Day 1. Uyghur in China (WEE-gur)
The Uyghurs are Turkic peoples who have occupied Central Asia for at least 1000 years. In 1921 various Turkic leaders met and chose the name “Uyghur” for their identity, meaning "unity" or "alliance." They invented an ingenious irrigation system piping mountain water into oases, enabling them to grow a variety of crops in dry lands. The Uyghurs are Sunni Muslims with some folk practices, though in China's cities young Uyghurs tend not to be religious.
Most Uyghurs live in western China, Xinjiang province, a police state of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Over one million Uyghurs have been forced into “re-education” camps. Uyghur leaders say the CCP is taking the DNA of their people and forcing detainees to renounce their Uyghur identity, speak only Mandarin, and pledge allegiance to the Communist Party. Significant evidence suggests that some incarcerated Uyghurs are being killed for use in the lucrative Chinese organ transplant industry. (https://endtransplantabuse.org/rt201,7l/) Uyghur families are being slowly destroyed. Uyghur children in orphanages are given new identities and women are forced to marry Chinese men against their will, because of the limited female population among the Han Chinese that resulted from the “one child rule.”. The Bible is available in Western script in the Uyghur (Uighur) language (2010).
Prayers for the Uyghur families in China:
Lord, send Han Chinese believers to show the compassion of Christ towards the Uyghurs, and to love and protect their families during this time of crisis. Humble the Chinese authorities, as true authority only comes from You, the Lord of heaven. Please deliver the Uyghers and other peoples of China from unjust oppression.
Lord, strengthen any Uyghur believers as they suffer. May your Holy Spirit fill the internment camps, bringing the believers Your peace and presence. Give them access to Your Word and the power to love and lead others to You.
Lord, open the hearts of Uyghur families and religious leaders to Jesus, so He can bring God's forgiveness and blessings to their communities. Reveal to them that Jesus suffered even death so they can have eternal life, and help them spread this to others.
The Blessing: You heard my plea: "Do not close Your ears to my cry for relief." You came near when I called You, and You said, "Do not fear." O Lord, You took up my case; You redeemed my life. (Lam. 3:56-58)
Day 2. Northern Yemeni Arabs in Yemen (YEH-meh-nee)
Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, with a history of wars and conquests. A current civil war between the Shi’ite Houthis (backed by Iran) and the Sunni Arab coalition (backed by Saudi Arabia) has left some 17.8 million people at risk of starvation.
Seaports of entry for humanitarian supplies have been bombed and lack of clean water has resulted in a cholera outbreak with over one million cases reported. Yemen boys are recruited to fight and young girls are sold as child brides as a way for families to earn money. Few Yemeni children attend school for risk of death and injury. Terrorist cell groups like Al-Qaeda and addiction to their drug cash crop “qat” add to their suffering.
Many Yemeni Arabs have left the country and settled in diaspora groups in Saudi Arabia, and the West. While there have been some witnesses over the centuries, Yemen remains one of the most unreached countries in the world and embracing Jesus carries heavy penalties in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni languages do not have a complete Bible, and only portions of Scripture have been translated into some of their languages.
Prayers for the families in Yemen:
Lord, have mercy on the families of Yemen, healing their trauma and reunite them. Deliver them from the suffering caused by war, famine, disease, drugs and terrorist activities. Purify their faith in You and bless the families that follow Jesus in the way of peace. Sprout the seeds of Your word that You have planted in their hearts.
Lord, increase the spiritual hunger of the Yemeni Sunni and Shi’ite leaders in Yemen and in the diaspora. Show them how to worship You, the one true God, in Spirit and Truth through Your Messiah, Jesus (Isa). Provide translations of Your Word in their language in forms they can access, like phone apps, written and audio.
Lord, bless Yemeni families in both the diaspora and in Yemen, as the Spirit of God leads them to seek, discuss and apply Your Word. Give Yemeni families the desire to embrace Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah), depending on Him alone for salvation. Spread Your hope from family to family in both the diaspora and Yemen.
Praise God for His heart for Yemenis in the desert of suffering: "You are the God who sees me," Hagar said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." (Gen. 16:13)
Day 3. Brahmin in India (BRAH-min)The Brahmins are considered to be a priestly caste. Historically, Brahmins and kings were the dominant social and religious forces in many of the kingdoms that developed in pre-modern India. The first prime minister of modern India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a member of the Brahmin caste. Today the Brahmins continue to be a powerful and influential group in India, still holding their high caste status.
While only around 10% of Brahmins continue to perform traditional Hindu religious duties, most seek jobs as educators, law makers, scholars, doctors, warriors, writers, poets, land owners and politicians. Changes in India’s economy, politics, education, and job markets have started to break down the old social hierarchy system and a new secular Hindu middle class is emerging. Some poorer Brahmins are now allowed to get government help for the poor, in spite of caste status.
Prayers for the Brahmin families in India:
Lord, bless the Brahmin families to see their priestly identity in Jesus. Send believing families to live out the priesthood of Jesus in communities of Brahmins by discipling, teaching, healing the sick and freeing the oppressed. Raise up Brahmins to take on that role.
Lord, increase the reading and hearing of Your Holy Scriptures in the homes of Brahmin families. Help them obey the stories of Jesus that explain how to be clean and pure. Open their hearts to His warning to not be the “blind leading the blind.” Help them tell the stories of what Jesus has done and what He calls His priests to do in His name.
Lord, raise up Brahmin servant leaders to know the joy that is found in laying down their life to take up the cross of Jesus. Raise up Brahmin servants who call all castes to join the priesthood of all believers. Draw the Brahmin to Your perfect and holy Son.
Bless the Brahmins to: Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Col. 3:12)
Day 4. Bania in India (BAHN-yuh)
The term Bania encompasses many sub-castes within it. The Bania castes have a long history of trade, money lending, and agriculture both at the high levels of society and at the village level. They are known for their new ideas in business, but many Indian sayings advise caution in business deals with them. Flipkart, an Indian online shopping company that employs thousands and serves millions, was started by a Bania businessman. It is estimated that half of the billionaires in India are a part of this people group, and the majority of businesses are started by Banias.
The Bania peoples current and historical role in business gives them a unique way to see the world and their place in it. Among the many deities worshiped by Banias, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, receives particular devotion. At the festival of Lights, Diwali, Lakshmi is asked to bless the new ledgers as people decorate their homes with lights and set off fireworks to attract this goddess of wealth.
Prayers for the Bania families in India:
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in Hindi, the heart language of the Bania. Bless the Bania homes with guests who share Bible stories with them and through the many audio versions of the Hindi Bible. Show Yourself more powerful than Lakshmi .
