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:
Praise God for all those who have heard the good news over the past few weeks of fasting. On vanilla island two workers have had multiple times each day to share with friends and neighbours, and also with those they don’t normally interact with and rarely engage with in conversation. In the past when they’ve begun to share Truth people have either turned away from the conversation, interrupted with an objection, fallen asleep, or changed the subject! But in these last few weeks, people have stopped what they are doing to listen, they’ve pondered their statements, and asked inquiring questions. Pray that people would continue to think on what they’ve heard and that these seeds would send down deep roots into their hearts. Pray that many would be discovering a hunger in their hearts for something more than what Islam can offer them.
Pray for protection from a local Christian cult. They follow the teachings of a man called William Branham and among other things don’t believe in the Trinity. They first appeared on the scene about ten years ago and at that time some of the older believers choose to follow them. Now it seems that there is some mixing going on between that group and the local church. There is much to attract them – a charismatic leader, a place to meet for fellowship, and it’s possible that financial incentives may also play a part. Pray for discernment for local believers, that they would recognise the teachings of this cult for what they are. Pray also against the seductive hold money has on the hearts of some believers, pray that God would bring them to true dependence on him.