There are currently over 25 million Muslims in Europe (projected to be between 35 and 75 million by the year 2050). Multiplying year after year, the Muslim population in Europe is significantly growing. As immigrants and asylum seekers from countries all over North Africa and the Middle East flood into almost all of its countries, the face of Europe is changing in many ways. What it means to be a European is changing. Politics and government are changing. Religion is changing. The future of many European countries is changing.
With these changes come many challenges. But, as Muslims fill European countries, there is also an incredible opportunity for us as believers.
Coming from closed countries to open ones, God is orchestrating this migration: “so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27). Muslims in Europe are in a place where they can freely have the gospel shared with them! And Muslims who give their life to Jesus are able to impactfully reach their friends and families still living in those closed countries.
What some see as an inconvenience or even a threat, in so many Muslims migrating to Europe, is being used to spark a movement of Muslims giving their lives to Jesus and it is our prayer that that movement will multiply!
So how do you factor into this? What impact can you make on the changing face of Europe?
We believe that every great movement begins with great prayer. So we want you to help us pray through this entire year for God to change the hearts of Muslims as the face of Europe changes. Each month we will focus on a specific way that the Muslim migration is changing different European countries and give you ways to partner with us in prayer. Will you join us in praying for the Muslims in Europe?
On May 5th, Muslims around the world will participate in a month of fasting, Ramadan. Healthy adults and youth past puberty are obligated to fast from sunup to sundown from food, water, smoking, and sexual relations. Fasting is one of the pillars of the Islamic faith and is a requirement to be considered a good Muslim.
On a typical day during Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours. Women work hard to prepare special elaborate meals. Families usually break the fast together, sometimes starting with dates, a sweet dried fruit. After the meal, some Muslims go the Mosque or pray. They eat again in the early morning, before the sun rises.
There is great camaraderie in the Muslim world during Ramadan. They display their unity and spiritual devotion by fasting together. They fast to earn favor with God and to remember the poor and hungry.
During Ramadan in Muslim countries, restaurants and coffeeshops close during the day and open at night. Some Muslims even switch their days and nights, sleeping during the day and staying awake at night. For North African and Middle Eastern (NAME) peoples who live outside their homelands, Ramadan can be a difficult time. They miss their families, home cooked traditional foods, and the cultural excitement that marks Ramadan in their home countries.
In Mark 9, the disciples try to cast out an evil spirit and fail. After Jesus casts the demon out, they asked him why they weren’t successful. Jesus replied, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [and fasting]” (Mark 9:29 HCSB). While Islam isn’t an evil spirit, its slavery and grip on people who were created to give God glory is very real.
Join us in praying (and perhaps even fasting) to ask God to tear down the stronghold of Islam in the lives of NAME peoples in Europe and Muslims around the world. Ask God to open their spiritual eyes as they fast to earn favor from a false god. Pray that the growling of their bellies and the heaviness of their dry tongues will drive them to spiritual hunger and thirst. Ask that many NAME Muslims will meet the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and Living Water (John 4:10) who will satisfy their souls for all eternity.
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