Athens, Greece

Muslim Population: 300 000 

Athens, Greece, the “cradle of western civilization”, has long been a major influencer of culture. It is famous for the Apostle Paul’s speech at Mars Hill where he said, “From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” – Acts 17:26-27 

In recent years, thousands of Muslims have fled war-torn and poverty-stricken homelands for Athens. For possibly the first time in their lives, they can now find Christians from a Muslim background. 

A church planter from Iraq said, “People in the West are afraid Europe is going to become a Muslim continent. But those of 

us who have chosen to follow Christ are also headed there and we are going to share our faith.” 

On one occasion, an elderly Pakistani Muslim asked to be baptized after receiving Christ as his Lord and Savior. Upon leaving the beach south of Athens, he saw a man jogging down the street and said, “I feel like a young boy again, like I could outrun that man. I am a new creation. I’m full of the joy of the Lord.” Other similar stories are happening in Athens, as more are being saved. 

WAYS TO PRAY 
Pray for refugees in Athens who have suffered and lost much, for them to rebuild their lives and find peace. (Ephesians 2:17-21) 

Pray for pastors, church planters and organizations who are working among refugees, for their ministry to be effective and for them to have the resources to serve. (Mark 16:15-18) 

Pray for dreams and visions that will lead Muslims into conversations with followers of Christ. Pray that Muslims will reach out and find God, who is not far away.” (Psalm 139) 

Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides 

N’Djaména, Chad

Muslim Population: 750 000 

N’Djaména is the capital of Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world and it is the only urban centre in the nation. Half of the population of 1.5 million are Muslim. 

The people of Chad live between the ancient and the modern: cooking on an open three-stone hob, while next door a smartphone rings. If someone gets enough money, he installs air conditioning in his mud hut. Someone who had tended goats 30 years ago could become a minister of government today. Of course, such a rapid social change is only reserved for a few: most struggle to maintain a simple livelihood for their family. 

The big city offers more possibilities and freedoms. Questions are asked here which do not come up in the traditional village: “Why is my Christian neighbor such a ‘good person’?” “Why can’t Islam change my heart?” Individuals come to faith in Isa al- Masih and, for the first time in the history of the city, they are not alone: small groups are formed for reading the Bible together. Many Muslim parents send their children to Christian schools where they learn to know and love Bible stories. 

Recently, thousands of digital memory cards with the gospel message were distributed. One young man loaded music over the text on his card. But later, he had the same dream three times in which he heard the words: “Why have you wiped the content from your card?” He went looking for the person who had given him the card and, as a result of his search, came to faith in Jesus. 

WAYS TO PRAY 
For the Muslims in N’Djaména: that they will find abundant life in Jesus. (John 10:9-11) 

For the children attending Christian schools: that through the witness of their teachers and the Bible stories they will come to follow Jesus. (Matthew 19:13-14) 

For Muslim background believers: that they will be faithful in following Jesus and experience His protection. (Hebrews 10:23) 

 Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides 

How the Bhojpuri Church Planting Movement has Started Other Movements

by Victor John

God is working in amazing ways among the Bhojpuri speakers of North India, with a Church Planting Movement of more than 10 million baptized disciples. God’s glory in this movement shines even brighter against the backdrop of this area’s history. Many religious leaders were born here. Gautama Buddha received his enlightenment and gave his first sermon in this area. Yoga and Jainism originated here as well. 

In the past, this region was incredibly hostile to the gospel, which was viewed as foreign. It was known as “the graveyard of modern missions.” When the foreignness was removed, people started accepting the good news.

But God does not want to reach only Bhojpuri speakers. When God began to use us to reach beyond the Bhojpuri group, some asked, “Why don’t you stick with reaching the 150 million Bhojpuri? Why don’t you stay there until that job is finished?” 

My first response is the pioneering nature of gospel work. Doing apostolic/pioneering work involves always looking for places where the good news has not taken root: looking for opportunities to make Christ known where He is not yet known. 

