Have you heard of the term, “cultural Christian”? It describes a person who generally accepts familiar Christian values and may participate in common Christian practices but does not consider Christianity to be of great importance in their life.
“Cultural Christians” may be atheist, or agnostic, or may describe themselves as “spiritual” but not religious. Often, they have grown up in an environment that was traditionally Christian, and that is how they identify, although they may have serious disagreements with some expressions of that faith.
“Cultural Muslims” are similar. Decline in religious commitment is growing in Muslim communities where people are disappointed with the rise of extremism, corrupt religious leaders and the constraints of religious expectations. Cultural Muslims will often identify as Muslim but be only nominally religious, if at all.
Cultural Muslims can be found across the world, but especially in Europe, Central Asia, North America and parts of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. As an example, recent surveys from the Pew Research Center found that only 1% of Muslims in Azerbaijan and 5% of Muslims in Albania attend mosque regularly. They also found that only 2% of Muslims in Kazakhstan and 14% of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina perform all five of the daily prayers. In the USA, where Muslims make up only about 1% of the population, 64% of Muslims say religion is very important to them, which is about the same as the percentage for Christians.
As the role of religion is changing globally, Muslims are confronted with questions about how to identify themselves both inside and outside of their traditional communities, just as Christians are.
How to Pray
- Pray for Muslims who long for a faith that is important and significant, to find what they are looking for (Matthew 6:33).
- Consider in prayer how we as believers in Christ should continually examine our faith so our witness is authentic. 2 Corinthians 13:5 and James 3:9-12
- Be inspired to pray for cultural Muslims from Psalm 111.
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Top image of two ladies speaking by Mentatdgt via Pexels CC