Today is the great festival of Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast. Families decorate their homes, prepare great feasts, new clothes are bought and worn and people visit their families. It’s a big celebration and after Ramadan ends many Muslims will try and keep up habits formed over the month. Ask God to help you keep praying his blessing on East and Southeast Asia’s Muslims beyond Ramadan.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
— Isaiah 43:19
On the last day of the fast consider how Muslims have shown their devotion to Allah through fasting. Pray for local followers of Jesus to reflect on how they show their devotion to God.
Muslims are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan in a very different way to normal which may mean that they cannot be in community. Pray for patience and creativity through the extra hours spent in the home.
“The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [Sura 97:3]. Muslims believe that on the night of power, Laylat-al-Qadr, the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is celebrated on one of the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims often stay up all night praying as they believe prayers on that night are more powerful and the blessings from Allah are more abundant. Pray for Muslims in the East and Southeast Asian regions to have opportunities to learn more about Isa (Jesus) who is honoured in the Qu’ran.
Eid al-Fitr’ is the festival marking the end of Ramadan. Many people will buy new clothes or put on their best clothes for the festival, but for some this can be a challenge. Pray for those who may feel left on the edges of these festivals at the end of Ramadan, either because of their social position or financial circumstances.
About East Asia’s Muslims
Of East Asia’s 2.2 billion people, over 12% or more than 260 million people are Muslim. There are more than 220 different ethnic groups in East Asia that are majority Muslim, and one can find Muslims from Mongolia to Indonesia, Myanmar to Japan. By some estimates, 60% of those following Islam around the world live in Asia. Their cultures are different from their Middle-Eastern counterparts, and their Islamic practices are quite diverse.
Helping Muslims learn more about Jesus has been part of OMF International’s history for more than 100 years. In 1906, George W. Hunter of the China Inland Mission (CIM) set up base in Urumqi and served among the Uyghur, Kazak and other Muslim people groups in China. Many other CIM workers served Chinese Muslim groups such as the Hui in the early 20th Century.
OMF Work Today
Today, we engage and serve East Asia’s Muslims in different locations in a variety of ways. We teach, serve as professionals, run businesses, empower poor communities and contribute to nation building in the countries where we serve. We make friends with our neighbours, build bridges and explore the Scriptures with them; we explain what it means to follow Jesus. We also work with like-minded followers of Jesus in loving and serving our Muslim neighbors with the love of Jesus.
- Millions of people in many people groups spread throughout Southeast Asia and East Asia.
Father, we pray for you to bless the Muslim peoples throughout East Asia. We want to see poor village people, men at the tea shops, fishermen at the beach, women in the markets, students and busy influential people in towns learn more about the love of Jesus. Lord, please bring harmony and trust to people of different faiths living together in community.