churches:
Christianity. A History in the Middle East,
London, 2005, 747-755
Market Bur
Dubai Souk.
You can support the work of the Evangelical Church in Germany for oppressed and persecuted
Christians with a free-will offering at your service. We assist partner churches in different countries in asserting their right to religious freedom. This non-bureaucratic assistance includes both
grants for erecting church buildings and also the financing of legal aid for individuals or communities exposed to arbitrary treatment on the part of their state authorities.
Bank details:
Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland
Account No 660000
sort code 52060410
Bank: EKK Hannover eG
IBAN: DE05 5206 0410 0000 6600 00
Reference: Cost centre 52.5410.29 – Aid for persecuted Christians
World Evangelical Alliance: International Day of
Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Intercessory prayer for oppressed and persecuted Christians The countries of the Arabian Peninsula
This resource was compiled by the
Church Office of the Evangelical Church
in Germany (EKD) in cooperation with
Office of the United Evangelical
Lutheran Church of Germany,
Office of the Union of
Evangelical Churches,
Hanover Churches and Missions in Germany,
EKD Center for Quality Development
in Church Services,
Council of Churches in Germany,
Church Office of the
Evangelical Church
in Germany
Herrenhäuser Straße 12
30419 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 2796 0
Printed by:
Wanderer Werbedruck Horst Wanderer GmbH,
Bad Münder
Anne-Ulrike Thursch Gestaltungskonzepte,
Photo credits:
Title: Reinhold Kiss /
p. 3: EKD, Fotograf: Steffen Roth
p. 4: wattwurm25 /
p. 5: epd-Bild
p. 7: Bildpixel /
p. 8-13: stepmap
p. 14: KNA
p. 16/17: Dieter Schütz /
p. 18: M. Hermsdorf /
p. 20: tokamuwi /
Intercessions for oppressed and persecuted Christians
Reminiscere (second Sunday in Lent), 16 March 2014

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