Lord, send families to live in Bania communities who seek the righteousness that only Jesus can offer. Raise up Bania families that see they are blessed in order to bless all the families of the earth.
Lord, bless Bania families with the riches of God: loving, giving, healing, praying in power, teaching, breaking down strongholds and turning the hearts of their children to their parents and the hearts of the parents to their children. Draw the Bania families to Jesus and His teachings.
The Blessing of God upon His Bania Children: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to My people, My chosen, the people I formed for Myself that they may proclaim My praise. (Is. 43:19)
Day 5. Shaikh in Bangladesh (SHAYK)
The term Shaikh is used in Bangladesh for a sociocultural group that originated with Arab settlers in South Asia. It now includes many subgroups, some of which intermarry with non-Shaikh Bengali Muslims. Islam arrived in the area now known as Pakistan in 711 AD when a Muslim Arab army conquered the northwestern part of the Indus Valley. The families who descended from these Arab Muslim communities now spread across Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh Shaikh usually means Muslim trader, not someone of Arab descent. This large group of people are thought to be converts from the warrior caste to Islam. They took on the name Shaikh to identify as Muslims. When not needed to fight, the Shaikh historically took any position in society and changed positions regularly. So, unlike Hindu castes, the Shaikhs are not associated with one particular profession. Here is a common saying about the flexibility of the term Shakih, "Last year I was a Julaha (weaver); this year I am a Shaikh; next year, if the crops are good, I shall be a Syed.”
Prayers for the Shaikh families in Bangladesh:
Lord, send whole families following Jesus into the lives of Shaikh families sharing each other’s burdens and learning from each other. Raise up prayer for Shaikh families to be blessed by You and to seek out Your kingdom first.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures (in Bengali-Muslim translations) so Your Holy Word will be read and spoken in the Shaikh homes. Bless communities with confessions of sin and healings in Jesus’ name. Raise up Shaikh leaders to share boldly what You have done for them and their families.
Lord, give to the Shaikh households: miracles, dreams, visions, teachings in power, healing, prayer, worship, freedom from sin, broken families made whole and the coming in of Your Spirit and the Kingdom of God.
The Blessing of God upon the Shaikh families and clans: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:11)
Day 6. Shaikh in India (SHAYK)
Shaikh in India are made up of a number of different clans and trades. While sharing core Muslim beliefs, Sunni and Shi’a branches are very strong and they do not intermarry. Otherwise, the Shaikh freely marry within various Shaikh clans and trades. This is unusual in India, since most Hindus do not marry across caste/trade communities. Shaikhs today are found in many types of businesses and public service jobs. Urban Shaikhs are known for their business acumen, teaching their children mathematical skills and business strategies from a young age.
In India, the government has reserved spots in the universities, and other benefits, for poorer peoples and the lower castes, such as OBC (Other Backward Castes) and outcasts (Dalits) or tribal peoples. Since Shaikh clans historically functioned in the upper caste levels of society and were landowners, they do not receive government reservations. However, following India’s Independence from England in 1947, the zamindari landowner system was abolished, canceling the Shaikh’s hereditary claim to land. The land was redistributed to the Hindu peasant castes who could show records of having worked the land. The way for the Shaikhs to prove their “rights” to land and to citizenship is still a heated and an ongoing issue in India.
Prayers for the Shaikh families in India:
Lord, send whole families to go and live with both Sunni and Shia Shaikhs and learn their ways, share their burdens and bless them. Send your Holy Spirit to work in both the Sunni and Shia Shaikh communities. Move the government officials to grant them citizenship and property rights.
Lord, multiply Your Holy Scriptures in Indian Urdu, using words the Shaikh use in their daily life, not Hindu words, so that they can share Scriptures with their neighbors for Your Glory.
Lord, raise up Shaikh families to receive Your riches that come from repenting and being free from sin and leading their relatives and communities to receive Your Holy blessing of healing, forgiveness, hope and joy.
Proclaim God’s River of Life in and through the Shaikh families to bless other peoples: On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:2)
Day 7. Shaikh in Pakistan (SHAYK)
Pakistan has the second largest population of Muslims in the world, after Indonesia. The Shaikhs in Pakistan claim pre-islamic/Arab ancestry and they are sometimes called Punjabi Shaikh. The term Shaikh is an Arabic word meaning elder or judge, historically given to someone who studies the Qur’an. Converts to Islam were given this name too. Shaikhs are one of the largest ethnic groups in the world. The countries with the largest population of Shaikh are Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.
The Shaikhs in Pakistan are mostly Sunni Muslims but some are Shi’a. These antagonistic branches of Islam separate the identities and community ties for the Shaikh. The two main occupations of the Shaikh historically have been landowning farmers and artisans, but today they have many different roles in Pakistan. Most of the Christians in Pakistan come from outcaste Hindu backgrounds making it hard for them to live in Shaikh communities. The New Testament is available in the Sindhi language that most Pakistani Shaikhs speak, and the whole bible in modern Pakistani Urdu (GEO).
Prayers for the families of the Shaikh in Pakistan:
Lord, send believers willing to lay down their lives to love the Shaikh of Pakistan, live among them, learn their ways and share the stories of Jesus . Lord, bring healing, forgiveness, and restoration for the Shaikh families.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures (in Sindhi) to gain favor, spreading Your Good News in the Shaikh homes. Lord, multiply Your blessings over every Shaikh home.
Lord, raise up Shaikh families to follow Jesus and share Him with their whole community, and other peoples as well. Give them dreams, visions, and the desire to lay down their lives for Jesus.
God’s Blessing upon His Children the Shaikh: No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. (Is. 60:18-20)
Day 8. Pashtun in Pakistan (pahsh-TOON)
In Pakistan, the Pashtun live in the rural, mountainous area bordering Afghanistan; a border that is porous—due to tribal, linguistic, social and economic ties, and volatile—fertile ground for the drug trade, smuggling, and cross-border militancy.
Both Islam and honor are moral authorities for their behavior, decision-making, and daily life. They are Sunni Muslims, but also enshrine a code of conduct called Pashtunwali (“the way of the Pashtuns”). This code of honor covers every area of social behavior for men, women, and children. This strong sense of identity leads many Pashtuns to say that they are Pashtun first and Muslims second. This is especially true when there is a conflict between what religion requires and what they need to do as a Pashtun when honor is challenged. In the wisdom of their own Pashto proverbs, “A true Pashtun says, May I lose my faith, but may I never lose my honor!” Millions of Pashtun also reside in Afghanistan and India (Pathans).
While Pashtun may live and work in the city or abroad, connections to “home” are maintained via phone, text and social media. Pashtuns also send money and travel back to visit their relatives in villages and provinces. These social and economic ties are potential bridges for Good News to travel to peoples and places unreachable through other means.
