Lent 2021

“I wait for your salvation, LORD.”

Genesis 49:18

Praying together for persecuted Christians

Lent 2021

Fasting and praying together

The 40 days before Easter invite us not only to renounce things, but also to renew ourselves. By fasting and praying, we calm down and focus on what is essential. Prayer plays a central role in this. It changes us and our reality in the best sense. This also applies to our concrete legal concerns. We invite you to join us in praying for a different case or concern each week.

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The three elements of Lent

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1. WEEK OF LENT

Wednesday 17.02. – Saturday 20.02.

Seeking justice for victims of forced “conversion”

It’s been four months since Jagra Kashyap, 45, became partially deaf. Demanding that he and his son renounce Christianity, a mob of around 60 extremists stormed their home one morning, pounding his ear until it bled while delivering severe blows to his son’s back. Jagra will wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life as a result. In Chhattisgarh state’s Dhamtari District, Christians have been subject to death threats and false accusations. With support from ADF International, allied lawyers are seeking justice for the Kashyap family before the magistrate.

We pray for the courage of the courts to use existing legislation to stop this alarming practice of forced conversion, and to stand up to pressure from extremist groups.

2. WEEK OF LENT

Sunday 21.02. – Saturday 27.02.

Speaking up for Nigeria’s persecuted Christians

Holidays can mark times of intense danger for Jesus’ followers in Nigeria. This past Christmas Eve, Boko Haram attacked multiple Christian villages, killing seven individuals and kidnapping seven more. Terrorists beheaded 11 Christians on video on Christmas Day the year before. Seventeen Christians were killed during an attack on a Christening service in Nassarawa State on Palm Sunday in 2019. On Easter Sunday 2019, 13 young boys were mowed down by car during an Easter-procession. 13,000 churches have been closed or destroyed as a result of violence in recent years. ADF International’s Global Religious Freedom team is working to ensure that the plight of Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere is made known to those in power on the world stage.

We pray for those affected by violent attacks because of their faith. We pray that governments do all they can to protect religious minorities and respect the fundamental right to freedom of religion.

3. WEEK OF LENT

Sunday 28.02. – Saturday 06.03.

Promoting LIFE for India’s “Vanishing Girls”

Every baby deserves the chance to be born. But in India and other parts of the world, girls face sex-based discrimination at the most vulnerable stage of their lives – in the womb. The #VanishingGirls campaign seeks to end discrimination against our youngest girls, and promote the principles of LIFE – Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality. Our legal team raises awareness on the issue by providing legal training to a network of attorneys. They inform women of their rights in order to help them stand better protected when under pressure.

We pray for protection for the most vulnerable lives worldwide, and for a cultural transformation that will cherish the inherent dignity of every person.

4. WEEK OF LENT

Sunday 07.03. – Saturday 13.03.

Protecting prayer and support for women in need

Alina was “abandoned and alone” when she arrived at an appointment for a consultation for an abortion she didn’t want. Thankfully, a pro-life volunteer was there to offer help. Alina accepted the offer and today flourishes as a mother – but women in her London district of Ealing who now turn up at the same facility will not have the same opportunity. The local council have imposed a ban on counselling and even silent prayer on the street outside the building. This ban on help has since been taken up in the nearby district of Richmond, as well as in Fallowfield (Manchester), and is being campaigned for in Scotland. Similar rules have arisen on the continent, including in the Netherlands and Germany. We are supporting courageous women like Alina all over Europe in challenging counselling and prayer bans, so that the offer of help may still be available at their point of need.

We pray for vulnerable women and their unborn children who are facing challenges as they prepare for motherhood, and for the pro-life volunteerswho boldly and lovingly offer support to those in need.

5. WEEK OF LENT

Sunday 14.03. – Saturday 20.03.

Advocating for freedom of worship in Russia

It was a typical Sunday for Baptist friends and families gathering at Vitaliy Bak’s home in Verkhnebakansky, Russia, when a knock at the door led to authorities stopping the service, and ultimately sealing off the building to stop the group from meeting at this residence. Russian law prohibits small religious groups from purchasing, or building and registering, a designated church building. When the authorities relied on zoning laws to ban them from gathering in a private home, Vitaliy’s group was left with nowhere to freely exercise their fundamental right to freedom of religion. ADF International has taken Vitaliy Bak’s case to the European Court of Human Rights, in the hope that it will set a precedent for protecting other religious minority groups across Russia and the rest of Europe.

We pray for Vitaliy and the many other Christians who are prohibited from worshipping in accordance with their faith. We pray for the wisdom of courts who will hear such cases and have opportunities to restore fundamental freedoms.

6. WEEK OF LENT

Sunday 21.03. – Saturday 27.03.

Raising the next generation of leaders

In recent years, ADF International’s week-long Areté Academy has equipped young Christians to become leaders in their career fields. The holistic program offers training in a biblical worldview, together with specialized professional, spiritual, intellectual and relational development. Our alumni community has grown in strength in supporting one another’s efforts across the globe to uphold fundamental freedoms and human dignity. While lockdowns have posed challenges in organizing live training and events, we focus all the more on online outreach to cultivate the important relationships needed by young people engaged in making a difference. Our team keeps recruiting and selecting outstanding future Delegates around the world and starts equipping them to positively impact law, government, and culture-shaping institutions of their nations.

We pray for intergenerational support in representing grace and truth worldwide, despite the difficulties posed to travel and to planning during this season. We pray for young people in past and future Arete classes, rooting their values deeply in God’s word, and shaping tomorrow’s society.

7. WEEK OF LENT

Sunday 28.03. – Saturday 03.04.

Keeping the doors open for the gospel in Turkey

On 12th October 2018, Pastor Andrew Brunson was finally released from imprisonment in Turkey, where he had been punished for sharing his Christian faith. The very next morning, Canadian-American Christian David Byle was unfairly arrested and detained overnight by security police in Ankara, and ordered to leave the country. Throughout his two decades of missionary service while living in Turkey, Byle had faced a number of short-term detentions and interrogations, three times resulting in attempted deportations – but all had been ultimately stopped by court rulings in his favour. The authorities now insist that he is a “threat to public order and security” and have banned him from re-entering the country. Our legal team is seeking justice for the Byle family at the European Court of Human Rights.

We pray for Christians in Turkey and elsewhere sharing the gospel in challenging environments. We pray that the Courts will restore justice and peace to missionary families who are sharing truth and living out their faith.

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Three ways to get involved

PRAY

Please keep the protection of human life, global freedom of religion and conscience, as well as marriage and family in your prayers.

LEARN

Find out about where and how Christians are currently being threatened, discriminated against, and persecuted. Share your new knowledge with others.

GIVE

Make a financial contribution to support the work that our team does to protect fundamental freedoms and promote inherent dignity worldwide.

Thank you for your support!