| · Population: 18 million
| · Muslim: 15%
| · Christian: 4%
Mumbai, known as Bombay until its name was officially changed in 1995, is the leading financial centre of India as well as a major national commercial, transportation, and manufacturing hub. It is located south of the tropic of Cancer but north of the Equator and has small seasonal temperature fluctuations.
Riots in Mumbai, India
Mumbai was once considered a place of religious tolerance, providing a safe haven for religious minorities. Muslims, the largest of these minorities, have been the hardest hit as this image has crumbled.
Prompted by the destruction of major a mosque in north India, riots between Muslims and Hindus exploded in 1992/1993. Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, was the epicenter of the riots in Mumbai. People in nearby housing apartments watched in horror as the diverse ethnic and religious population of the Dharavi slum turned upon itself. The riot left over 1,000 people dead, mostly Muslims, and approximately 150,000 fled the city in fear.
The riots were a defining moment in the life of the city of Mumbai, especially among the Muslim community. While peace returned to the city and remains today the memories are etched in the minds of all in the city. For the Muslim community of Mumbai the horror and fear of those few short months provided a link, a shared experience and a unity between them. It also created a united mistrust of Mumbai’s Hindu community.
Missionaries Needed to Mumbai, India
The 2.5 million Muslims constitute 15% of the population with all major Muslim groups well represented in the diverse population. A significant large number are from Gujarat in the north west of India and include the Bohras and Khojas Muslims. Bohra Muslims in particular have a long history in the city and play a large role in the local and national economy.
The majority, 80%, of Muslims in Mumbai are Sunni Muslims and there are 90 major mosques in Mumbai. Arab and north African Muslim traders are common and there is a significant population of international Muslim students from many west Asian nations.
As yet, there are few Christians focusing their efforts on the Muslims in Mumbai. With the vast majority of Christians from Hindu backgrounds there are strong cultural and ethnic barriers which keep Muslims away from the church. New initiatives and new workers are needed to focus on the diverse Muslim population of Mumbai.
Prayer for the Muslims in Mumbai, India:
* From the slums to the business community there is a great need and great opportunities for Christians to work among the Muslims of Mumbai. Ask God to raise up a large number of workers.
* While Bibles are available in most major languages, there are as yet almost no Bibles in the dialects of the Muslim people. There is strong opposition against the translation of the Bible into the most common Muslim language, Muslim Urdu dialect. Pray for a team to be formed to overcome this opposition and complete the work of Bible translation (Psalm 119:49).