SANTA ANA, Calif. (July 10, 2012) – From July 20 until Aug. 18 Muslims around the world will be observing the Muslim month of Ramadan. It is a time when most Muslims refrain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Most Muslims view this as a time to practice humility and submissiveness to Allah.
During the 30 days of Ramadan, Open Doors USA is launching a prayer campaign for persecuted Christians in Muslim-dominated countries as well as praying that Muslims will find the real God.
Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller says: “During the season of Ramadan let us first lift up in prayer our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Islamic-dominated nations; strengthening them, empowering them, comforting them and encouraging them. Also, pray for Muslims. There are millions of Muslims who have never experienced real peace and joy in knowing a loving God and having Jesus as their Savior.”
Ramadan can be a difficult time for marginalized Christians. Often persecution is heightened because Christians do not fast or observe the Muslim traditions of Ramadan. They can be targeted by their government, community and family.
“Muslims treat Ramadan with reverence,” shared one Christian in an Islamic country. “They tend to be more serious and sensitive about Islamic beliefs and practices. So during Ramadan we (Christians) need to be more careful in carrying out our church activities, especially in conducting seminars, training and other programs.”
Nine of the top 10 countries on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians have Islamic governments. Those nine countries are Afghanistan (2), Saudi Arabia (3), Somalia (4), Iran (5), Maldives (6), Uzbekistan (7), Yemen (8), Iraq (9) and Pakistan (10).
Open Doors is offering a 30-day prayer calendar available for Christians in the West to pray for Muslim Background Believers living in countries where Christians don’t have the freedom to worship Jesus Christ. The calendar features truths from the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) while offering daily prayers for Muslims.
The calendar and other helpful resources can be downloaded for free at www.opendoorsusa.org/ramadan or http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected].)