Daily Topic for May 08, 2012
As one of the world’s larger unreached people groups, the Tajiks have the chance to read God’s word in their own language and to see Jesus in action in the JESUS Film. We pray that these materials are making their way into Tajik homes, and that these Muslims have open hearts. Yet it will probably take many followers of Christ to demonstrate through word and deed the ways of Jesus to the Tajik people. Who will go to them?
Pray for many followers of Christ to go to the Tajiks to preach and live out the life of a disciple in such a way that they will have a new understanding of the God of creation.
The Tajik woman hugs each of her children before they scurry out the door to school. Life is good in Turkmenistan, especially since the government gave citizenship status to the more than 10,000 Tajik refugees in 2005. Now her children have a future.
But the woman still grieves about the past. Tajikistan’s pro-Russian militia killed her husband in the mid-1990s, because their tribe did not support the rigged presidential election. The ethnic cleansing killed nearly 100,000 Tajiks. Her family fled their burning village to Turkmenistan. She now lives in Turkmenistan’s urban government housing, and her life is very different from what it was when they worked as farmers in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains. Some Tajiks returned to their homeland to continue their former work after the UN-brokered settlement, but a large number of them stayed in Turkmenistan.
Both Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are about 95 percent Sunni Muslim. Although Turkmenistan’s constitution allows for religious freedom, the Tajik church remains small and persecuted. The Russian Orthodox Church remains the “accepted other” religion. Unregistered religious gatherings are forbidden, but the government recently allowed two Protestant churches to register and meet openly. The Bible has been translated into the refugees’ common language, Tajik. The JESUS Film is also available in Tajik.
Pray that the refugees will not view the gospel as a Russian religion, but as a faith for all peoples. Pray that God will send workers with the JESUS Film to Turkmenistan and use them as missionaries and reveal Himself to Tajik hearts.