The current virus situation is affecting communities worldwide. None of us are immune to its effects, which actually unites us together in a unique way. We are all able to sympathize to a greater degree with the needs of others, even those who are on the other side of the world. As you are praying for your own family and community, please be lifting up Thai Muslim communities as well.
Most Muslim families in Southern Thailand live day to day. They do not have the luxury to save or stock a pantry, so as businesses close down with the current restrictions, this leaves many struggling to find daily provisions to feed their families.
Thousands of people left their homes in the past to find work in Malaysia, but with borders closing to reduce the spread of the virus, they have found themselves stuck in a country not their own, probably out of work and struggling to find food. The Thai government is currently planning how to bring them all back, and how to quarantine them appropriately, so as to not bring more cases into Southern Thailand.
Some Muslim leaders are teaching that there is no reason to fear this virus and are not encouraging people to take stricter measures to isolate and control the spread. Other leaders are saying this is just another sign of the end times coming soon. Generally, Muslims feel confident that they will be received by God on Judgement Day, if they have been good Muslims.
Mosques have been forced to close their doors by the Thai government, and Ramadan, a time of year so important to the Muslim faith, is only a few days away. A Muslim leader in South Thailand explained that they believe they gain merit for each night they pray together at the mosque during Ramadan, and that the merit is multiplied if the gathering is larger. With the mosque forced to close and gatherings limited, is this making them wonder if there is another way to be reconciled to God?
In light of these current realities, let’s pray together for Muslims in Southern Thailand:
- That local cross cultural workers and the Thai church would be led by the Lord to the communities with the greatest needs. Pray that the Spirit would open hearts to not only receive the relief physically, but also receive the good news of Jesus.
- That the return of the thousands of Thais to their homes in South Thailand would not stimulate a large outbreak of the virus. Pray for wisdom as government leaders take steps to quarantine the ones returning and protect their communities.
- For Muslims to be drawn to Jesus as they consider life and death. Pray that they would realize their spiritual need and question if what they have done is enough, leading them to be open to receive the Good News of Christ.
- Ramadan begins April 23rd, so please pray that as Muslims are unable to do their usual religious activities, that God would Himself. Pray that this season would lead many Muslims to be open to hearing the Good News like never before!