[ENI by Hisashi Yukimoto] Malaysian churches are organizing major prayer meetings on 16 September, when the country begins celebrating the 50th anniversary of its political federation and looks toward a national general election expected to be held before June 2013.
"We invite all Christians in this nation to join us in worship and prayer," said the organizing group, Prayer United. The meetings will be held at the 13,000-seat Stadium Melawati, southwest of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, as well as 32 other locations nationwide. The National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving event will be hosted by the Council of Churches in Malaysia (CCM).
Prayer United was founded on 5 July by Protestant churches in Malaysia, including the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) Malaysia, the CCM, and denominational and regional Pastors'/Ministers' Fellowships.
"There was [a] general agreement that the country is facing many critical issues and the Malaysian Church needs to come together in prayer," they said on 30 July.
The issues include "ethnic and religious tensions, religious freedom and religious intolerance, poverty, marginalization and exploitation of indigenous people and large numbers of urban poor, the need for godly and corrupt-free leadership in government, an independent judiciary, certain human rights abuses, holistic and unbiased reform of the education system," the Rev. Andy Chi, a joint secretary of the Prayer United, told ENInews in an email.
"And it was noted that, if the Church is to play a significant role in national transformation, we must take seriously the call to live as a holy people, to strive for genuine unity, and to pour our hearts out in prayer for our nation," the group said.
Christians make up nine percent of the 25 million people in the country, where over sixty percent are Muslim, according to the CCM.