30 Days of Prayer Int'l
Colorado Springs, CO
The people from Mirpur District in Pakistan have a sea-faring tradition, and this became their first link with the British Empire many decades ago. Then, In the 1960’s, the Mangla Dam was built in Mirpur, flooding farmland, and displacing over 100,000 Mirpuris. Life has not been easy since then.
Many Mirpuris used the government-provided compensation to come to Britain, where there was a labour shortage. Most of the immigrants planned to stay for a few years, but extensive chain migration has resulted in 70% of the British Pakistani population being from a Mirpuri background. This has made Mirpuri-Pahari the second most spoken language in Britain.
Mirpuri-Pahari is a low status, unwritten language but has been remarkably preserved through generations in Britain – better than it has been preserved in its place of origin. Mirpuris are Sunni Muslims but practice a form of folk Islam that includes a substantial fear of evil spirits (djinn), use of talismans and ‘magic men’, known as pirs.
Only about 30 Mirpuris are known to have come to Christ in Britain over the past 50 years out of a population of an estimated 900,000. Most of them remain hidden, fearing community rejection. Plus, there are only a handful of believers in Pakistan, so it is inconceivable to Mirpuris that one of their own might become a Christian.
Mirpuri’s tight-knit communities, self-sufficiency, and long-standing resistance to the good news means that they have been neglected by British churches. They are hidden in plain sight and other groups who are more responsive often receive more attention.
How to Pray
- Pray for efforts to develop audio, visual and social media resources to share the gospel in Mirpuri-Pahari in Britain and in Azad Kashmir. (Hebrews 4:12)
- Pray for British churches to be aware of and share Jesus with the many Mirpuris around them. (1 John 4:7-12)
- Pray that Mirpuri-Pahari people throughout Britain will be blessed with peace and find salvation in Christ. (John 14:27)