Daily Topic for November 06, 2010
In their natural state, people want their religion to include mystery. Perhaps there is something about being privy to spiritual secrets sent from above that intrigues people. Whatever the reason, mystery has an important pull for many. God offers us the mystery of Christ, which includes no secrets, and no mumbo jumbo.
Pray that the Alevis will forsake all false spiritual mysteries and be attracted to the Risen Christ.
While terms like “unreached” and “unengaged” are often used to describe people groups still waiting to hear the gospel, the best adjective for the Alevis of Turkey might be “secret.” Their existence is a known fact, but their numbers, much of what they believe and how they practice their religion remains a mystery.
Unlike other Shi’ites, Alevis are not considered orthodox Muslims. Their branch of Shi’ite Islam lacks historical authority and has been watered down over the years by the introduction of humanistic philosophies. The word Alevi means simply “of Ali” and denotes that they are followers of the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammad: Ali ibn Abi Talib. The Alevis consider him to be the first Imam, and many homes and places of worship contain Ali’s portrait.
Since there is no central authority, the Alevi’s practice of Islam varies from community to community. Most of their beliefs are communicated orally and are not shared with non-Muslims.
The Alevis may have succeeded in keeping their religion a secret, but they cannot hide from God. He created them for His good pleasure and placed within them a desire to know and worship Him. Many are longing to hear the mystery of Christ.
Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to this “secret” people group, making known His love for them as evidenced in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.