While Muslims are preparing for Ramadan, expected to take place from June 6 to July 5, Christians in Saudi Arabia are preparing for a month of dedicated fasting, sharing the Gospel, and prayer for their Muslim neighbors.
Luke*, a foreign Christian working and living in Saudi Arabia, shares that many Christians use the Muslim month of fasting to fast and pray too.
“We increase the intensity of our prayer. We feel reminded of the conditions we see our Saudi neighbors living in and we try to love them more, understand them more, and be more sympathetic towards them.”
There are an unknown number of secret believers in Saudi Arabia. These are people from a Muslim background who are now following Christ; in some cases, even their direct relatives don’t know they are believers.
“During Ramadan, I am reminded of their zeal and passion,” Luke shares. “I am reminded and challenged by their passion to pray and fast.”
In Luke’s experience, Ramadan is a strategic time to share the Gospel, starting with the true meaning of fasting. He refers to Isaiah 58 where the Lord says: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Being a pastor to a group of believers himself, Luke feels prompted to use the Ramadan period to understand Muslims more, to be more patient with them, and to be more tolerant. Will we too?
* Name changed for security reasons
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