Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 14 - Thailand Opportunities

The Fourteenth Day (Sunday, September 14)

A Great Opportunity in Bangkok

City Population: 10 million

The official Muslim population of Bangkok, Thailand is 262,023 people (2000 est.) but some estimate the number to be closer to one million. Over 160 officially registered mosques are located in the city. Many Muslims live along canals which were historically important transportation corridors (there were few or no roads into many areas until 30 years ago). The mosques and temples were all built along the canals for easy access, yet today many of the canals have disappeared.

Muslims have lived in Bangkok for generations, often forming homogenous communities, largely closed to non-Muslims. The size of each community differs, but on average it is about 150 - 200 households. These communities have been able to develop their own mosques and religious schools, and maintain their social and dietary customs. Muslims tend not to move into areas where the residents are primarily Buddhist. However, because Bangkok has become such a huge city, there are many places where Muslims mix with non-Muslims - even though they prefer to both live and work together with fellow Muslims. While large areas in the eastern part of Bangkok used to be primarily Muslim, they are now a minority in these districts. However, in some areas, Muslim students still form the majority in public schools.

Thai is the only language most of Bangkok’s Muslims speak, but occasional words of Malay are also used. Muslim sermons on radio include Arabic and sometimes Malay readings. Some religious schools teach Pattani Malay as well as Arabic, and many students from Bangkok study at religious schools away from the city.

Most emigration of Muslims into Bangkok has come from the southern part of Thailand, but there have also been sizeable groups of Cham from Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, Burma and Iran, as well as China.

Prayer Starters
* Pray that many Muslims in Bangkok will realise that life is not about religion; it is about having a relationship with God through the Messiah (John 17:3).

* Pray that Bangkok’s Muslims will discover the blessings which come through Jesus.

* Pray that Thai believers will be able to build positive and beneficial friendships with Muslims

Testimony from South East Asia:
Mary (pseudonym) had wanted to die. She was a victim of constant abuse, a teenager who had nothing to live for until one night she had a dream. In the dream a being clothed in white appeared to her saying, “I am your God, who died on the cross for you.”

Shortly afterward Mary found a follower of Jesus who helped her to better understand the dream. However, when she sought to tell her family about her experience Mary’s uncle tried to kill her several times! Local believers helped her escape, and to understand faith in the Messiah, the Word of God.

Eventually Mary was able to return home to see her family despite the threats of her uncle. When she arrived she discovered that her uncle had recently been arrested for gambling so at least she was somewhat safer. She had a joyful reunion with her family and they allowed her to continue walking with God with the help of the Messiah.

Mary is now part of a group of people who have started several groups for believers in an Asian country. They are studying the life of Jesus. They are applying the message in their own lives, as in the time of Acts. One of the new believers asked a question one day about why Jesus is called the Son of God. Mary encouraged the person simply to ask God for the answer. In the days that followed God had gave the person His answer when unexpectedly a gently blowing breeze opened the Bible at the first chapter of John. In the beginning was the Word …The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…

HT: 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus

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