Daily Topic for March 31, 2012
The emphasis of Jesus on the Kingdom of God is unmistakable, and it has profound implications for mission. In this context Jesus is speaking with someone whom he calls “the teacher of all Israel.” Yet in spite of his religious accomplishments, Jesus tells him he is falling short. So what is required to be a part of God’s kingdom? This is the real question, and according to Jesus, membership in God’s family has nothing to do with anything except one’s relationship to Him. One must turn their life over to Christ and let Him be their Lord.
Pray that believers that go to unreached peoples like the Azeris will be Christ-centered and present the gospel to them in a simple, relevant way.
An ethnic minority anywhere would certainly understand the feelings and perspective of Azerbaijanis, also known as Azeris, who live in the country of Georgia. According to the 2002 census, there are just under 300,000 Azeris living in Georgia, all of them in the southeastern part of the country. They comprise 6.5 per cent of the country’s population. Since Georgia regained its independence in 1991, there has been a notorious lack of Azeri representation in Georgia’s government bodies. To make matters worse, many Azeris do not know the Georgian language sufficiently to be able to participate in everyday society. In relation to this, the Turkish Weekly of October 10, 2009, reported that Azeris in Georgia would be allowed to take college entrance exams in their native language instead of in Georgian.
Most Azeris are involved in industry rather than agriculture and live in cities as apartment dwellers. In addition to living in Georgia’s capital city of Tiblisi, Azeris also live in small cities and towns in the countryside.
About 20 per cent of Azeris in Georgia are not religious. The other 80 per cent are Muslims. There is one Christian Azeri congregation in Georgia, according to Operation World.
Pray that God’s people will reach out to Azeri Muslims, and that the Azeri language JESUS Film will be widely viewed in Azeri communities. Pray for Azeris to soften their hearts to Christ.