Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city has a well established Muslim community of mainly Pakistani origin. While there are still Muslims coming to live in the city to join spouses or as refugees, the majority of the community are second or third generation Scottish Pakistanis. Muslims are found at all levels of Glasgow society, however the majority of Muslims live in areas where poor housing, unemployment or poorly paid employment are issues.
“Munir” owns a small grocer’s shop in the South-side of Glasgow. He opens at six in the morning and closes at eight in the evening, seven days a week. On Sundays his son takes over the shop so he can run a leather goods stall in a market out of town. He often feels tires but it is difficult for him to take a holiday. His business supports not only his immediate family but also his extended family in Pakistan. He aspires some day to moving out to a nice house in the suburbs believing that material success is a symbol of favour in God towards him.
Kauser of Glasgow, Scotland
“Kauser” was born and brought up in Glasgow. Her family arrived in the city shortly before she was born. She was married to her cousin from the family’s village in Pakistan. It was very difficult at first because her husband’s expectations of marriage were very different from hers and they had three children in quick succession. It’s better now as her husband has a full-time job and two of the children are at school. Kauser dreams of a time when she might be able to finish her education and have a career of her own. When times were bad she often wondered if God might be punishing her.
Community of Glasgow, Scotland
People like Munir and Kauser welcome the friendship of people from the wider community. Munir finds the days long in the shop and Kauser likes to chat to people who have less traditional views than her husband. Both strongly identify themselves as Muslims although their devotion to practising their faith varies and they are open to learning about what Christians believe. Since April of 2000 large numbers of refugees have been housed in Glasgow most of whom are Muslim. Initially there was some hostility towards them and they were housed in very poor areas of the city. However, churches in these areas opened their doors to their new neighbours and several have come to faith in Jesus as a result.
Prayer Guide for Glasgow, Scotland
* Pray that the openness among the settled Muslim communities might similar to the refugee communities.
* Pray for Christians with Muslim neighbours to be open to building positive and trusting relationships.
* Give thanks for those already involved in outreach and pray that new creative ways of reaching out to be developed.
* Give thanks for those in the refugee communities who have come to faith (many through dreams and visions).
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