Introduction / History The term "Urdu" does not adequately describe the Urdu people as such, but is merely a language distinction. Urdu, now the official language of Pakistan, is an Indo-Iranian language that developed from the Hindi language. It is heavily laden with Persian and Arabic words and is written in the Persian script. Urdu-speaking Muslims are not an ethnic group in the strictest sense, but are rather a collection of ethnic groups who have been widely dispersed geographically. They possess a sense of group identity based on cultural and historical factors.
A majority of the Urdu speakers originate in Pakistan and the northern states of India. However, in recent years, many Urdu-speaking Muslims have emigrated to European countries like Denmark, searching for economic opportunities. Urdu speaking skilled laborers and highly educated professionals have emigrated to Western Europe.
Where are they located? Muslim minorities like the Urdu speakers live mainly in urban centers like Copenhagen.
What are their lives like? Though many come to Europe with a good educational background, Urdu speaking Pakistanis have a high unemployment rate in Denmark. They are often looked upon with suspicion by the Danish majority. These factors have made some of them open to joining militant Islamicists who wage war in the Middle East and commit terrorist attacks in Europe.
What are their beliefs? Although the Urdu speakers are all Muslims, this is no longer a unifying factor. There are intense differences among the various Muslim sects; the Hanafites, Shafiites, and Ithna-Asharis. Since entire communities tend to migrate together, different Islamic sects stick together in a given country. Islam is central to their identity even for those who do not practice it.
What are their needs? Very few mission agencies are focusing on the Urdu speaking communities in Denmark. There needs to be greater efforts to effectively reach Urdu speakers with the gospel in Europe where there is freedom of religion.
Assuming all Europeans are "Christian," Urdu speakers equate sexual immorality and the like with "Christianity." They need to see true Christianity lived out to understand that it has something valid for anyone who wants to live a holy life.
Prayer Points * Pray that God will open doors for Christian businessmen to share the gospel with Urdu speakers in Denmark.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Urdu towards true believers so that they will be receptive to the gospel.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Diaspora Urdu.
* Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Urdu Muslims that follow Christ.
* Pray that these believers will be bold in their witness for Christ.