Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramadan Day 2

Tajik of Uzbekistan

Muslims believe that Allah is unique, all-powerful, gracious and merciful to all Muslims. The Islamic faith is lived out according to five "pillars" that must be adhered to if one is to hope for salvation. A Muslim may observe each of these pillars, but there is still not guarantee of salvation.

The Five Pillars are:

1. Reciting the Creed (shahada)- "There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet."

2. Prayer (salat)- At five set times per day.

3. Almsgiving (zakat)-Both obligatory and voluntary giving to certain groups.

4. Fasting (siyam)-Especially during the "holy" month of Ramadan.

5. Pilgrimage (hajj)-At least once in a lifetime to Mecca.

Today's focus is on the Ferghana Valley in Uzbekistan. While the valley is less than 5 % of the land in Uzbekistan, it contains more than one-third of it's citizens. Altogether more then 10 million people live there.

The fertile valley grows wheat and cotton and has several orchards. It is also the center of silk production in Central Asia. Pesticides have depleted the soil in many areas and millions of agricultural workers plant and pick cotton for small wages while large profits go to officials and middlemen.

Culturally, Uzbeks of the Ferghana Valley consider themselves the most pure, and this pride has hindered the spread of the Gospel. The false idea, "To be Uzbek is to be Muslim", is very much accepted in the valley. We know, that a relationship with the True God would only make them more "Uzbek" as they understand who they can become through Christ.

We can PRAY:

*Pray for the national believers in the Ferghana Valley to be bold witnesses.

*Pray that the Holy Spirit will show people that valley a follower of Jesus will in no way make them less Uzbek, Tajik, or Kyrgyz.

*Pray for God's righteous ways to rule in the business realm.

Information taken from 30 days Muslim Prayer Focus Frontiers Edition & Operation World


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