The microphone from the minaret calls the Muslims to prayer from the Central mosque that serves the Muslim community in the Bury park area of Luton.
This mosque is by no means the only place of worship for the approximately 20,000 Muslims in the town of 200,000 there may be as many as 8 – 10 Muslim groups or sects that would meet at other locations around town. As in many other places in England and the rest of Europe, in Luton there is a significant Muslim population that is growing steadily. Shops, businesses, and some factories are being run by and exclusively for Asian Muslims. Government schools in the area have student populations approaching 95% Muslim. Stricter Muslims attend Islamic schools which are also multiplying in number. These schools teach basic subjects but also major on the Arabic language and the Koran.
Bury Park of Luton, England
The vast of the Muslim community lives and works in the area around one main street in Luton. This particular area (Bury Park) is facing many needs and challenges. It has been identified as one of the neediest communities in England and has received government financial support for various projects. However this aide in no way solves many of the social problems that face the people. Issues such as unemployment, drug related crime and violence, domestic violence and academic under-achievement are all concerns that the community is struggling to deal with.
Love and Support for Luton, England
One local group of Christians that work with women and young children sees many opportunities to offer love and support to these families. One mother of six has a husband who has suffered with a hard drug problem almost all their married life. The husband has never been able to hold down a job. The drain on the family finances is great. The mother has no one to share with so when things are really going badly she seeks the help of the local Christians who pray seeking God’s intervention. They have a close relationship with this lady and many others like her. They have seen the Lord Jesus acting in the situation and happily circumstances are improving. Knowing that God loves us is the only answer to meet the needs of the human heart. Our Heavenly Father cares for the problems and needs of all men (1Timothy 4:10, Matthew 5:45)
Prayer Guide for Luton, England
* Pray for the women who are under pressure at home from either domestic violence or from drug addiction of family members.
* Pray for work for young Muslim men. Often due to lack of employment and hope for the future these men are vulnerable to extremist Muslim groups including the Al Qaeda network.
* Pray for follow-up to the “Jesus” video that has been distributed in Bury Park. May many see the story of Jesus in their own language and respond in their hearts to the Love of Christ.
* Pray for more Christians to be involved in prayer and social action. It is in reaching out in support for those in need that the true face of Jesus is seen through his people (Isaiah 58:6-7; 61:1-4).
Background on the United Kingdom (UK) (World Factbook)
Great Britain, the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth’s surface.
The first half of the 20th century saw the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) strength seriously depleted in two World Wars. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe.
A member of the European Union (EU), it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union for the time being. Constitutional reform is also a significant issue in the UK. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999, but the latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010.
Economy of the United Kingdom
Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. The economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, the CAMERON government in 2010 initiated a five-year austerity program, which aims to lower London’s budget deficit from over 11% of GDP in 2010 to nearly 1% by 2015.
About the UK
Population: 63,047,162 (July 2012 est.) World rank #22
Life Expectancy at Birth: 80.17 years. World rank #30
Ethnic groups: white (of which English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%) 92.1%, black 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other 1.6% (2001 census)
Religions: Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 71.6%, Muslim 2.7%, Hindu 1%, other 1.6%, unspecified or none 23.1% (2001 census)
Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
Literacy Rate: 99%
School life expectancy: 16 years
“Take back UK” – Video
A somewhat extreme view of Islam in the UK and thus a good look at the struggles in England