Date: January 9, 2021
‘We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.’ - Luke 1:74-75 NLT
Zechariah’s Spirit-filled prophecy in the first chapter of Luke reminds us that God is truly our Saviour – from our enemies on earth as well as from the burden of sin. Pray this week for God's victory and rescue in India.
Campaigners around the world continue to call for the release of Father Stan Swamy. The 83-year-old Jesuit priest is the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India.
Father Swamy has been working with the Adivasis (members of indigenous tribes) for over three decades, and days before his arrest he announced that he had filed a case in the Jharkand High Court on behalf of 3,000 unjustly imprisoned young Adivasis.
He was arrested on 9 October and has been in custody ever since.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi India has furthered its pursuit of a Hindu rashtra (nation), in which the only way to be Indian is to be Hindu, and where religious minorities face wide-ranging discrimination and human rights violations.
In this context, it's not surprising that those who, like Father Swamy, stand up for the vulnerable are targeted.
Update: Zhang Zhan sentenced
On Boxing Day we asked you to pray for Zhang Zhan, a Chinese Christian human rights defender who covered the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. She was sentenced on 28 December to four years in prison on the charge of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’, a charge often levelled at activists.
Pray for her physical and mental health, especially as she has been on hunger strike in protest of her imprisonment, and pray that the unjust sentence will be overturned.
In summary, please pray:
- Thank God for the international outpouring of support for Father Stan Swamy and pray that it will be effective.
- Ask God to protect Father Swamy in prison as he already suffers from multiple health issues, and being in prison increases his risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Pray that India's government will have a change of heart, and that they will work towards creating a nation where everyone is truly free to believe.