Growing up under intense Islamic influence, Maria* heard the call to prayer five times a day. She recited the Qur’an with neighborhood friends in one of the many mosques dominating her hometown landscape. “No matter how difficult and painstaking it is to learn Arabic, it is the most beautiful language given by Allah!” she was told. After graduating from high school, Maria left home to attend university in the provincial capital. Her father wished her goodbye with these stern words: “Never forget that you are a Muslim!”
While at the university, Maria met some followers of Jesus, who invited her to watch The Jesus Film. “Why are you trying to get me to change my religion?” Maria asked angrily. Yet Maria continued to visit them each week for the next 18 months.
Slowly she let down her guard, attracted by their love and care, and borrowed a Bible to study it together with her new friends.
But one day, she suddenly burst out, “I was born to be a Muslim and believe in Islam. That cannot be changed. In the past years, I was at peace, but since you started telling me about Jesus, I have become confused and perplexed. I feel under pressure. I do not want to offend Allah. Therefore, I will not come to your home and listen to stories about Jesus or sing those songs anymore.”
- Pray that Maria will realize that her identity is not in being Muslim, and that the Gospel offers her a new identity much greater than any earthly one.
- Pray that when Hui Muslims hear the Gospel, their understanding of Jesus’ love and sacrifice will overcome their fears.
Did You Know? The Hui, made up of at least 15 million people, are the largest and most widespread of China’s Muslim nationalities. They also comprise the third largest minority group in China. Remarkably, Hui live in about 2,310 of China’s 2,369 counties and municipalities. Small pockets also live in Taiwan, Myanmar, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Only .006% of them know Christ!