Prayers for the families of the Pashtun:
Lord, send families following Jesus and honoring the King of Kings to the Pushtun to show Your love and the power of forgiveness which brings You honor.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures to be spoken in the homes of the Pashtun in their own language (Pashto). Lord, bless Scripture translations in Pashto dialects and may those translations be understood by all 30 of the largest clans.
Lord, give dreams and visions to the leaders of households, may they turn to Jesus and disciple other families. Pour out your rich blessings of miracles, healings, open repentance, and a desire to right wrongs through forgiveness not revenge. Raise up servant leaders who model Jesus rather than man’s idea of honor. Lord show Yourself to the Pashtun clans.
God’s blessing upon the Pashtun: Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Ps. 24:7-8)
Day 9. Mahratta in India (mah-RAH-tah)
Maharashtra is India’s second largest state. The Maratha caste is composed of many clans, combined over the centuries from families of various castes in Maharashtra. The Maratha caste groups have been dominant in the social and political life of the state, providing 80% of its chief ministers since 1961.
Marathas led the army of their 17th century warrior-king Shivaji. Several clans later ruled parts of the Maratha empire from central to south India. Considering themselves to be Kshatriyas (the warrior caste under the Brahmin priests), today they are the elite Forward Caste of Maharashtra.
The Marathas occupy the upper levels of a rural society, owning enough land to grow things to eat as well as to sell. Some farmers who are poorer claim OBC (Other Backward Caste) status to gain government assistance.
Marathas are liberal compared to other Indian groups, allowing some free choice to marry, though restricted to their own caste and those above them. They fiercely defend their own culture, language (Marathi) and history, but are tolerant towards other cultures. Marathas, like all other Hindus, worship many deities and usually revere their land and earth as their mother.
Prayers for the families of the Mahratta/Maratha clans of India:
Lord, reveal Your identity in history, how you set peoples apart to show Your Glory. Lord bless the Maratha’s history of being set apart. May their families find their destiny as warriors in Your Kingdom and be drawn to make Your name great.
Lord, may Your Holy Scriptures be read and spoken in Marathi in the homes of the Marathas. Lord, capture their hearts and help them to want to study and share the Scriptures with others . Help them respect Jesus who did not cling to being God, but came down to serve mankind even through sacrificing His life on a cross.
Lord, send families to the Maratha communities that are pure of heart and walk in Your ways with great wisdom and power. Lord, bring healing to their families. Show Your power to restore what has been lost and the power to be born again to be set apart to live a life for You.
God’s blessing upon the Maratha (Mahratta): My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to My Name, because My Name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty. (Mal. 1: 11)
Day 10. Nai in India (nah-EE)
The Hindu Nai people are located throughout India. Historically, they are barbers—cutting hair and nails. Their skills also include minor medical services like extracting teeth, blood-letting and bone-setting. Because working with body fluids is considered “polluting,” they are classified as Other Backward Caste (OBC) or even Scheduled Castes (Dalits or outcastes). Nai go to people’s homes to do their job, so the barber plays an important role in village life, spreading news and matchmaking. Some castes even assign a special role to the barber in their domestic rituals.
In modern India, castes are being disrupted as large-scale occupational changes are taking place. When the Nai adopt other skills or professions, the lower castes sometimes take over their job as barbers. Currently, many of the Nai children stop attending school after a few years to help their parents earn a living, so the literacy rate is low among the Nai people.
The Nai worship the Hindu gods and believe evil spirits and local deities are the cause of trouble and diseases. They frequently go to shamans for their spiritual and medical needs. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection, benefits and being freed from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
Prayers for the families of the Nai of India:
Lord, send believing families to live among the Nai, to love them, to live out Jesus’s teachings, to pray for them, seek to bless their communities and share the Nai’s burdens. Through Jesus, show the Nai that You freely love, forgive and heal them, as they repent, put off the old and put on the new.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in their language (Hindi) to spread through their homes and communities. Lord, send people to teach literacy to the adults and working teens. Meet their needs for access to easy modern Hindi translations.
Lord, raise up Nai families of peace so that their communities come to faith in Jesus and are freed from the fear of death and reincarnation. Lord, restore families through repentance, forgiveness, healing, and teaching in power so evil spirits and strongholds are overcome in their communities.
God’s blessing upon the Nai: Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. (2 Cor. 2:14)
Day 11. Arain in Pakistan (ah-rah-EEN)
The Arain are from an agricultural caste but over the years many have become very influential lawmakers and politicians. Under British rule, the hard-working Arain were brought to the Punjab area to farm around the cities. Arains valued education for their children and used their new found wealth to further their education and make extensive contributions in the field of politics and the practice of the law.
Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of a Muslim county and two-time prime minister of Pakistan, comes from this people group. Numerous other Arains have been presidents, ministers, foreign ministers, governors, judges, navy chiefs, anchormen, and in arts and sports fields: writers, painters, film stars and cricket players.
They are mostly Sunni Muslims, with only about 19,000 Sikhs among them, and they speak many different languages, depending upon where they live. Some Arain in India practice Hinduism instead of Islam.
Prayers for the families of the Arain:
Lord, give Arians discernment to see past Western Christianity to Jesus and Your Holy Scriptures. Start a movement of blessings and salvation among the Arains that would spread to those all around them.
Lord, send Your Holy Spirit on the Arain people, magnify the light of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah), use dreams and visions to open their spiritual eyes. Give them a hunger to seek out Your Holy Scriptures in the many languages they speak and read, and to share these Scriptures in the Ariani homes.
Lord, touch the hearts of the Arain leaders in government and business to know and share the truth of Jesus and His Government of Love with great courage.
The blessing of God upon the Arain: You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. (Is. 62:3)
Day 12. Arab Speaking Algerian in Algeria (al-JEER-ee-un)
Algeria is in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast between Morocco and Tunisia. The indigenous Berber peoples became Christians in the first and second century, with a history of martyrs under Roman rule, followed by centuries of violent conflict with Roman “Christians” and invading Vandals who were Arian Christians. The Bible was never translated into any Berber language though St. Augustine was a Berber.
When Muslim Arabs invaded in the 7th century, the Berbers became Sunni Muslims and many intermarried with the Arabs. France colonized Algeria in 1830, imposing the French language; however, Arab control returned with national independence in 1960. Algerians are well educated, but many unemployed adults immigrate to France and elsewhere to work and send money back to their families. French is still a language of government, along with Arabic, in Algeria.
Berber-speaking Algerians number over 12 million. In 1980 the Kabyles, the largest tribe, staged a “Berber Spring” which was violently put down by the Arab government, but they were granted permission to use their language and even teach it in schools by 1995. Kabyle was voted an official language of Algeria in 2016. This tribe has had a significant movement to Jesus. The Injil (New Testament) is now in Algerian Arabic and the complete Scripturesin Kabyle Berber .
