| · Population: 877,000
| · Muslims: about 250,000
About Mysore in Karnataka, India
Mysore is an historical city situated in the southern India State of Karnataka. It is religiously and culturally conservative. Muslims and Hindus live in sharply defined areas and hardly mix together. Historically the Muslims have had a major influence in Mysore. The most prominent Muslim influence came from Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, known as “The Tiger of Mysore”, who ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1782 to 1799. Tipu was a learned man, a good poet, an able soldier, and a religious follower of Sunni Islam.
Present day Mysore has several Muslim groups with significantly varied practises. Although most Muslims in Mysore are Urdu speaking, there are about 4,000 Tamil-speaking Labbai and an equal number of Malayalam-speaking Mapilla Muslims. The Bhangi, who speak Hindi, earn their living by sweeping and begging. The Memon, traders and merchants, speak Gujarati and Urdu.
Survey in Mysore
A recent survey of Muslims in Mysore revealed that only 18% of Muslim male adults do their five daily prayers; less than half attend the Friday prayers, which is an obligation for Muslims. The largest gathering of Muslims happens during religious holidays, when as many as 35,000 people pray together in an open field while others gather in mosques.
Several Islamic organizations in the city are involved in politics and are active in social work and propagating Islam to non-Muslims. There are 120 mosques and 180 schools where religious instruction is imparted to 10,000 children, however nearly 80% of the Muslim children receive no basic religious education. The city has 300 people who have completely memorized the Qur’an (they are called Hafiz). Many Muslims in Mysore follow Sufi traditions, including visiting the tombs of Muslim saints, mystically praising Allah through songs, and focusing on attaining unity with Allah through meditation, chanting, and music.
Christianity in Mysore
None of the almost 100 churches in Mysore are currently reaching out to the Muslim community in an organised and active way, but this is beginning to change. There are three Christian workers who are concentrating on reaching Muslims. They have seen eight families from a Muslim background come to faith in Christ and are seeking to motivate churches to reach Muslims by offering Muslim evangelism training for pastors.
Prayer guide for Mysore, India:
* May God reveal Himself to the Muslims of Mysore as a personal God even as they seek to experience Him through their Sufi traditions.
* Pray that they will see that Jesus is the only way through whom they can attain “unity” with God and not through their meditations, chanting, music, or visits to the shrines.
* Pray that the churches in Mysore will take up their responsibility to reach out to the Muslim community in ways that are culturally sensitive to the Muslims.
* Pray that the new Muslim background believers will have the courage to walk with Jesus and to be witnesses of Him in their community.