Daily Topic for July 31, 2009
Confess our sins? That’s it? We don’t have to go to a shaman, make special sacrifices, etc? For hundreds of years, Mongolians have been at the mercy of unmerciful spirits that make unreasonable demands. But our God is different.
Pray that they will understand the difference, and put their faith in Him, abandoning their traditional gods.
Why are we praying for a Muslim people in central Afghanistan in a prayer guide devoted to Mongolian people groups? It is because the Hazaras are probably of Mongolian descent. Like the Dongxiangs we prayed for yesterday, the Hazaras came from Mongolian soldiers. But unlike the Dongxiangs whose ancestors came in to western China as a conquering force, historians emphasize the fact that the Hazaras’ ancestors were left behind when the Mongol Empire crumbled.
The Hazaras have been persecuted ever since. Before the 19th century, they were the majority people in what is now Afghanistan. During the 19th century, their numbers were greatly diminished by hostile neighbors, especially the Pushtuns.
Perhaps as a way to remain different from Afghanistan’s other ethnic groups, the Hazaras are Shi’ite rather than Sunni Muslims. This difference has given other people groups reason to call them “infidels” and persecute them even more. In places where foreign forces have the upper hand, the Hazaras enjoy relative safety from the Sunni-based Taliban. According to a January 5, 2009 article written by Pamela Constable of the Washington Post, this freedom for Shi’ite Muslims has also allowed for the return of Muharram, a 10-day period of ritual mourning that involves self-flagellation. Few if any missionaries are working in their homeland called the Hazarajat.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that followers of Christ will take this opportunity to share the love of Christ with this much-hated people.-KC