Prayers for the Algerian Families:
Lord, open ways for global witnesses to bless Algerian Arab families and communities in both Algeria and France. Send Your Spirit to open their hearts to the love of Jesus and to read and follow Your Word.
Lord, help the Kabyle Berber believers to demonstrate Your love to their Arab neighbors, raise up strong and bold leaders to start Jesus movements not only in Kabyle Berber but also in the Algerian Arabic language.
Lord, bless Algerian government leaders that they would look favorably on believers and the printing and distribution of Your Word. Send visions and dreams of Jesus to those earnestly praying and seeking the right path to You.
God’s beautiful invitation to Algerian Arabs: The hand of the LORD was upon me there, and He said to me, "Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you. (Ez. 3:22)
Day 13. Hui in China (HWAY)
The ancestors of today’s Hui people group are a combination of Arab, Persian, Mongol and Chinese peoples. In the seventh century, Arab and Persian merchants traveled to China in search of riches. In the thirteenth century the mobile armies of the Mongols conquered parts of Central Asia and China. These ancestors of the Hui were expected to settle down at various locations to farm while being ready to fight.
The Hui spread throughout China, becoming artisans, scholars, officials, and religious leaders. They are the largest and most widespread of China’s Muslim peoples. Remarkably, they live in nearly all of China’s 2,369 counties and municipalities. They are known for their business acumen.
Thousands of mosques throughout China are regularly attended by the Hui who are almost all Sunni Muslims. Although some of their practices are different from other Muslims, to be Muslim has been central to their identity for centuries. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has harshly persecuted Uyghurs Muslims but as yet has not done the same to Hui Muslims. The Hui speak standard Chinese with some words or phrases adopted from Arabic or Persian.
Prayers for the families of the Hui of China:
Lord, open the doors for creative outreach in Hui communities, so they become part of God's family and enjoy his blessings. Send believers to live among the Hui, sharing Jesus’ love with them so they become disciples who make disciples.
Lord, send Your Spirit upon the Hui people, convicting them of sin, righteousness and judgment. Put a strong desire for Jesus within them, so they hear His voice and joyfully receive His Word.
Lord, cause many families to see that Jesus is for Muslims too, spreading the news from city to city. Bless the families of our Hui brothers and sisters, and protect them from persecution.
God’s promise for the Hui in His Heavenly Kingdom: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches." (Mt. 13:31-32)
Day 14. Jat in Pakistan (JAHT)
Jat people are gifted leaders and protectors. Historically, Jat traditions fostered a martial spirit—at the command of their leaders they would draw the sword to fight invaders. Whenever they lost a kingdom they would retire to the countryside and become landlords, swords still girded round their waists. Today many Jats hold government leadership positions where they influence Pakistani politics.
The Jats in Pakistan have a long Islamic history, converting to Islam as early as the 11th century. The Jats preserve their traditions and rarely marry people from other ethnic groups. Great pride is placed in their ancestry. In fact, all the Jats in a particular village consider themselves to be the descendants of the man whom they believe founded it by the power of the sword.
There are also many Jat people groups in India, including large Hindu and Sikh communities. They are also fairly wealthy and influential in India, and proudly claim equality with the higher castes. Unlike most of the large Frontier People Groups, there are sizable communities of Jat peoples in diaspora communities. The Jat people keep extensive clan lists, maintaining a strong sense of identity across national and religious lines.
Prayers for the families of the Jat of Pakistan:
Lord, send Your workers to the Jat people; to live out Jesus' teachings, to share in their hardships, and embody hope in the Good News. Lord, raise up Jat families to lead more Jat families to share the Good News of Your Kingdom.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in the Punjabi language to impact many communities. Provide people who are best suited to convey your Word in an understandable way to those from the Muslim faith. Bless the Jat, that Your Holy Scriptures may be available in the language they use to cry out to You.
Lord, open the hearts of the leaders of the Jat families to receive Your blessing through a movement to Jesus, and to pass Your blessing on to other families and people groups.
Jesus is blessing the Jat to: Take up the shield of faith, with which You can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying in the Spirit on all occasions. (Eph. 6:16-18)
Day 15. Jat in India (JAHT)
Similar to the Muslim Jats of Pakistan, the Hindu Jat people of India have a history as brave and ready fighters. They are independent in character and value respect and offering heavy resistance against any foreign force who treats them unjustly. Historically, they have been farmers and nomadic herdsmen. They are thought to be the original inhabitants of the Punjab area, though at the time they did not have a formal religious identity, instead taking on the religion of the local rulers. The Hindu Jats adhere to the traditional Hindu practices, as well as a wide variety of additional beliefs and practices.
The Jat peoples in India are majority Hindu, but the Jat people living in the Punjab area also have large numbers which are Muslim (Pakistan) and Sikh (India). They are hardworking people who possess both the desire and ability to rule. Many of India’s finest sportsmen have been Jats (leading to the saying, “Jats do it!”). Also large numbers of Jats serve in India’s vast armed forces. In the last few decades there have been demands by Jats in some of India’s northern states to be classified as OBC (Other Backward Castes) so they can claim government benefits.
Prayers for the families of the Jat:
Lord of the harvest, send Your workers who will live out Jesus’ teachings in the Jat communities. Bring a strong movement of Jat communities to Jesus that spans the three religions the Jat follow.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures (in Hindi) to be shared in the Jat homes and along the road in their daily lives. Lord raise up Jat warriors who fight with the sword of Truth and serve with the heart of Jesus.
Lord, give visions and miracles that break the powers of evil so that whole communities can know the riches of healing, forgiveness, compassion and depending on You for their needs.
God’s Holy Prayer, given to the Jat: I give You thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing Your praise; I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word. (Ps. 138:1-2)
Day 16. Yadav in India (YAH-dahv)
The term 'Yadav' covers many castes which initially had different names; Ahir in the Hindi belt of Punjab and Gujarat, Gavli in Maharashtra, Gola in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Their traditional occupation was that of herdsmen, cowherds and milk sellers. Hence they identify closely with their caste deity, Krishna who was from that background. However, most Yadavs today are cultivators, mainly engaged in tilling the land, with less than one third of the population involved in dairy farming.
Yadav have taken up significant roles as businessmen, teachers, doctors, engineers and political leaders; and they are a part of the rising middle class in India. In the past decades, Yadavs have led political parties and governments in the two largest states: Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. However, they have largely remained socially and educationally backward and they are now categorized as Other Backward Castes (OBC). In fact, at around 60 million, Yadavs constitute the largest single caste grouping among India’s OBCs.
