Monthly Archives: August 2011

Almost Unbelievable

Today is the first of a three-day holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan — Eid-al-Fitr. Muslims gather for special prayers, feasting with family and friends and often decorate their homes and wear new clothes for the holidays.

Muslims in Moscow gathered in massive numbers to celebrate Eidl-al-Fitr. Although we meet Muslims every day on the streets of Moscow, it’s almost unbelievable to see just how many call Moscow their home. Today’s gathering demonstrates how strategic Moscow has become in reaching Muslims in Russia and around the world. As you view these pictures today, pray for Muslims in Moscow. Pray for more workers who can speak the heart languages of the people here. Pray for Christian Russians to have a passion for reaching out to their Muslim neighbors.

(Pictures are courtesy of another blog. To view all of the pictures from today’s celebrations, click here: http://zyalt.livejournal.com/446729.html#cutid1

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In the News . . . No New Mosque for Moscow’s Muslims

http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=22507

This is a great video (produced in April 2011) illustrating how many Muslims are in Moscow and the pressures they are facing. By 2050, Moscow is predicted to be predominantly Muslim. Moscow is already feeling the tensions between Russians fighting against change and the ever-growing Muslim population pushing for recognition of its needs.

In the link below, you can read the current status of Moscow’s Muslims’ request for a new mosque and the reaction:

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Moscow,-a-park-instead-of-the-new-mosque-22433.html


Night of Power – Prayers for Forgiveness

We prayed that she would have a vision or dream . . . and she did . . .

 

Tonight is a special night for Muslims around the world. It’s called the “Night of Power.” Dedicated Muslims will stay up all night, praying for a dream, a vision or the appearance of an angel who will assure them of forgiveness of their sins or grant another request. Take a minute today to pray that many Muslims around the world will have a dream or vision — of Jesus. Pray that they will come to understand that true forgiveness is found only through the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross, in payment for our sins.

In Tajikistan, Appai Zebo looked forward to the Night of Power. As a devout Muslim, she had been fasting during the day all throughout Ramadan. Tonight, with her husband, she would pray throughout the night, seeking a vision from an angel which would assure her of her forgiveness of her sins. She desperately sought for that assurance.

That night she and her husband lay on their prayer mats on the floor, their hands extended in prayer. Zebo was tired from her day’s work but she faithfully tried to stay awake. When she dozed, her husband nudged her back to prayer.

Exhaustion finally overtook her, and she dozed. During this time, she had a dream. She saw a wide river and a friend was standing near it, calling her to come. She walked toward her friend, and the friend linked arms with her and walked toward the river. She felt tremendous peace and joy. Then her husband nudged her awake.

In the following days, Zebo couldn’t forget the dream but she didn’t know what it meant. She went to her friend and asked, “Do you know what this dream means?” The woman promised to pray about it and returned.

Later, she returned to Zebo and said, “Jesus said He is the Living Water (John 6:35). Whoever drinks of Him will not be thirsty.”

“So you were leading me towards Him?” asked Zebo.

“Perhaps,” replied the friend.

Zebo pondered this dream for many days, although she never publicly professed to believe Jesus’ words. Pray that as she prays tonight, she will remember this dream. Pray that through her rituals and religious seeking, she will seek Truth. Pray that Truth will be revealed to her, and that she will believe.


No Room in the Mosque

So many things can be said about this picture. You could comment on the fact that these Muslim friends are ardent enough about their faith to publicly pray in the middle of the workday. They aren’t ashamed, despite the blatant hatred many show them here in Moscow.

Or, you could comment about the fact that there is no room for them in the mosque. It is filled to overflowing. They are praying in the streets, on the sidewalks, wherever they can find room.

Maybe you find something else that strikes you about this picture . . . If so, share a comment with us.

In so many ways, Muslims here in Moscow find that there is no room for them, no place for them. It is often almost impossible to find decent work. They are scorned for their skin color or nationality. They are mocked because they don’t speak the language fluently. Their customs and worship are looked down upon here.

God promises that those that seek the Truth will find it. Pray that they would not be blinded by tradition, customs or culture. Pray that they would single-mindedly, fervently seek Truth. And then pray that God would put people in their path to share that Truth, people such as you and I. May we be as fervent in our faith; may we not be ashamed to publicly profess what we believe and daily, openly live it.


Muslims in Moscow: Featured in the 30-Days Prayer Network Guide!

The 30-Days Prayer Network Guide is a great resource for praying strategically for Muslims during the holiday of Ramadan. We are featured on day 21. You can check it out here. Take a minute to inform yourself about the needs of Muslims in Moscow, and then read on to find out about Muslims around the world.

While Ramadan is an excellent time to pray for Muslims, you can also use the guide year-round to continue to pray for Muslims. Thank you for being a part of the work here through your prayers!


Blocked from Entering

One day I went by the mosque up at Prospect Mira with my husband and children. I loved that the closer I came to the mosque, the more I felt as if I were in Central Asia. Women were dressed in their brightly colored, native dresses. Men gathered around tables of “naan” (Central Asian round bread) and Muslim hats, scarves and prayer mats. It was like a mini Central Asian bazaar right in Moscow. I was happy to be mingling with these dear people.

Then we approached the mosque. A tall, metal fence surrounded it. My husband and his male friend walked through the gate, not noticing that my friend and I stopped cold. A large picture adorned the entrance to the gate, which featured a woman covered from head to toe in a long skirt, long-sleeved shirt and head scarf – the required dress for any female to enter the mosque. (Click on the pic for a larger view. Maybe you can spot the sign at the gate.)

I was wearing a long skirt and a long-sleeved shirt, but since I didn’t have the proper headscarf, I was left behind. Staring at the metal gates, I felt unworthy and as if they were staring in disapproval at me. My friend and I decided to prayerwalk around the exterior of the mosque instead, and as we did so, I felt so grateful that we have a God that doesn’t require us to come before Him in our own perfection before He will listen to us. We come as we are – sinners in need of a Saviour – and He not only accepts us as we are but He also cleanses us and gives us the righteousness of Jesus.


I’m Muslim. Don’t Panic.

This shirt has been popping up around Moscow. Although the slogan is humorous, it touches on a bit of truth. Muslims are viewed by many with fear and apprehension. To many Americans, the word “Muslim” conjures up images of the Twin Towers crashing to the ground or stories of terrorist bombings.

As the Muslim holiday Ramadan is underway, it is important to remember that many Muslims are desperately seeking the approval of a God that they must please through sacrifices, rituals and holy lives. It is an impossible task. Take a minute to pray for the millions of Muslims around the world; take a minute to pray for the Muslims in Moscow. Look around you; see if there is a Muslim you can reach out to with the grace and love of Christ.

There is an excellent prayer guide available here to help guide you in how to specifically pray for Muslims during the month of Ramadan. Yes, they’re Muslim. Don’t panic. Pray.


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