Christians across the U.S. and Canada are being urged “learn to love” their Muslim neighbors during the Islamic religious festival of Ramadan, April 13 – May 12.
The challenge comes as mission leaders launch the 30th edition of 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World (www.30DaysPrayer.com) — aimed at helping Christians in North America learn about Muslims and pray for them.
“While some people demonize Muslims in the name of Christ, 30 Days of Prayer is designed to help Christians understand and love their Muslim neighbors, and dispel suspicion, fear and hatred that’s rife in America today,” said Paul Filidis, coordinator of the event with his wife, Mary.
Each year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan — a time of prayer and fasting for Muslims — hundreds of thousands of Christians in churches around the world join the 30 Days prayer movement, using an illustrated Muslim World Prayer Guide booklet to learn about and pray for specific Muslim populations.
Muslims in North America
This year’s prayer guide content — provided by pioneer missionaries David Garrison and Don McCurry — focuses on Muslim refugee and immigrant communities in North America. It spotlights a different North American city each day, including:
- Muslim immigrants living in Houston, Texas, who served as translators for the U.S. military in Afghanistan
- Iranian Muslims living in Toronto, Canada, who listen to Christian broadcasts in their native Farsi language
- Job-seeking Muslim families who’ve flocked to North Carolina’s Triangle region, where hundreds of Christians at 45 local churches pray for them
- The fast-growing Bangladeshi Muslim community in New York’s Jackson Heights area — previously a haven for Irish immigrants
“In the U.S., many Muslims are as American as apple pie,” Filidis said. “They serve in the American forces, provide vital services and also pursue the American dream.”
The 30 Days event also includes a children’s version of the prayer guide. “Used together, the adult and Just for Kids versions can help make prayer time a family time,” said Filidis.
“With such divisiveness in our world right now, Christians have an opportunity to reject hatred, pray with compassion, and show North America’s Muslims that Jesus loves them,” he said.
The 30 Days of Prayer® for the Muslim World (www.30DaysPrayer.com) is an international movement begun in 1993 that calls followers of Christ to make intentional and respectful efforts to learn about, pray for, and reach out to their Muslim neighbors.