The Yadav have expertise in oral traditions and group singing about their gods: Krishna, Vishnu and others. They claim Krishna as their blood ancestor and so are especially devoted to him. For protection from curses the Yadav are also known to put faith in amulets, astrologers and traditional healers. In recent years there are some families and whole villages of Yadavs moving towards Christ, some led by Yadav followers of Jesus.
Prayers for the families of the Yadav:
Lord, send believing families who want to live with the Yadav, bless them, learn their ways, respect their history and invite them into discipleship relationships with the teachings of Jesus.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in their language (more than half are Hindi speakers). Bless the Yadav through stories shared, songs sung, and the free audio Bible stories believers bring to study in their homes. Lord, draw the Yadav to people to those who can share Your Holy Scriptures with them.
Lord, reveal to the Yadav that You care about their history and legacy and that You have a calling for them to both lay down their lives and to meet their needs.
God’s blessing on the Yadav and all OBCs: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned! (Is. 9:2)
Day 17. Ansari in India (ahn-SAH-ree)
Most Ansaris still live in villages like their ancestors did. The name Ansari (“helpers”) was given to the residents of Medina who helped the prophet Mohammed. After waves of migrations from the Middle East, the name was adopted by people groups becoming Muslims on the Indian subcontinent.
They have traditionally been weavers and textile sellers, but are now involved in a wide range of small businesses, agriculture and even politics. One Ansari family helped to found the Muslim Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi and has tried to stand up for rights of Muslims in the increasingly Hindu environment in India. Others Ansari remain poor, illiterate, could benefit from help in educating their children, learning new jobs skills, and obtaining access to clean water and electricity. Many Ansari now live in cities.
The Ansari people are Sunni Muslims with a mix of folk religion. Because the Ansari are friendly and hospitable, believers can develop friendships and find opportunities to share the Good News. In recent years, teams of believers have begun work in north India among the Ansari and some families have come to know Jesus!
Prayers for the families of the Ansari:
Lord, send Indian followers of Jesus to their Ansari neighbors to share with them Your love and Good News. Give them eyes to see how to bless Ansari families, bringing them healing, forgiveness, and well-being.
Lord, raise up Ansari leaders to study Your Word so they would understand the destiny You have for them and turn to follow Jesus. May the Ansari adults become literate and their children have access to good schools to lift them out of poverty.
Lord bless Your Holy Scriptures in Indian Urdu. Help Ansari believers to be effective and fruitful in sowing Your Word among their families and communities. May Your Spirit give power to a movement that will spread God’s blessing of salvation and grace from household to household.
The encouragement and hope from Jesus to the Ansari: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” (Jn. 11:25-26)
Day 18. Kumhar in India (koom-HAR)
The Kumhar are tied to ancient Indian culture by creating clay idols, artwork, and pottery for daily use. Their name in Sanskrit means "maker of pots" and some go by the name of the Hindu supreme Creator God, Vishwakarma. Known for their hard work, the Kumhar are a large caste group of Shudra that includes many different clans. They are usually classified as Other Backward Caste (OBC) though some places classify them as Scheduled Caste (Dalit/outcaste) status.
The Kumhar are more spiritual than the average Indian; very loveable and honest. Like most Indian peoples, the Kumhar are primarily Hindu, worshiping Shiva in addition to a number of local deities, though some are Sikh and speak Punjabi.
With the decreasing demand for clay containers and dishes, it has become much more difficult for the Kumhar to earn enough money to survive. If they cannot find other work, they become more dependent on producing clay idols which tends to be only seasonal work. Education is a challenge for the Kumhar since many of them lead nomadic lives. Children often quit school after a few years to help their parents earn a living working the pottery wheel. Additionally, the Kumhar frequently lack access to modern medicine and clean water.
Prayers for the families of the Kumhar:
Lord, send workers who follow Jesus to love the Kumhar and to show them He is the best potter, lovingly planning and shaping our lives. Reveal Your Power as stronger than any idol created by human hands. Bring healing, health and wholeness to their families.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in the heart language of the Kumhar. Send your Holy Word into their homes, either through stories from guests they invite in or through the free audio on their phones. Send adult literacy trainers to help them learn to read and write without having to attend classes.
Lord, please heal, forgive, and be near to the Kumhar. Give the Kumhar hope for their children. Raise up whole Kumhar families to worship the Creator of the universe and to spread the news of Your love and grace to many families.
The blessing of Jesus upon the Kumhar: For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Cor. 4:6-7)
Day 19. Kurmi in India (koor-MEE)
The Kurmi are the chief agricultural cultivators in north India, especially throughout the south eastern regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Though they are highly regarded for their agricultural skills and hard work most often they are not the land owners. There is a proverb, if you see a field flourishing better than the surrounding fields it will surely be a Kurmi field!
Due to their history of labor without land ownership, the Kurmi are categorized as Other Backward Castes (OBCs). This political status provides them many benefits such as quotas in government jobs and reserved seats in medical and engineering colleges. The Kurmi have made good use of these benefits, getting professional and government jobs, making many among them part of India’s growing middle class.
The Kurmi worship Hindu gods as well as deities of their family and region such as Hanuman, the monkey god. A small number of Kurmi have identified themselves as Jesus followers, but unfortunately, many Kurmi fear that “Christians” want to win their children away from their families and are therefore resistant to efforts by believers to share the blessings of Jesus with them.
Prayers for the families of the Kurmi:
Lord, give miracles, dreams, visions, and healings to the Kurmi families, showing the power of Jesus to bring salvation. Bless the Kurmi in their work and bless with faithfulness of those who hear the call to work in Your field.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in their language (Hindi). May they hear the stories of Your call for laborers into Your Harvest. Help them to hear the reason Jesus came and to take on the calling for which You have made them.
Lord, raise Kurmi believers to live out Jesus’ teachings; to share the Bible in their homes, to train whole families to win other whole families, to turn the hearts of children to their parents and turn the hearts of parents to their children. Give them power to share in the truth of Jesus’s salvation.
The blessing of the Lord for the Kurmi: As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Is. 55:10-11)
Day 20. Mali in India (MAH-lee)
The Mali (meaning “gardener”) is a caste of horticulturalists known for growing vegetables, flowers, and small crops of spices. In terms of caste, they rank below grain farmers despite both groups being Shudra and classified as Other Backward Castes (OBC). Many Malis live in towns and keep their gardens and farms on the outskirts. They have been pioneers in using irrigation to grow cash crops such as sugar cane and established hundreds of farmer owned sugar mills throughout India. However, seasonal workers on sugarcane plantations are often treated very poorly and suffer health problems due to pesticide exposure.