Second, these languages overlap in their usage. There’s no clear-cut line where the use of one language ends and another begins. Also, believers often move for various reasons. As people in the movement have traveled or moved, the good news has gone with them. 

Some came back and said, “We see God working in this other place. We would like to start a work in that area.” We told them, “Go ahead!” 

So they came back a year later and said, “We’ve planted 15 churches.” We were amazed and blessed because it happened organically. There was no agenda, no preparation, and no funding. When they asked what was next, we began to work with them to help the believers get grounded in God’s word and quickly mature. 

Third, we started training centers which expanded the work, both intentionally and unintentionally (more God’s plan than ours). Sometimes people from a nearby language group would come to a training and then return home and work among their own people. 

A fourth reason for expansion: sometimes people have come to us and said, “We need help. Can you come help us?” We assist and encourage them as best we can. These have been the key factors in moving into neighboring areas beyond the Bhojpuri. 

We praise God that the movement has spread to different language groups, different geographic areas, multiple caste groups, and different religions. The power of the good news keeps breaking through all kinds of boundaries. 

 While these movements are led indigenously, we continue to partner together. We recently began training 15+ Angika leaders in Eastern Bihar in holistic (integrated) ministry. We plan to help start holistic ministry centers in three different Angika locations in the coming year and raise up more local Angika leaders. Our key partner working among the Maithili is also extending work into the Angika area.

Victor John, a native of north India, served as a pastor for 15 years before shifting to a holistic strategy aiming for a movement among the Bhojpuri people. Since the early 1990’s he has played a catalytic role from its inception to the large and growing Bhojpuri movement.

Excerpted with permission from the book Bhojpuri Breakthrough. (Monument, CO: WIGTake Resources, 2019) . 

What Will the Team Do Now?

*Ari, *Lukas, and *Andi traveled to the big city at the heart of their unreached people group. Once there, they had an unexpected encounter: they met a couple who were there to reach Muslims with the Good News. They even heard about a third person who might be there as a witness for Jesus!

The men told *Chad and *Tia, their partners and Beyond mission catalysts, the exciting news. “Praise God!” Chad says. “We’ve never run into anyone else focusing on this area.”  

What will the team do now? The newcomers have likely been trained using traditional approaches that often bear little or no fruit. “We are certainly not experts and don’t claim to be,” says Chad, “but we are connected to many people who have seen great fruit using simpler and more reproducible disciple-making methods.”

The team is planning to come alongside and support the new workers. They hope to be able to equip, care for, and partner with them. Thanks to BEYOND donors whose support enables Kingdom building relationships like these. Please pray over their next steps. They want to do the Lord’s best, biblically and strategically, with wisdom and love. 

*pseudonym

New York City, USA

Muslim Population: 1 000 000 

“How are you? How’s your family?” Abdul warmly greets a customer buying a sandwich. After exchanging greetings, the African American Muslim customer drops change in two buckets next to the cash register which are collecting funds for new mosques in New York City and Yemen. “For the umma!” (the Muslim community) the customer says. 

New York City is home to one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the world. They are American, Arab, South Asian, African, European, Central Asian, and even Hispanic. Muslims have a visible presence in the city through workers (taxi drivers, street vendors, and many small business owners are often Muslim), through mosques (there are several hundred), and in parts of the city where dense immigrant populations reflect their home culture. 

20 years ago, New York City faced the 9/11 terror attack which is widely remembered in the USA. Since that event, there have been efforts to strengthen relations between the city and its Muslim population. Several Christian organizations in the city have helped New York Christians form sincere friendships with Muslims. With Muslims in New York City deeply connected to their home countries and the diaspora, God has provided new gateways for spreading His Word to the ends of the earth. 

