Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ramadan: What is it and Why does it Matter?

As a traveller in East Kenya many years ago, I first observed the Muslim month of fasting, called Ramadan. A few years later, as a high school teacher in Afghanistan, Ramadan took on special meaning to me as my students dragged into class everyday parched and hungry.  During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn till dusk.  This year, Ramadan began on July 20.

But for Christians living in the Muslim world, it can be a dangerous time. Generally, Christians can blend into the population. But during Ramadan, when Muslims are not eating or drinking during the day, Christians stand out, making them easy targets for persecution. Historically, Christians in Muslim-dominated countries experience a severe increase in persecution during Ramadan. 

After a year of Muslim uprisings, the tension may be worse than normal. The Arab Spring and increased terrorism have sharpened hostility toward Christians, especially in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. During this month of Ramadan, let us remember to pray for the safety of our Christian brothers and sisters who live in Islamic strongholds around the world.


  1. Greg,

    What if we Christians took the occasion of the Muslim month of Ramadan and began our own time of prayer and fasting for the Muslim people to discover the One True God?

    The Book of Isaiah chapter 58 informs us of God's chosen fast. Starting with verse 6 we are told what qualifies as a fast in God's estimation has to do with "...loosing the bonds of wickedness, letting the oppressed go free, and that you(we) break every yoke."

    Considering the shackles of deception upon the Muslim world, it seems like now (Ramadan) would be a good time to intercede for them.


  2. Yes, Stan. I couldn't agree with you more. And what a great passage to anchor us through our own fasting. You have the heart of God on this, for sure.