What God is Saying:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pray for Ethiopia's elections today

Emergency Prayer Alert-ETHIOPIA
Ethiopian Elections - Pray NOW!
On May 23, 2010, Ethiopia will be holding parliamentary elections for the first time since 2005.  Conflict over the legitimacy of the last round of voting resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries.  Many of those who opposed the ruling party were arrested and some are still in prison.

Ethiopia flagEthiopia is the "oldest independent country in Africa (never ruled by colonial powers except from 1936-1941)) and one of the oldest in the world."  In 1974, a military junta seized power and created a socialist state.  "Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems," one source reports, "the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces.

Today, the nation calls itself a democratic republic.  Multiparty elections have been held since 1995.  They were won by Meles Zenawi, who is still in office today.

The most recent round of elections - 2005 - were won by Zenawi and his Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).  "But the opposition cried foul and their supporters took to the streets."  Hundreds were killed and injured, and hundreds more were arrested.  Some are still imprisoned.

Zenawi has been accused of being an "strongman" - a leader who rules through intimidation and threats of violence.  He has even been called a tyrant and a dictator, and is expected to hold on to his seat of power for as long as possible.

As political maneuvering continues to take place, many Ethiopians are suffering the effects of poverty.  Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in Africa and, therefore, in the world.  Fifty million of Ethiopia's 80 million residents lives in "abject poverty."

"The fact is," reports allAfrica.com, "poor Ethiopians are tired of whatver kind of authoritarianism:  40 plus years of Haile Selassie, 17 years of Mengistu and now 18 years of Meles Zenawi.  The ongoing political chaos has weakened their spirit.  It is too much to endure...."

  • the May 23 elections to be an opportunity to bring needed change to Ethiopia.  Pray for this to be a season of hope for the people of this beleaguered nation.  (The Bible, Proverbs 24:14)
  • the Lord to call forth and raise up leaders who care about the citizens and will respond to their needs.  Pray for men and women of integrity, who fear God and will serve the people in humility.  (The Bible, Daniel 2:21)
  • peace before, during and after the elections.  Pray for any rigging to be exposed and for the results to be just and fair.  Pray for the outcome to be accepted by the people.  (The Bible, Proverbs 29:26)
  • unity in the Church in Ethiopia.  Ask the Lord to fill Believers with His Holy Spirit and make them bold witnesses in a nation that is seeing an increasing influence from Islam.  (The Bible, Romans 12:5; Ephesians 6:19)
  • the Lord to provide relief from the poverty that is smothering Ethiopia.  Pray for new ideas, new resources and for opportunities that will bring forth prosperity.  (The Bible, Psalm 25:12,13)
  • Ethiopians to hear and respond to the Gospel, putting their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  (The Bible, Romans 10:9)

Sources:  BBC News, allAfrica.com, World Factbook, mapsofworld.com

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