26,000 Attending Huge Evangelistic Rally in Egypt

A huge three-day evangelistic rally called "Count it Right" began today (Thursday) in Egypt. The event is being held 70 miles north of Cairo in an evangelical church conference facility. More than 26,000 people bought tickets to attend the event. Tickets for the rally were sold out two weeks ago.

The participants have the opportunity to visit several tents, stages and galleries where the message of the gospel will be presented through creative ways. In addition, there will be morning and evening worship services followed by a preached message. The daily program includes an extreme motorcycle sports show, an art gallery, theatre performances, films and a children’s zone activity center. To follow live streams during parts of the day directly from the event, go to http://stream.kdec.net/

Please pray for the following:

  • Transportation safety for participants who are being transported daily from Cairo, Alexandria and other cities by buses and other vehicles in the early morning and back to their cities in the evening. Update: All the buses arrived safely this morning without any reports of accidents or incidents.
  • In such an unstable time in Egypt, pray against any wicked plans of the devil to attack the event or any of the participants.
  • Pray against any person who might infiltrate among the participants to cause distraction or chaos.
  • Because the organizers do not know how many Muslims may have purchased tickets for the rally, please pray for them that their lives may be changed to know Jesus as their Savior by the love they will feel from the staff and by the life changing-messages.
  • Pray for over 1,000 workers, volunteers, performers, worship leaders and preachers that they will have the wisdom needed to run such a massive event and their words may lead people to come to Christ.

Egypt is ranked No. 25 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

State Department Designates Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Group

The United States State Department Wednesday announced that it has designated Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist group (FTO). The department also classified splinter group, Ansaru, an FTO.

Boko Haram has links to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahreb (AQIM) and is responsible for thousands of deaths in its efforts to rid northern Nigeria of its Christian testimony and impose Islamic law (Sharia). In May the Nigerian government announced a State of Emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states in an effort to end the insurgency. Ansaru is a Boko Haram splinter group that has attacked several western and Nigerian targets. It claimed responsibility for the kidnap and murder of seven international construction workers earlier in 2013.

The consequences of these designations include a prohibition against providing material support or resources to the groups or engaging in transactions with them. It also means that all its property and interests in property in the U.S. or that are connected to U.S. persons will be frozen. These designations will assist U.S. and other law enforcement partners in efforts to investigate and prosecute terrorist suspects associated with Boko Haram and Ansaru. An United Nations aid agency estimates that the Nigerian government’s offensive against Boko Haram has pushed nearly 40,000 refugees into neighboring Niger. Thousands have also spilled into Cameroon.

Open Doors’ Africa director commented: “The effect of Boko Haram activity in northern Nigeria will be felt in the Christian community of northern Nigeria for years to come. Hundreds of families have lost breadwinners and thousands of families have been uprooted. Congregations, particularly in Yobe and Borno states, have been adversely affected by the instability and the threat against them. We have been praying for breakthroughs in the government’s efforts to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency and believe this important step by the U.S. State Department can strengthen the Nigerian government’s efforts to end the suffering of northern Nigerians at the hands of the terrorists.” Pray for Open Doors workers who travel across northern Nigeria to minister to Christians who have been affected by Boko Haram violence. Pray for protection and that the Lord would use them to encourage His suffering children in northern Nigeria. The country is ranked No. 13 on the World Watch List.

Philippines: Open Doors Offers Prayer Points for Typhoon Victims

Open Doors stands in solidarity with our Filipino brothers and sisters who are now suffering in the wake of the world’s worst tropical cyclone ever recorded. Open Doors urges the Body of Christ worldwide to pray with us for:

  • God’s presence to comfort the families who have lost their loved ones and homes over the weekend when Typhoon Haiyan struck towns and cities in the central Philippines.
  • God’s peace to restore order in the typhoon-affected areas. Local news agencies report rampant looting and even hijacking of trucks carrying relief goods.
  • God’s power to enable the Philippine government to deliver aid at the soonest possible time, and to mobilize as many Filipino churches as possible in providing relief and trauma counseling to devastated Filipino families.

Open Doors’ work in the southern Philippines – especially in Zamboanga in Mindanao province – over the years includes providing relief products and refuge for victims of an on-going conflict between government troops and Muslim rebels, training of church leaders, social-economic programs and literacy and discipleship ministries. The Mindanao province was not directly affected by the typhoon.

(For more information or to set up interviews, call Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email jerryd@odusa.org. The Open Doors USA website is www.OpenDoorsUSA.org).