Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage required of all Muslims who are able. During the 3-day event, around 3 million Muslims from all over the world flock to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) to perform sacred acts and follow the steps of Muhammad, their prophet. This year, the Hajj will start on September 21st and last for 3-4 days.
Muslims participate in the pilgrimage and rituals of Hajj because it allows them to seek forgiveness for their sins; however, even the Hajj is not a guarantee of forgiveness. Muslims know Jesus as Isa al-Masih, a prophet recognized by Mohammed; but to speak of him as Savior or as God is blasphemy to a Muslim. The city of Mecca itself is forbidden to all non-Muslims.
Christians around the world pray for Muslims during Hajj (similar to prayers for the Muslim world during Ramadan). This is a time where Muslims making the pilgrimage are sensitized to spiritual matters. Some have had visions of Isa al-Masih during this time - proof that God is still breaking through to Muslims even as they seek to earn forgiveness from someone who is not God. A prayer guide for the Hajj, from Praying Through the Arabian Peninsula (PTAP) is attached. Please join us in prayer!
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and one of the harshest countries in the world for Christians. Ranked #12 on Open Doors' 2015 World Watch List, Saudi Arabia is defined by a purist version of Islam called Wahhabism. Practice of any other religion is forbidden, and conversion to another religion is punishable by death. According to the World Watch List, radical Islam finds a breeding ground in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi funding of terrorism abroad is the main source of Sunni terrorism in the world. Converts to Christianity from Islam face the risk of being killed or abused by their own families. House churches are often raided by the religious police.
Saudi oil money funds a worldwide propagation of Islam through aid to sympathetic countries, building mosques, sending missionaries, distributing literature, and funding of Western educational institutions with the condition that they must build a center for Islamic studies. The Saudi government denies Christians the liberty to share their faith, but expects Muslims to be granted this liberty elsewhere.
All Saudi citizens are officially Muslim and it is impossible for a non-Muslim to gain citizenship. However, the large expat population (more than 30 percent) includes Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. It is not permissible to practice any form of religion publicly, other than the government-sanctioned interpretation of Sunni Islam. Despite this, there are a number of secret Saudi believers – perhaps even a large number.
September 23 is the annual Saudi Day of Prayer, this year coinciding with the final day of the Hajj. We invite you to join in prayer on this day for the country of Saudi Arabia, as well as for Muslims on the Hajj.
Prayer Guide for Hajj: Hajj2015US.pdf
Operation World: Prayer for Saudi Arabia: http://www.operationworld.org/saud
World watch list prayer for Saudi Arabia: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/...