Daily Topic for June 15, 2011
The Cham people express their devotion to Islam by following Arabic forms of worship and obedience. For example, Cham Muslims who want to truly understand the Qur’an, their holy book, must study it in seventh century Arabic. By contrast, Paul stresses in this passage that it is not our cultural heritage that makes us acceptable to God, but our heart response. Isn’t that good news to non-Arab Muslims like the Chams?
Pray that soon there will be Cham fellowships filled with grateful people who worship the true and living God.
Small, but strong and secure—that is how you could describe the ancient kingdom of Champa, which existed in what is now the southern part of Vietnam. Though often at war, it flourished until 1471, when the Vietnamese attacked from the north, eventually conquering Champa. Freemen, aristocrats and many other Cham people fled to their west and settled in Cambodia. This group is now known as the Western Cham people.
The Chams thrived until 1969 when war between the government and the Communist Khmer Rouge began. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge emerged victorious. They tried to eliminate religion, and people who showed any religious inclination were targeted for extermination, including the Muslim Chams. Their population was decimated by the time the Khmer Rouge lost power in 1979.
Originally the Cham people were Hindu, but in the 15th century a Muslim trader convinced the king of Champa to embrace Islam. The king declared Islam the official religion for the whole country. Today most Western Cham practice a basic form of Islam. In 1999 one believer in Christ was identified, but by 2002 there were only two believers.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray the Lord will reveal Himself to the Western Cham through visions and dreams. The JESUS Film and gospel recordings are available in the Western Cham language. Pray for these tools to be widely distributed in their communities. May the Lord lead missionaries to live and work among the Western Chams.