The great 19th century Indian social reformer, Mahatma Jotirao Phule was Mali. Influenced by his education at a Scottish mission school and the examples of Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln, Phule led a movement to emancipate all the “lower” castes. In 1848, Mahatma and his wife Savitribai, were the first non-missionary Indians to launch schools for girls and Dalits.
The vast majority of Mali are Hindu, though some are Muslim. Devi is their principal deity; she is a goddess that incites fear among her followers and requires appeasement through offerings and animal sacrifices. Ancestor worship is also practiced and like most Hindus, astrology is important to them.
Prayers for the families of the Mali:
Lord, send believing families willing to live among the Mali and show them Your love, so that they can see Your willingness to dwell with them. Lord raise up their leaders to put aside all other gods to follow You, the Savior of all peoples.
Lord bless Your Holy Scriptures to be spoken in Mali homes and the fields where they work. Help the Mali hear Your parables about gardening and growing. Show them what following Jesus has done in other communities in—lifting them out of poverty and hopelessness.
Lord, heal, forgive, speak Your Word and wisdom into their communities. Lord bless their crops and the work of their hands for Your Glory.
The Good News of Jesus for our Mali brothers and sisters: The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Mt. 13:43-44)
Day 21. Rajput in India (RAHJ-put)
Rajput in Sanskrit means, 'son of a ruler’ or ‘prince’. These warrior-kings have kept careful track of their royal lineages and the clans descended from them.
Predominant in the “royal state” of Rajasthan, the Rajput dynasties that once ruled are still known and their clans are still identifiable. They ruled for centuries even through the Mughal and British empires.
In 1970, India abolished their titles and property rights. They claimed Kshatriya caste status (the warrior caste below the Brahmins) and still hold a privileged position as Forward Caste Hindus, but have lost much of their wealth and power. Their palaces still stand today, some converted into luxurious hotels and some as museums.
Typically, Rajputs worship Shiva (the destroyer), Surya (the sun god), and Durga (the mother goddess). They have patron gods they turn to for protection and seek Hindu gurus for spiritual answers. There are Scriptures and many other teaching materials in print, audio, and video available in Hindi, the primary language of Rajputs, but their "superior" caste status and isolation cuts them off from hearing the Good News.
Prayers for the families of the Rajputs:
Lord, send families who follow Jesus among them. Show them what it means to follow Jesus, worshiping the King of Kings, freed from the power of sin and receiving the honor that comes from being a child of the living God. Lord, give the Rajput their inheritance to be Your children.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures to be spoken in Rajput homes by guests in their home or through the many apps and resources that have been made in Hindi. May they hear Your Words and know this truth is not just for the lower castes, but for them as well.
Lord raise up whole communities coming to Jesus through disciple making movements. Where the families are marked by their willingness to share Your Holy Scriptures widely and work with families who seek Your righteousness and Your kingdom first.
Pray the blessing of fellowship with Jesus for our Rajput brothers and sisters: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. (Rev. 3:20)
Day 22. Northern Uzbeks in Uzbekistan (OOZ-bek)
The Uzbek people are a combination of Turkic and Persian peoples, with the Northern Uzbek language being more Turkish.
During the Soviet period the educational system achieved 99% literacy for both men and women. The Northern Uzbek language has a complicated history, and is currently written in three different alphabets (Cyrillic, Roman and Persian). The full Northern Uzbek Bible (2013) is available in the Cyrillic script and in an audio form.
The Uzbek cities of Bukhara and Samarkand have an amazing history as centers of arts and science, and beautiful buildings. Families are usually large with several generations living under the same roof, with the eldest male member having the final say in most matters. Nuclear families are more common in urban areas.
Most Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims, though folk beliefs are mingled with their Islamic practices. Many of the younger generation are atheists or non-religious due to years under communism. Recently, Islamic fundamentalists have begun calling for stricter adherence to Islamic law.
Pray for the Northern Uzbek families:
Lord, send long term laborers to live among the Uzbeks and to show them Your great love for them. Help them to recognize the truth of who You are and build a foundation on Jesus. Bless families of peace so that they open their homes and seek Your way and righteousness.
Lord, help the leaders of the Uzbek to govern wisely and to give freedom of religion to the people. Help them not to be afraid of influences coming into their country, but have discernment. Replace suspicion and fear with trust in You and love for neighbors. Give the country peace and fulfill the needs of their families.
Lord, open the hearts of many Uzbek families to the Scriptures and Jesus, so that the Good News spreads throughout the land. Send Your Holy Spirit to help them read and understand Your Word and to find healing in Jesus. Raise up strong local disciple-making households, unify Uzbek believers, and start Jesus movements within their families.
Proclaim God’s blessing in and through Uzbek families who love Him: All the families on earth will be blessed through you. (Gen. 12:3)
Day 23. Dhobi in India (DOH-bee)
Dhobis can be found in almost every state of India. The largest number of them live in the largest state of Uttar Pradesh (UP). There, as in most other states, they are classified as Scheduled Castes (Dalits or outcastes). However, in a few states like Maharashtra and Andhra they are classified as Other Backward Castes (OBC). There are many clans with their own clan names in this caste.
Traditionally, the Dhobi people did people’s laundry, washing clothing and pressing it, with irons filled with hot coals. Most Dhobis still do laundry and iron clothing in street-side stalls in residential areas. Dhobis are now beginning to own their own businesses or work in government jobs.
Most Dhobis follow popular Hinduism: worshiping the major gods and local gods. As well, they worship their traditional washing or “flogging” stones, believing these stones hold a spiritual force that will help them in practical ways.
Prayers for the families of the Dhobi:
Lord, give miracles, signs, wonders and healing in Jesus. Bless whole families and communities of Dhobi. May they see Jesus followers reach out to them and love them.
Lord, wash away the sin in the lives of the Dhobi leaders. Lord, draw the Dhobi leaders to Your Purity and Your Holiness. Send them ways to listen to Your Scriptures and share them with their families.
Lord, send Your overflowing love and grace to the Dhobi communities. Open doors for the Dhobi to learn to read Your Holy Scriptures and give them job opportunities allowing them to stay within their communities.
The Dhobi Blessing as Children of God: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them, (and) God blessed them. (Gen. 1:26-27) To the Dhobi Jesus proclaims: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jer. 31:3)
Day 24. Teli in India (TEL-ee)
Once doing the hard job of pressing and extracting oil (tel) by hand, a process now done by machine, the Teli have had to turn to farming or raising animals. Many have expanded their small oil shops into small food stores in the villages. In some states like Bihar, they are popularly known as “Banias” (merchants) though they are of Shudra (laborers) lineage. They are officially classified as OBCs (Other Backward Castes/Classes), because they own no land and are not well educated. The current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is from the Ganchi caste in Gujarat, who were also traditionally oil extractors.
