The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.
Recently, we’ve seen Daesh (Islamic State, or IS) and IS-linked groups carrying out attacks around the world: from Nigeria to Indonesia, Egypt to Syria, and more recently, in the UK. As we watch scenes of horror unfold in London and Manchester, it’s helpful to reflect on, in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s words, “the eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ, but as well as that, the deep resources we have in our faith…to face up to these things with courage.”
Courage can be hard to find when we see violence in places familiar to us, or experience the incalculable pain of losing someone we love to terrorism. CSW has many years of experience working in situations where religious intolerance and extremism lead to violence – so that’s why we’re praying with a global perspective for courage and healing for all those affected by Daesh attacks, in the UK and beyond.
Pray for Indonesia
In Indonesia, on 24 May, two suspected suicide bombers killed three police officers and injured ten people in two detonations near a bus station in the capital, Jakarta. This is part of a series of low-level attacks by Daesh over the last year and a half.
Attacks in Egypt
In Egypt, the three-month state of emergency continues following April’s attacks by Daesh on two churches, that killed 44 people and left many more injured. Just a month later, masked gunmen opened fire on three buses containing Christian families and schoolchildren visiting a monastery. Daesh has claimed responsibility for this attack as well, and in May a Daesh-affiliated magazine published an article in which the group’s purported leader in Egypt boasted of continuing attacks on Christians.
Terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab and Boko Haram continue their campaigns of terror in Sub-Saharan Africa, with al-Shabaab recently replacing Boko Haram as the world’s deadliest terror group. Al-Shabaab recently claimed responsibility for 11 attacks in Kenya over a three-week period, including one that killed eight police officers. In Nigeria, Boko Haram has attacked villages near Chibok, in Borno State, leaving at least 21 people dead. More recently they attacked an area in the capital Maiduguri, but were eventually pushed back by the army.
The resources of our faith
Our God is global, and powerful: he is God in Jakarta, Alexandria, Chibok, and London and Manchester too. Psalm 9:9 says ‘The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.’ He is not limited by geography, time, or borders. How amazing that we can bring each and every person affected by terror in the world to him.
In summary, please pray:
- For God’s presence to comfort and heal all those affected by Daesh attacks
- For God to give strength and courage to the families of all the victims
- That God would protect religious minorities everywhere from violence and terror
- For God to stop the plans of Daesh, al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and other related groups to carry out violent attacks.