The Islanders (Indian Ocean)
Pray for the Islanders hailing from the islands of the Indian Ocean, with sizeable communities also found in France and Madagascar. Nearly all Islanders are Muslims. Those who have chosen to follow J’sus tend to live isolated lives and many experience pressure and persecution from their families, villages and government.
2 Thess 3:1 “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you.”
Pray that God would move in power and reveal himself to Islanders- young and old, male and female. Pray that He would draw families and communities to Himself that they might support each other on the journey. Pray that believers would be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that they would be strong and courageous.
Location and background: Islanders live on a group of islands off the coast of Africa. They boast picture-postcard beaches, dramatic volcano peaks and an array of rare wildlife. Alongside these are found corrupt governance, political bickering, failing infrastructure, and a sputtering economy. Many seek a better life abroad, ending up living in high rise flats in dangerous neighbourhoods, working long hours to send back generous support to family members still on the islands.
History: The islands have a colourful history steeped in slavery and trade with the East African coast, Arabia and the Persian Gulf. More recently the Islands have suffered 20 coups or attempted coups since independence. Today it blends the warmth of its African location with the Arab traditions of its first settlers, alongside an increasingly strong Western influence.
Culture: Though people are increasingly moving to the capital and seeking opportunities overseas, an Islander’s identity is still firmly linked to their village. Islanders are proud of their religious and cultural heritage, and a strong marriage tradition featuring large, lavish weddings keeps home ties strong. Each island has its own dialect and though French is the language of education the local language is very much the language of the home and of the heart.
Religion: The Island National Anthem declares that they are one people, one blood and one religion, and with 99.9% of the population being Muslims it is not far from the truth. The Island’s spiritual roots intermingle the Islam of the early Arab traders and settlers with African spiritism. The combination plays out in a Muslim routine of life, while still seeking to live lives that appease the demons or “djinns” that harass them. Spirit possession and demonic affliction is common, especially amongst women.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Today a good friend came to ask a worker for money for him to buy special prayers from an imam for his newborn daughter. The worker told him he thought this was magic, not prayer, and offered instead to come pray in the name of Jesus, who has all authority in heaven and on Earth. This new dad agreed but wasn’t home at the agreed time. The battle rages! Ask for the Lord to make himself known to this family.
A local sister shared recently that their group was tipped off that the police would be visiting their Sunday gathering. They prayed together, chose 2 spokespeople and prayed some more, then began worshipping. Sure enough, a little later came a “hodi” at the door and in walked 4 policemen. They were duly welcomed and when they’d sat down, they asked “What are you all doing here?”. The spokeswoman said “We’re reading this Bible, see?” And she showed them what they were reading. “And we’re singing-do you want to hear a song?” And they all sang a song. Then the spokesman said, “And we’re praying. Nothing bad is happening; we’re not drinking, we’re not doing anything immoral. Do you want to pray with us?” They didn’t (yet), but they were satisfied nothing wrong was happening and they said their goodbyes. The sister sharing this story said, “See! We don’t have to be afraid!” Ask for more faith against fear and more bold worship among islanders.
VIDEO FEATURE: Walking in Shadow
A glimpse into the Muslim mindset of coastal Africa, and the church’s responsibility to pray, learn, and engage.