| · Population 1.2 million
Indore is a large industrial city in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The city has a large floating population of students and migrant workers. More than half a million Muslims reside in Indore.
Muslims have a prominent place of influence in Madhya Pradesh, and especially in the city of Bhopal, which has a long legacy of Muslim rulership. Bhopal has Islamic training centres, which include orphanages and madrasas (Qur’anic schools) that train and produce hardened Islamists who go out to different Muslim communities with a mission to consolidate and propagate Islam.
The Indorian Muslim community is largely made up of the Sunnis and the Bohras. As in most Indian cities the Bohras are concentrated in the main commercial areas of Indore. It is quite an active community with regards to social interaction and provides an economic boost for the city. The Sunnis, on the other hand, live in six or seven concentrated pockets spread out in different areas of the city. The Sunnis in these areas are generally unemployed and sometimes illiterate.
Riots in Indore, India
Despite being a prominent commercial and industrial centre, Indore is also highly prone to communal riots. This is because, along with its high Muslim population, the city is also the stronghold of the Sangh Pariwar, a fanatical Hindu group. There is a perceptible level of mutual suspicion between the Hindus and the Muslims. The conflict mainly involves the Hindus and the Sunni Muslims, though the Bohra Muslims often get unwittingly caught up in the crossfire.
The Church in Indore, India
The Church has long neglected the Indorian Muslims. There is no record of any Indorian Muslims coming to Christ in the last two centuries. One of the main reasons for this is that in this city of well over a million, the “born-again” Christian population only numbers between 500 and 700. Until very recently, there were no Christian organisations doing any work or evangelism among Indorian Muslims. However, some Christians have begun to work among these neglected Muslims. Adopting a multi-pronged approach, they are planning to open a tutoring centre for Muslim students, starting a small primary school and helping to make some employment possibilities available to Muslims.
Such a multifaceted approach is vital, as besides the need for salvation and proclaiming Christ, it is also of paramount importance to meet these people’s felt needs. Combating illiteracy, unemployment and poverty are among the social priorities. Besides these problems, lots of Muslims are despondent and struggle to find their own identity in the face of communalism.
Prayer Focus for Indore, India
* Pray that God would raise up dedicated Christians specifically to serve the Muslims in Indore.
* Pray for significant numbers of Muslims to be converted (Acts 4:1-4).
* Pray for solutions to the pressing environmental needs (Jeremiah 29:7).
* Pray for the few Christians working among Indore’s Muslims. May they have unity, safety and wisdom to know how to work among this group.
* Hundreds of workers could eventually be needed to reach all the Muslims: pray for God to raise up a multitude of workers.