Ramadan spotlight: India

Source:                 www.MNNonline.org

Date:                     June 25, 2015

 

A mosque in New Delhi.  (Photo credit: MNN/Katey Hearth)

A mosque in New Delhi.
(Photo credit: MNN/Katey Hearth)

India (MNN) — Most people who are praying for the Muslim world during Ramadan probably focus on the Middle East.

It’s fairly common to associate followers of the Islam with the Middle East; according to the Pew Research Center, 93% of the Middle East-North Africa’s 341 million residents are Muslim.

But did you know India has a huge Muslim population, too?

“Most people don’t think of India as a country that would have very many Muslims, but it’s actually one of the three most-populated Muslim nations,” shares Lindsay Ackerman of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India.

Ramadan in India

The most holy month on the Islamic calendar is observed each year by around 180 million Muslims in India. By 2050, Pew expects over 300 million Indian Muslims will be fasting and seeking encounters with God during Ramadan.

“It’s a spiritual time for them,” Ackernman notes. “It’s also a time…for our ministry partners to focus in on praying for [Muslims] and ministering to them.”

(Photo courtesy of Mission India)

(Photo courtesy of Mission India)

For most Mission India volunteers, it’s merely an extension of what they’ve been doing all along.

“They’re knocking on doors; they’re meeting people out in public areas and just striking up conversations,” says Ackerman.

Through Adult Literacy classes and Children’s Bible Clubs, Gospel workers cross paths with Muslim adults and children. Friendships are formed along the way, and as conversations turn toward spiritual matters, Mission India partners get a chance to share Christ.

“It’s an opportunity, during Ramadan especially, for our partners to reach out and continue to minister, to continue to grow and develop those relationships among Muslims,” Ackerman says.

It may also be one of the only times unreached people groups are open to talking about spiritual matters.With over 2,000, India is the #1 source of unreached people groups, according to Operation World.

“350 of those people groups are Muslim people groups,” Ackerman observes.

So what?

Those two factors make it especially important to pray for Indian Christians during the rest of Ramadan.

MNI_india kid praying 11-29-12

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

“Our prayer would really be…that God would raise up people to reach each of those unreached people groups [and for] an opportunity for that Gospel to be introduced for the first time,” Ackerman states.

For the next 22 days of Ramadan, will you join us in praying that believers in India will be brave enough to share Christ with at least one Muslim?

“The transformation really starts with that first believer, that first person who receives the Gospel and then is able to share that Good News in their family and among their friends.”

At Mission India’s website, you can help them equip indigenous Christians to share their faith through Children’s Bible Clubs or Adult Literacy Classes.

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