The Teli are slowly changing occupations in modern India, becoming businessmen, managers, metal workers, cart pullers, and common laborers. They are not usually poor, but they do need better access to higher education and good job opportunities.
The Teli are mainly Hindus who also worship their ancestors and seek protection from evil spirits. Their worship is transactional, making offerings to gods who they hope will fulfill their wishes.
Prayers for the families of the Teli:
Lord, send believing families to live among them who see their purpose in this life is to die to themselves and live for Jesus. May they bless the Teli families and make Jesus known to them.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures to be spoken in Teli homes and through the apps of their phones. May they listen to Your Word in their shops, and share what they learn with customers.
Lord, bring healing to the Teli families and to their bodies. May they seek to live without corruption and depend on You. Lord, may we see Jesus' movements spreading rapidly among Teli families from state to state.
Proclaim wellsprings of the Holy Spirit for the Teli: Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. (Jn. 4:14)
Day 25. Kapu in India (KAH-ahpoo)
The Kapu caste are a significant part of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. They make up 1/4th of the population of the state.
In the Telugu language, Kapu means “cultivator” and they are still mostly an agricultural community. However, the Kapu took on military roles when various regional wars arose. They are traditional Hindus.
The Kapu of the prosperous coastal districts of East and West Godavari are classified as Forward Caste; however, their poorer, rural Kapu cousins in some other districts are classified as OBCs. Some are still fighting for their rights as a Backward Caste to qualify for government affirmative action. The Kapu have been forced to organize agricultural unions to protect their way of life. They need opportunities for education and job training that can improve their economic opportunities as well as access to modern medicine, electricity and clean water.
Prayers for the families of the Kapu:
Lord, show those who follow Jesus in Andhra Pradesh how to best love and bless the Kapu, so the Kapu know that You love their families too.
Lord, bless the Kapu as they have had considerable clashes with the surrounding politics and business interests against them. Bless the families of the Kapu with healing and peace when they pray in Jesus’ name. Show the Kapu families that You can help them and their crops more than their traditional gods or spirits.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in their own language, Telugu. May Your parables about planting and reaping make Your Kingdom understood in the hearts and minds of the Kapu. Lord, heal, forgive, and set the Kapu families free.
Praise God for His blessing upon the Kapu: I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God. (Zech. 13:9)
Day 26. Kunbi in India (koon-BEE)
Kunbi, meaning farmer, is the name and main occupation of this people group. They are hard workers who live a simple life. From the Shudra lineage, most of them are classified as OBCs across the states of western and central India. They account for around a third of the people in Maharashtra.
Many efforts have been made to improve the social and economic status of the Kunbi. They are increasingly making use of the government educational opportunities available to them as OBCs. Some families in Kunbi villages near the major metropolitan areas like Pune, seek affordable English-medium schooling for their children; admission to Christian-run schools is highly esteemed.
The Kunbi are religious minded and god-fearing people; this fact is highlighted in their various customs and worship of Hindu gods and goddesses. The Kunbi fear Christianity’s many associations with Western culture, so it would be wonderful for them to meet Jesus followers who reflect His holiness and love so they can embrace the Good News.
Prayers for the families of the Kunbi:
Lord, send families following Jesus to live among the Kunbi who will show them the love of Jesus, bless them and learn their ways.
Lord, bless Your Holy Scriptures in their language (Hindi) to be spoken in the Kunbi homes and in the fields where they work. Open their hearts to understand the stories of Jesus are relevant to them and not foreign stories. Lord, speak to the Kunbi leaders, forgive their sins, heal and bless their families and land.
Lord, raise up Kunbi leaders who fear You. Fill them with Your Spirit so they can speak wisdom, overcome evil, pray in power to cast out demons and restore broken relationships. Lord, spark a movement of Kunbi to follow Jesus and learn all He taught.
Bless the Kunbi to embrace Jesus’ invitation: Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt. 11:28-29)
Day 27. Nigerian Fulani in Nigeria (foo-LAH-nee)
The Fulani (who call themselves Fulbe) are semi-nomadic people living mostly in Central Nigeria, who adopted Sunni Islam early their history. Today, a large percentage of the Fulbe are “Sufi” belonging to the Tijjaniyya sect.
Their proud warriors helped to spread Islam through the centuries, forming several powerful Islamic empires. The last and largest, the Sokoto Caliphate, was conquered by colonial forces in 1903, along with its many sub-Emirates. The Fulani have hundreds of distinct clans who mostly do not intermarry. They used to be involved in the slave trade, selling non-Muslim captives.
The more nomadic Fulani (called Mbororo) depend on moving herds of cattle to new pastures, so they fiercely oppose attempts to get them to settle down in permanent homes. Recently Nigeria has tried to reserve some land for Fulani grazing and migration corridors, but these efforts have been difficult. Wealthy businessmen and members of ruling parties have been forcing Fulani off of their historic grazing lands to establish large fenced cattle ranches without granting the Fulani any compensation.
The Nigerian Fulani speak Nigerian Fulfulde (Fula) which has the New Testament (2010, in both Arabic script and Latin script). The full Bible is in Adamawa Fulfulde (2018) Arabic script. There are further Fula translations going on in 9 dialects in multiple countries. There are unconfirmed reports of many Mbororo believers and thousands of New Testaments distributed.
Prayers for the families of the Fulani (Fulbe):
Lord, strengthen believers among the Fulani people and send people who can help them read the Scriptures and establish their faith. Help believing families study Your Word and hear Your voice. Use the internet also to spread Your Word.
Lord, answer the prayers of the Fulani people and move the political leaders of Nigeria to turn ownership of the traditional grazing land over to the nomadic peoples. Give Fulbe and Mbororo clan leaders wisdom to lead their communities on good paths.
Lord, bless and heal Fulani families through Jesus, help them care for their families and prepare for the rapidly changing conditions of the 21st century. Make it possible for them to educate their own children wisely. Send Your Spirit to bring whole families and clans to Jesus in rapidly spreading movements.
God’s blessing for the Fulani: The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom… they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. (Is. 35:1-2)
Day 28. Najdi Arabs in Saudi Arabia (nahj-DEE)
Arabs who speak the Najdi dialect live in the large central plateau of Saudi Arabia, and have been led by their royal family, the Al Saud dynasty, since 1744. However, the whole peninsula was loosely controlled from 1517 to 1918 by the Ottoman Turks until they sided with Germany in WW1 and subsequently lost their empire. Then the Saudi king fought the Arabs of the Red Sea and Mecca/Medina area, who speak the Hejazi dialect, finally conquering them in 1932, forming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia is in the Najdi area, with seven million people, a third of whom are not Saudis but expat workers. Slavery was abolished in 1961, but many former slave people remained in Saudi Arabia.