WAYS TO PRAY 
Pray for Christian organizations and churches in New York City, to be light and salt to the Muslim community. (Matthew 5:13-16) 

Muslims in the city are burdened by urban living expenses and the responsibility to send money home to families abroad. Pray God gives them peace and wisdom, and that He spreads His light through their influence. (Luke 12: 31-34) 

Muslims in NYC often work over 60 hours a week. Pray for creative means of sharing the gospel and discipling, like social media efforts, to bear fruit. (John 15:4-8) 

Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides 

Birmingham, England

Muslim Population: 301 000 

Birmingham is the manufacturing heart of England. After World War II, a severe labour shortage in the city’s factories prompted the government to invite unskilled workers from South Asia. In 1966, around 50,000 displaced rural farmers immigrated from Mirpur, Pakistan. The city’s Muslim community has since expanded to make up around 25% of its population. They are a mixture of second and third generation South Asians, as well as many migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 

Faisal is a young asylum seeker from Afghanistan who travelled to Birmingham two years ago. He runs a barber shop in one of the city’s most concentrated South Asian areas. He is a hard worker, careful and attentive – his customers like him. Faisal does not have “leave-to-remain” in the UK, which means he cannot legally work. Despite this, he opens his shop for 10 hours every day, hoping the authorities won’t catch him. 

Soon after he arrived, Faisal learned about Jesus from a city church that welcomes asylum seekers. He faithfully attends Sunday services and a mid-week fellowship group. His Muslim housemates don’t know about his new faith, so he hides his Bible and does not pray openly. He has lost all contact with his family in Afghanistan and longs to find out if they are OK. However, his legal status prevents him from traveling.

WAYS TO PRAY 
Pray that, like the church Faisal attends, other churches in Birmingham will intentionally welcome their Muslim neighbors. Bless those that are already reaching out. (Psalm 119:132-133) 

Pray that social barriers between communities in Birmingham will fall. Some areas have become ethnic and religious enclaves. (Matthew 5:14-15) 

Birmingham is a large city, with issues common to large cities. Pray that drug trafficking, knife crime and gang violence will end. Some initiatives are bearing fruit but there is still a long way to go. (Titus 2:11-14) 

Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides

Cairo, Egypt

Muslim Population: 18 000 000 

Cairo is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. With a population of around 20 million, it is the largest city in Africa, and about the 6th largest city on the planet. 90% of the city is Muslim, mostly Sunni Muslim, and more Muslims arrive regularly as refugees from places like war-torn Yemen. 

There are estimates of up to a million Yemeni people living in Cairo. They fled their homes because of the war and are now stranded in the city. Many also came to receive medical treatment here. 

“Why do you Christians help us foreigners?” is the question many Yemenis ask when they encounter Christians in Cairo. 

Aisha was a ten-year old girl suffering from leukemia. Unable to get treatment in Yemen, her parents brought her to Cairo, where they lived in uncertain conditions. But many local hospitals will not treat refugees fairly and they could not afford the inflated cost of a bone marrow transplant. But Aisha’s family met a group of Egyptian and foreign Christians who had established a network of doctors
and clinics which offered treatment for fair prices and managed donations to help those in need of care. Through this group, Aisha was finally able to receive her treatment. 

Through practical, merciful help to those in need, some Christians in Cairo form friendships with the Yemeni community and show them the love of God. 

WAYS TO PRAY:
Pray that people of all faiths in Cairo will work together to solve the problems faced by rapid growth – such as the supply of water, food, education and housing – and help their city to prosper in peace. (Proverbs 11:11) 

Pray for the Yemenis stranded in Cairo, for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs to be met. (Matthew 25:34-40) 

Pray for the Church in Cairo that, even as a minority, they would be a bold and powerful witness. (Acts 1:8) 

Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides 

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Muslim Population: 2 040 000 

We could not focus our prayers on Muslims in cities without considering the most revered of Muslim cities, Mecca. Islam’s founder, Muhammad, was born here and when Muslims pray, they bow in the direction of Mecca. Only Muslims are permitted to enter the city, although a few non-Muslims have managed it. 

