DAY 16 – JUNE 21st, 2016
Eastern South Asia
The most crowded room in the House of Islam is Eastern South Asia with nearly 284 million Muslims living here. There are dozens of movements here, each with several thousand baptized Muslim-background believers loving and worshipping Jesus across Eastern South Asia. These movements to Christ have come at the cost of severe persecution through brave witnesses and skilled Bible translators who have made the gospel known in ways that local Muslims can understand.
Recently I was conducting a survey of several of these movements. I asked many converts from this region, “What did God use to bring you to faith in Jesus Christ?” One of many memorable testimonies came from a believer named Sharif.
“As a young boy,” Sharif said, “I was expelled from the Muslim school for asking the teacher difficult questions. The teacher shouted at me, ‘You are a sinner, and you are going to hell!’ My father was so angry. He kicked me out of the house and forbade any family member from talking to me.
“One day,” Sharif said, “I was surprised by a white-haired missionary who spoke to me, ‘Hey brother, do you want to ride with me in this rickshaw?’ Before he left, the missionary gave me a New Testament.
“I stayed up all night reading it.” Sharif said, “In John 3:17 it said, ‘Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’”
Years later, as Sharif recounted his story to me, the tears streamed down his cheeks, “You see, I wasn’t condemned to hell, I wasn’t just a sinner. Jesus had come into the world to save me.”
Over the next decade, Sharif faced many trials for his faith in Jesus. His father threatened to kill him; a gang of Muslim thugs beat him severely, and twice left him for dead.
“It doesn’t matter,” Sharif said. “If they cut my body into a thousand pieces, every piece will cry out, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord!'”
Sharif eventually led his father to faith in Christ. “A church now meets in our home,” he told me. Today, Sharif is part of a movement of Muslims to faith in Jesus Christ that may number more than 100,000 believers.
How to Pray
- Pray for the movements of Muslims to Christ in Eastern South Asia to multiply.
- Pray for bold witnesses like Sharif to endure persecution and remain faithful to Christ.
- Pray for the 284 million lost Muslims in Eastern South Asia to come to faith in Jesus Christ.