The public practice of any religion other than Islam (including Christianity and Judaism), is not allowed. Saudi Arabia requires their citizens to be Sunni Muslims. Thousands of people flock to Mecca on pilgrimages each year to seek God's forgiveness and blessing.
Prayers for the families of the Najdi-speaking Arabs:
Lord, lead the Najdi-speaking Arab families to know You, the One True God. Show them the path to You though the Messiah You sent, Isa (Jesus). Allow Your love and light to shine through followers of Jesus who have come from other countries to work in Riyadh and serve their families.
Lord, bless and protect the Muslim families, taking away any fears they have of studying Your Word. Help them grow in understanding Your Word and sharing in their families and communities. Forgive and heal them in the name of Jesus.
Lord, produce the fruit of Your Spirit in those who follow Jesus: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. May their joy and righteousness show clearly the reality of the forgiveness and cleansing from sin found in Jesus.
God’s blessing on the Najdi-speaking families: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Is. 43:19)
Day 29. Turks in Turkey (TERK)
Turkey has long been the crossroads of civilizations and was the first area where the Good News was welcomed by Greeks and Armenians. It was a leading Christian area for 1000 years. Muslim Turkic peoples from Central Asia migrated into Turkey in the 11th century, interposing Islam, intermarrying and eventually taking Constantinople in 1453 (now Istanbul).
Today Turkey is the only secular republic with a majority Muslim population. Turkish law is not based on Islamic law, but European republic legal systems. Turkey’s people are mostly educated, modern, and materialistic. They enjoy productive agriculture and a great climate. Minority peoples like Christian Armenians and Muslim Kurds are not always treated well. Many Turks also live in Germany and other countries.
The prophets of Judaism and Christianity are generally respected by Turks who desire to be accepted by modern Europe. However, memories of wars with Christians result in the people of Turkey remaining strong Muslims despite continuous exposure to Christian witness and to various translations of Scripture into Turkish.
Prayers for the families of the Turks:
Lord, touch the hearts of Turkish families to understand that Jesus is for them too, not just for their age-old enemies the Christians. Help true Jesus followers in Turkey to love the Turks as their brothers and sisters, blessing them in His Name.
Lord, send out Your Scriptures in the Turkish language in ways that the Muslims will hear it as coming to them from You, the One True God. Open their hearts and minds with Your Spirit to understand Your Word and who Jesus really is.
Lord, bless Turkish families who know and follow Jesus whether they live in Turkey, in the Turkish diaspora in Europe or elsewhere. Protect them from persecution and give them courage. Protect believers in the minority groups like the Kurds and Armenians as well.
Proclaim God’s love for Turks praying they: may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
Day 30. Moroccan Arabs in Morocco (moh-RAH-kuhn)
The Moroccan Arabs are descendents of the Middle Eastern Muslim Arabs who invaded in the 7th century. Many intermarried with the native Berber tribes of Morocco who became devout Muslims and remain 30-50% of the population of Morocco, retaining their own languages. However, the Arabs dominate Moroccan politics and industry, and farming in the lowlands, growing fruit, vegetables, olives and grains, leaving the mountainous regions to the Berbers. The Moroccan Royal Family is Arab, and one of the oldest Muslim Universities in the world is in Fes, Morocco.
Morocco has the longest unbroken treaty with America of any nation (since 1786) and America backed Morocco’s independence from colonial French and Spanish powers in the 1950’s. It is more liberal than most Muslim countries and has a large tourist industry. The current king since 1999, Mohammed IV, proposed a reformed constitution, which was accepted in a landslide vote in 2011.
Moroccan Arabs are Sunni Muslims, with anti-conversion laws. Other peoples are allowed to practice their religions openly but not distribute literature. Moroccan Arabic (Darija) is the official spoken language; it is significantly different from modern Arabic which is used predominantly in reading and writing. There is a New Testament in Darija (MSTD, 2012), but people are not used to reading in their own dialect.
Prayers for the families of the Moroccan Arabs:
Lord, thank you for putting Your love for the Moroccan Arabs into many families who have come to Morocco over the centuries to tell them about Jesus. Help all those seeds of faith to grow. Lead Moroccan families who want to know You and hear Your voice to seek that in Your Word and in Jesus.
Lord, give the leaders of Morocco and the royal family wisdom to govern the country well. Help them to seek You for guidance and to allow freedom of faith for their people. Show them that those who love Jesus are a great blessing to the country, and their families and communities.
Lord, give Moroccan families who have met Jesus boldness to share Your Word and the love of Jesus with their friends and families. Help Jesus families bring your blessing to their whole community and multiply strong local Jesus fellowships among the Moroccan Arabs and the Berbers.
Pray blessing on Moroccan Arabs to hear God’s call: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness. (Jer. 31:3)
Day 31. Malay in Malaysia (muh-LAY)
The Malay people accepted Islam when Arabic and Indian traders brought it to Malaysia between the 13th and 16th centuries, although their practices include some folk Islam. The Malay are the majority people in Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. In Malaysia, people are classified as Malay if they speak Bahasa Malaysia, practice Malay customs, and are Muslims. Besides Malays, about 11% of the population is traditionally Christian, mostly of Chinese origin, pre-Islamic conversions, and Indian immigrants. Malay Bibles must be stamped “not for Muslims” and conversion from Islam is not allowed.
Many Malay people are educated urban businesspeople, while others are farmers, traders or fishermen in rural areas. Malay students have many opportunities to start businesses. The Malay people are internationally known for beautiful art forms such as: wood carvings, metal figurines, pottery, dances, poetry and clothing.
Malay families are closely connected. Three generations often live together in one household. They join with relatives for many “Kendura” (celebrations) and help each other in multiple ways. However, technology paired with the desire for material prosperity are diluting traditional values.
Prayers for the families of the Malay:
Lord, send families that follow Jesus and His teachings together to live among the Malay people. Help them show honor, forgiveness and the love of Jesus to one another and to Malay families. Bring Godly businessmen into their communities, who are following Jesus as part of daily life, not just a religion.
Lord, use the Scriptures in their own Bahasa language to reveal Your love to the Malay families. Heal their bodies and answer their prayers through Jesus. Thank You that Scriptures in three Bahasa Malaysian dialects are available in written, audio and children’s versions on the internet and through phone apps (like YouVersion).
Lord, heal and strengthen Malay families, turning their hearts toward You and each other. Give them the power to share Your loving care, forgiveness, and Good News with their relatives, neighbors and the poor. God, please raise up a new generation of Malays to bring Your Word and blessing to other people groups too!
God’s blessing for the Malays: I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. (Ps. 40:1,3)