The city of Mecca has a population of just over 2 million and has no known believers, as you would expect. However, its population is very diverse, as people from all over the world travel here, particularly from South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa, to see the important and sacred sites and many become residents of this ancient city. 

And, of course, every year between 2 and 4 million Muslim pilgrims arrive in Mecca to take part in one of the world’s largest annual gatherings – the religious ritual known as the Hajj, which takes place this year between July 17 and 21. The Hajj is central to the economy of Mecca, with the majority of jobs in the city connected to serving the pilgrims and facilitating the Hajj. 

In 2020, the coronavirus caused the Hajj to be significantly downsized to help prevent the spread of the disease. This had a significant impact on local businesses and residents, but also fueled ideas for more sustainable ways to manage this large, annual event.

WAYS TO PRAY:
The residents of Mecca have no local access to the message of Christ. Pray for them to hear the gospel through media and other sources. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

All Muslims who are physically and financially able are expected to make the pilgrimage once in their lifetime. Pray for the safety of those traveling to Hajj this year. (Psalm 121:7-8)

If performed correctly, the pilgrimage is believed to excuse all previous sins. Pray for Muslims in Mecca to follow the One who removes our sin, “as far as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103)

Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides 

Why Should We Pray for the Muslim World?

30 Days was created by a group of people who are committed to sharing the love of Christ with Muslims. We believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world and the only way to reconciliation with God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19). However, we also believe that every human being is made in the image of God (Imago Dei) according to Genesis 1:26-28, and thus has inestimable worth and dignity. 

We believe that God loves Muslims, as He does every human (John 3:16) and does not want any to perish (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). As followers of Christ, we take Jesus’ strong exhortation to “love God and love neighbor” (Matthew 22:37-39) very seriously. Muslims are our neighbors, and one way we love them is by praying blessings on them, their families, and communities. 

Jesus commands us to love everyone – even those who hurt us – and to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Paul showed honor to the people he shared the gospel with by presenting it in a way they could relate to and living in a way they could accept. (1 Corinthians 9:20-22). There are many Scriptures that exhort us to follow Jesus’ example of humility and self-sacrificial and pure love for everyone (Philippians 2:1-11). That is part of what it means to, “pick up our cross and follow Him” (Matthew 16:24). 

Our intercession for Muslims needs to be motivated by love. Our model is Jesus – who, while we were yet sinners, loved us and died for us (Romans 5:8). As we receive God’s love for us, He gives us His love for all others and enables us to fulfill the great commandment to love God and love our neighbor. We are not called to judge, fear, hate, or relate to Muslims in any way that is counter to the Kingdom of God. We are simply to love (as 1 Corinthians 13 exhorts), manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), pray for Muslims, and trust God by His Holy Spirit to bring them to Himself in Christ (John 6:44, 12:32, 16:8). 

May your prayers be led by the love of Christ, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as you participate in this year’s 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World. 

WHERE ARE OUR PRAYERS TAKING US?

Sourced from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World and World Prayer Guides 

One Illness, 63 House Churches

We first came to this area one year ago. At today’s meeting, Nishan, one of the local leaders, shared how he and his family became followers of Jesus last year.

Nishan’s wife had been very ill for a long time. They spared no expense looking for a cure. Nothing helped. Eventually, they lost everything – their savings, their home – all lost. The worst part was that his wife was still sick!

One day, in the midst of this desperate sadness, they had the opportunity to attend a nearby house church meeting. What they heard about Jesus thrilled their hearts. There was hope! 

After some time, they put their trust in Jesus and his Kingdom. Then they wanted to know if they could start a church in their home. Of course! The disciples of Jesus were happy to show them how.

That was one year ago. Since then, Nishan and his wife have seen seven generations of disciples made and 63 house churches birthed!

The story above was part of a report from a movement leader in North India. If you are a Beyond donor, your generosity has played a part in this story!

*pseudonyms