Day14 Bangladeshmanboat Bygulzerhussein Pixabay

Pray for Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bengali Muslims are one of the largest unreached people groups on earth and the majority of them live in Bangladesh. The capital city, Dhaka, is home to an estimated 20 million people, which makes the city one of the world’s fastest growing megacities. Almost 90{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of the residents are Muslim.

Young Muslims in Dhaka can be conflicted by the options their city offers. On one hand, the everyday life of Bengali Muslims is influenced by increasingly conservativeteaching in the mosques. In recent years, these teachings have also influenced traditional Bengali culture.

For example, the Bengali “gaie holud” celebration which traditionally takes place a few days before a wedding ceremony: at this celebration, visitors color the bride and groom’s faces yellow and feed them sweets. But according to the teaching in some mosques, this celebration is labeled as, “not Muslim,” and people have stopped practicing it. This conservative influence is also seen on the streets as more and more women wear the burka in public.

Women in downtown Dhaka | photo by Sudipta Arka Das via Flickr CC

On the other hand, through social media and the internet, Bengali Muslims see a free world outside of their city, with many options. Dhaka offers anonymity and subcultures to explore new ideas and lifestyles. Some Christians take this opportunity to inform seekers about the Christian faith and try to answer their questions about Islam.

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How to Pray

  • Pray for Dhaka’s needs as a growing megacity. It faces many overwhelming challenges with overcrowding, frequent flooding, and pollution. Pray for wise leadership and good management. (Isaiah 26:1-3)
  • Pray for Muslims in Dhaka to have opportunities to learn about what it means to follow Christ. (Psalm 119:9-10)
  • Pray for the physical and spiritual protection of Christians who live in Dhaka and for them to be an effective witness of Jesus. (1 Timothy 4)

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