Published: 10:58 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 13 January 2011
Operation Nehemiah: News and Prayer Update #9
Country/Region: United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand
Dear Operation Nehemiah Supporters,
Happy New Year for 2011! May you know the Lord’s blessings in the next twelve months. We would also encourage you to pray with family and friends for the work of Operation Nehemiah in this critical year.
European Commission “forgets” Christmas and Easter
Recently the European Commission produced more than three million copies of an EU diary for secondary schools. This Euro calendar recognises a wide range of other religious festivals, showing Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities as well as Europe Day and other key EU anniversaries. Yet no Christian festivals are included, even though Christmas and Easter are national holidays across the continent.
It is hard to imagine how such a diary could be produced, in what a Commission spokesman frankly described as a “blunder”. Yet Christians witnessing the marginalisation of their faith across many parts of Europe may feel that it is just part of a wider picture, in which every belief system except Christianity is respected and given public space.
Uproar at New Zealand’s largest mosque
|Auckland Skyline by Joerg Mueller
CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
New Zealand is not generally associated with Muslim radicalism, jihad or violence. Yet recent claims and counter-claims between different groups at Auckland's Jamia Musjid Al-Mustafa mosque include accusations that the imam, Abdul Qadir Siddiquei, preached violence against members of minority Islamic sects and ran a madrassa (Islamic school) for boys that encouraged jihad. Police had to intervene at a tense meeting in mid-December as members confronted, wrestled with and abused one another. Apparently one leading member has filed a police complaint for assault against other members.
It is encouraging that the custom of community silence about such issues is starting to be broken in some areas, and that some Muslims are prepared to stand up in opposition to radicalism, violence and intimidation.
- Please pray for Christians in positions of responsibility in government and other institutions, for courage and the Lord’s guidance as they deal with difficult issues.
- Pray for the situation in our own country and others, as aggressive secular and anti-Christian trends are often allied with groups seeking the advance of Islam and other faiths.
- Pray for police and other agents of security and justice as they deal with sensitive cases involving minority groups and religions. Pray that political correctness will not outweigh law and order, or the interests or rights of others.
- Pray for all those from whatever background who are willing to stand up and be counted in opposition to violence, intimidation and corruption.