Jiayuguan Evening Market

Uighur Muslims of China

Pray for the heavily persecuted Uighur Muslims of China

Our friend and student, Mahmud, invited us to his family home for the Korban festival also known as Eid-al-Adha, remembering Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. We began by drinking fragrant tea at a table laden with fruit, pastries, and naan bread. Our hosts offered water separately to the men and women to wash, pouring it over our hands and passing around towels.

Then the eating began! Mahmud’s father ceremoniously broke a naan bread in half and passed pieces to us. We dipped it in bowls of vegetable stew, with chunks of roast lamb that were sacrificed earlier that morning. Home-made noodles came next. We thought the meal had ended, but soon pumpkin and meat dumplings were served – making us sorry for eating too much earlier. A few hours later, and worried about overstaying our welcome, the final dish arrived; huge platters of rich pilaf rice with boiled lamb. Finally, Mahmud’s father gave a sign; Everyone raised their hands while he gave thanks, passed our palms over our faces and said, “Amin”.

Traditional Uighur hospitality is overwhelming. Through food and hospitality, our Uighur hosts conveyed honor and friendship to us. As their guests, we sought to honor and please them by expressing our deepest thanks for their hospitality and generosity.

See also  Bedouins of the Levant

Our meal with Mahmud’s family happened several years ago. Today, Uighur culture faces great stress and challenges. Life and work have become considerably more hectic, and more recent meals with Uighur friends take place in restaurants. Hospitality now is displayed by fighting to pay the bill. Times and methods have changed but the intention is still the same: To convey honor to others by open, sincere hospitality.

Prayer Ideas:

  • Pray for a complete transformation in the Chinese government and their shocking treatment of Uighers.
  • Pray that God’s love will be a banner over the Uighurs, like Song of Solomon 2:4 links a banqueting table with love.
  • Uighurs are an oppressed minority in China. Pray for the church in China to reach out to them. Let Matthew 22:1-14 inspire your prayers for the Uighurs.

Learn more about Uigher oppression:

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