Praying Through the Window III -- October, 1997

The Unreached Peoples

Day 13

Urdu Homeland: India, Pakistan
Religion: Islam

In Urdu-speaking Muslim communities, life revolves around the family-from a child's first days when the local imam (Muslim leader) prays over him in the family home, to his death and a funeral full of wailing and mourning, the members of his extended family live out life together, often sharing a compound with many relatives. Independent actions and decisions are rare, and marriages are arranged by one's parents. Many work in family businesses, passed down for generations. While still a small minority in this vast country, more Muslims live in India than in the whole Middle East. Muslims dominate both Pakistan and Bangladesh, where it is illegal for them to convert to Christianity. While conversion is legal in India, Muslims interested in Christianity in all three countries face severe family and community pressure. Making an independent decision for Christ is social suicide. Converts lose family, jobs, and reputations, and may be physically abused. The dominance of the family in Urdu-speaking Muslim communities is by no means unique, and need not be a barrier to the gospel. During the time of Jesus decisions were made together by the family and community, rarely by a single individual.

God, move whole communities to repent and confess Jesus as Lord together.

Muslims of Deccan Homeland: South India
Religion: Islam

Muslims of India's arid Deccan Plateau are among the poorest of the poor. Decanni Muslims lost much of their political power when other Muslims fled to Pakistan and what is now Bangladesh, and Hindus dominated India. Today most Decanni work in low-status jobs such as blacksmiths or shopkeepers. Most of the Christians in India live in the south, but little is being done to reach their Muslim neighbors.

Holy Spirit, move the hearts of many Indian believers to penetrate the tightly knit Deccan Muslim communities.

Kashmiri Homeland: India, Pakistan
Religion: Islam, Hinduism

Amid the western Himalayas, the valley of Kashmir is a smooth, oval emerald set in a forest of towering peaks. Called the paradise of the Indies with pine forests, deep lakes, flower carpeted meadows, and fields of iridescent saffron, Indians today long to visit there and it serves as the setting for countless romantic films. Before the 8th century this site became a center of Brahmin learning and later a Muslim cultural center as well. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and others have all influenced Kashmiri cultural development. In 1947, when Britain divided the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan, a dispute over Kashmir resulted in millions of deaths in bloody riots. Today Kashmiri Muslims fight for an independent Kashmir, and many are willing to die for the cause. This has led to atrocities committed by both the Kashmiri and the Indian government, resulting in terrorism, refugee camps, and severe economic hardships.

Lord, as the Prince of Peace, bring the Kashmiri into the land that is their true inheritance and use these current hardships to lead Kashmiri to yourself.

Maldivian Homeland: Maldive Islands
Religion: Islam

The Maldivian people give their name to the Maldive islands, some 2,000 islands south west of the tip of India. Of all the islands, only 202 are habitable and the highest point is only six feet above sea level. The government enforces allegiance to Islam and restricts Christian media and literature even among the expatriate community. Maldives remains one of the most restricted Muslim countries in the world. Most Maldivians earn their living through fishing, shipping, and tourism. Many keep animistic practices, trusting charms, mantras, and fandita or spirit men, to protect them from evil spirits. Some 85 percent of their marriages end in divorce, a rate among the highest in the world.

God of glory, among the Maldivians there is no sweet aroma of praise to you. Touch their hearts to give the praise you are due.

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